Oh, sod, this better not happen.

Not right now. Not while still so fresh, so full of life. You barely developed roots here.

BYU players and fans just want to walk all over you, all the while admiring. You can be the only acceptable type of lush in Provo.

Of all the indignities about losing to Florida State on Saturday, the biggest one would be getting carved up by some rowdy guests -- scratched out by underdogs.

Ever heard of a place called Sod Cemetery?

The Cougars, and the winning sanctity of LaVell Edwards Stadium, want no part of it.

Because a trip there means that they're victim No. 78 of getting an old-fashioned grass scalping from Florida State, which has this unique tradition of remembering momentous wins by digging a small plot of turf from the place it just pillaged.

"I've heard of it," said BYU's Brandon Bradley, who grew up a short distance from the FSU campus.


"I think that would be tough for any player on our team," he said. "Not just me."

Well, fellas, the grass stays greener with a win.

The 77 bozos who were ousted in some memorable fashion by the Seminoles since 1962 can go find their own graves out by the FSU practice fields. What started with an impromptu gift after a jovial shutout of rival Georgia has turned into a full-fledged shrine that has tombstones to honor huge road wins and bowl games.

There's an actual donor who spends a few hundred bucks a pop for real-deal monuments, which are put several feet into the ground so they're more resistant to vandalism.

A player, usually a team captain, is the designated sod guy. This started a while back because there was a time when some teams went wild, razing a small garden plot. The bounty, usually sheared from along the sideline, is stashed in a plastic bag and planted back home.

One time, the school had to pay a fine back to the good people of New Orleans. They actually clipped out a piece of AstroTurf after winning the 1998 Sugar Bowl.

Encountering this ceremony would be a devastating turn of events on several levels for the Cougars.

Their BCS hopes go straight to Boise State or league rival TCU, the next in line, after being established as the clear favorite with wins against Oklahoma and Tulane.

And, of course, a new grass field laid down in the spring, imported from California, gets a rude football christening.

And, to think its first event was the Jonas Bros. concert in July.

How many just-born indignities can one surface take?

Good news for the BYU grounds crew, which last spring replaced the LES grass for the first time in 28 years: These aren't your older brother's Seminoles. They packaged 16 parcels for re-planting in the 1990's while winning a couple of national championships, and generally being regarded as the team of the decade.

This one, however, has produced half as many celebrations.

My 29-year-old wife, not exactly a college football historian, knows FSU's legacy because the top high-school jock in their tiny western Kansas town wore one of those fancy maroon and gold Starter jackets that were the rave back then.

Just like star BYU senior defensive end Jan Jorgensen, of a similarly humble Utah town, Helper, knows Saturday's opponent from the halcyon days of Charlie Ward, Warrick Dunn and Derrick Brooks.

Those guys did their share of mowing.

This is a different time, though.

BYU has won 18 consecutive home games, not losing at LES since Utah pulled off a stunner to end the 2005 regular season.

The Cougars have the No. 7 national ranking and, despite all financial and visibility odds stacked against it, the vastly superior conference affiliation. Since Bronco Mendenhall took over in 2005, as one of the nation's youngest coaches (now 43), he's led BYU to a 40-13 mark. The legendary Bobby Bowden, almost 80 and just two wins shy of Joe Paterno for tops all-time (383), is 31-21 in that same span.

Yes, this is a clear-cut sod game for the Seminoles.

But it'll never get there.

No new grass-ee in Tallahassee. Not with all of those big pass plays it's allowed to rival Miami and lower-tier Jacksonville State -- 12 hook-ups of at least 20 yards.

Seen the Seminoles' defense the first two games?

Like watching grass grow.

• Jason Franchuk can be reached at jfranchuk@heraldextra.com