We’ve reached the point of the offseason where preseason magazines start to trickle out onto grocery store shelves and in .PDF format on Twitter and everywhere else you find your college football content.
One of the mainstays of the preseason magazine world, Athlon Sports, has long had a segment during this part of the season when they ask coaches, anonymously, about other coaches in their league.
The BYU Cougars are one of four new teams entering the Big 12 in 2023, alongside Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF. According to one anonymous Big 12 coach, Kalani Sitake and the Cougars have more questions than any of the other three heading into this season.
“They have the most questions of any new team in the league by far. In the short term, they’ve got to replace a lot of their best playmakers, and they were really streaky last year and don’t look like they’re league-ready at all. The obvious concern is how they recruit because they didn’t have enough depth to hold up on an independent schedule. Now they’re going to be playing more physical teams every week, so you could really see the bottom fall out, at least at first.”
That’s a pretty brutal assessment for the program out of Provo, and could ring true if things don’t work out with transfer quarterback Kedon Slovis right away. The Cougars, historically, are the best program of the four newcomers, at least in terms of program accolades, but this perspective from a coach in the know is quite concerning.
Could BYU crash and burn in year one of the Big 12? Sure. More surprising things have certainly happened, but I just can’t see them finishing lower than Houston or Cincinnati at season’s end. UCF i could make a case for, considering they have John Rhys Plumlee back, as well has being very successful over the past several seasons. I wouldn’t fret too much BYU fans, none of this really matters until the teams hit the field, and usually by that point, your team does just fine.