A couple thoughts on college football

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since Dec. 21st, when I left Provo for the Las Vegas Bowl. BYU dominated Oregon and ended the season 11-2 with a 10-game winning streak. I’ve blogged that I think this BYU team is the best ever, but Gordon Monson makes some pretty good arguments in favor of Steve Young’s 1983 BYU squad.

Last night I watched the phenomenal 4th quarter and OT of the Boise State – Oklahoma bowl game with my family. This was the most enjoyable non-BYU bowl game I’ve ever seen. What incredible play calling and execution by Boise State to pull out a remarkable win.

Three calls by Boise State in the last few minutes were truly remarkable. On 4th and 18 they had an amazing pass and pitch back which led to a touchdown. In overtime, after Oklahoma scored on the first play (a 25-yard run), Boise State’s running back threw a touchdown pass to the tight end. And then, to top it all off, they went for a 2-point conversion in overtime and ran the old Statute of Liberty play, which I don’t believe I’ver ever seen before. Check out this Google video of the overtime period.

I believe it is inevitable — manifest destiny if you will — that there will eventually be some kind of national playoff and legitimate national championship game in Division I college football. We can’t continue to pretend forever that the BCS bowl series is legitimate or fair. I don’t think it will last too many more years.

Looking for 1 more ticket for tonight’s Las Vegas Bowl

I’m heading down to the Las Vegas Bowl with some tickets to this evening’s BYU vs. Oregon game — but my party is short one ticket.

We may be able to buy 1 ticket from a scalper, but if you know of any available tickets, please email me at PAUL “AT” PROVOLABS.COM sometime today. Please include your phone number so that I can call you and work out the details.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Go Cougars!

Grudgingly Accepting Defeat, Utah Fan Devin Thorpe Sings BYU Fight Song on YouTube

Move over, William Hung!

Utah’s own Devin Thorpe has posted a video of his incredible rendition of the BYU Cougar Fight Song.

I think you’ll enjoy Devin’s video even more if you first relive the excitement of the final seconds of the BYU victory over Utah. Check out this YouTube video that someone show from the stands.

Better still is this television broadcast video showing the final play of the game. (It has more than 15,000 views already!)

Devin has more talent than I anticipated. And he went the extra mile by travelling to Provo to shoot the video adjacent to BYU Campus. Nice effort, Devin!

Devin and I had a public challenge going about who the winner of the recent BYU-Utah Football game would be. He promised what he would do if BYU won; and I countered with a couple commitments of my own.

Thanks to the last second touchdown pass from John Beck (#2 rated NCAA passer) to Johnny Harline (see this amazing photo of Johnny on his knees waiting for the ball to arrive–as a gift from heaven) in the best BYU-Utah game of all time, Devin gets to blog about my blog every day for a week, take me to a restaurant of my choice, and upload this video.

Please visit Devin’s post and Digg it (if you aren’t a registered user of Digg.com it takes only seconds to sign up) so that more people can enjoy the singing talents of Devin Thorpe. Make it a favorite on YouTube as well. Let’s see how many thousands of people all over the world can enjoy Devin’s public humiliation.

Go Cougars!

BYU vs. Utah — the public challenge

To: Devin Thorpe, blogger and University of Utah fan:

Okay, Devin, my friend. As you know, you publicly challenged me to put up or shut up regarding tomorrow’s BYU-Utah football game.

I appreciate the confidence you have that Utah will win tomorrow. You said, if BYU wins tomorrow’s big game, that you will do the following:

1. I’ll plug your blog every day for a week after the game.
2. I’ll buy you lunch at whatever place you choose in the State of Utah.
3. I’ll post a video of myself singing the BYU fight song on my blog and on YouTube.

So the day after I saw your challenge, I posted a comment on your blog about what I am willing to do in the unlikely event that Utah wins tomorrow. For some reason, the comment was never published. You said it probably got deleted by your spam filter.

Okay, so I’m finally getting back to this challenge. Here’s what I’m willing to do if BYU loses tomorrow’s big one.

1. I’ll wear a University of Utah shirt for the next 5 days, including to my Internet Marketing Class at BYU on Thursday. Then, I’ll donate the shirt to Deseret Industries (if they will take it.)
2. I’ll match your offer to take you to any restaurant in Utah, my treat.

I believe this is the best BYU team in history, better even than the National Championship Team of 1984. I’ve been watching Cougar football for more than thirty years. I’ve never seen a BYU team that is nationally in the top ten in passing offense, scoring, and passing efficiency, plus has a great running game, is #1 in turnover margin nationally and in the top 10 in punt returns, and on top of all that great offense and special teams play, is in the top 10 nationally in defense against the score.

This is the first BYU team ever that has no weaknesses — our offense, defense and special teams are all incredible. Plus, we do an awesome haka.

Our only two losses were last second away games before the team had found its groove. Since then, it’s been all good. If we had won those first two games, including against a Top 25 Boston College that we took to overtime, we’d easily be in the top 5 right now and a BCS buster.

I actually missed half of the SDSU game, due to another commitment. I got there at halftime and we were leading 40-3. You can’t miss even the first quarter of a BYU home game. You’ll miss all the early scoring.

I know this game is different. Utah is a great team, with a three-game winning streak, and this game probably won’t be over in the first quarter.

But BYU will come away with a win.

If not, I’ll be shopping for a U of U shirt on Monday morning and be wearing red all week.

You better warm up your singing voice–I can’t wait to see you singing the Cougar fight song on YouTube!

College Football Time of Possession

Some stats matter and some are rather meaningless. Like time of possession at college football games. It doesn’t matter much. At least you can’t determine the winner of a game by looking at that stat.

I grew up watching BYU football in the glory days of Marc Wilson, Gifford Nielsen, Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Robbie Bosco, and Ty Detmer. The passing attack was the best in the nation for many years.

Now, BYU is back, and but for a couple of unlucky finishes, BYU would be 6-0. Instead, we are 4-2, but the BYU passing and running attacks are great this year. The defense too. Quarterback John Beck had an incredible passing efficiency today.

I’ve always loved tracking passing efficiency. I think Steve Young set the all-time record for single season passing efficiency in the NFL with the 49ers. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) And today John Beck’s number was 245.84, a career high.

I’ve always wanted a passing efficiency calculator and I found one today on Cougarfan.com.

So today’s time of possession was SDSU 39 minutes, BYU 21 minutes.

But the final score was BYU 47, SDSU 17. And after the first half, where SDSU had the ball most of the time, it was 40-3.

BYU scored fast and scored often.

I thought about Google’s business model today while watching the BYU team operate. Google doesn’t care about time of possession. In fact, its business model works best when you go to the site, do a search, and then leave the site having clicked on a paid link. The faster you leave, the more profit Google makes.

For Google, that is a score.

In a pay-per-click business model, who cares about stickiness really? All it does is cost you more money because of bandwidth and computing costs if you have more visitors on your web site more often.

On the other hand, if you are an impression-based advertising model, then time of possession matters a lot. The more time visitors spend with you, the more ads they will see.

I’ve seen BYU score hundreds of times over the years in less than two minutes. So time of possession really is no big deal when you have a passing attack.

Of course, the best comeback ever in college football history was BYU vs SMU in the 1980 Holiday Bowl. (See web site that lists the 100 best college football finishes ever.)

BYU trails by 20 points, 45-25 with 2:55 to go in the game and scores three TDs in the last 2:55 to win 46-45. The last one, a 45-yard Hail Mary from Jim McMahon as time expires.

Can you even imagine a college football team scoring three touchdowns in 2:55? And BYU did it at the end of a bowl game, which is aptly named the Miracle Bowl.

I know I’m off topic, but it’s fun to think about this great bowl finish 26 years ago and to hope that BYU under head coach Bronco Mendenhall is moving towards creating another football dynasty.