Here’s what’s going on inside Darnell’s head. I have an inferiority complex, but it’s not a very good one.
Make a choice
The two weeks heading into the Utah State game will give BYU football coaches some time to make a key decision: Jaren Hall or Baylor Romney at quarterback?
The old adage “It’s better to have two quarterbacks than none” is a good one. Coaches aren’t deciding between lesser evils here. Both guys showed a lot of potential in their respective starts, though Romney got a win and Hall didn’t.
I would start Hall if he’s healthy, for two reasons: 1) He’s a better runner and that means Utah State has to account for him in the run game and 2) I think Hall could have a huge game if the Cougar play callers are willing to be as aggressive as they were against Boise State.
Remember two years ago in Logan? Beau Hoge was making his second start at quarterback because of an injury to Tanner Mangum. Hoge was terrific and led the Cougars to a 21-7 lead … then he got hurt, Koy Detmer Jr. threw three interceptions and Utah State raced to a 40-24 win.
So I like the dual threat quarterback approach to the Aggies, especially after they got worked by Air Force 31-7 on Saturday.
Detmer, by the way, transferred to Texas A&M-Kingsville and on Saturday became the fourth player in school history to pass for more than 400 yards in a single game. He completed 37 of 65 passes for 450 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in a 45-33 loss to No. 4 Tarleton.
I ran into someone this week who said they don’t like Star Wars and wouldn’t go see “The Rise of Skywalker” in December even if my family invited him.
So they do exist. Huh.
Former Arizona guard Alex Barcello received a waiver this week from the NCAA to play immediately and that is really, really good news for the BYU men’s basketball program.
Barcello is a point guard with flair. He has a knack for finding the open man, can stick a jumper and is a pretty pesky defender. I could definitely see a three-guard lineup with Barcello at the point, T.J. Haws at the two and Jake Toolson as a wing. I like that Barcello can give the Cougars a different look when he enters the game and I think his impact during practice will be much bigger than if he was redshirting and playing on the scout team.
Unless Barcello grew six inches when we weren’t looking BYU is still going to have issues inside until Yoeli Childs is allowed to play in Game 10. But Mark Pope has a lot of guards to choose from and a lot of combinations to experiment with during the preseason.
It’s a shame that Utah Valley and BYU are not playing in men’s basketball this season.
We’ve had some spirited games in the series recently — who will ever forget the Wolverines’ stunning 114-101 win the Marriott Center in 2016? — but I understand why Mark Pope moving to BYU has created an awkward situation with his former school.
At basketball media day this week, UVU’s Casden Jardine didn’t hold back on the subject.
“I’m extremely disappointed,” he said. “It’s just crazy to me because of all the talk last year about how the game is so important to the community, it’s such an important game and the rivalry, the two cities of Provo and Orem need it. And now it’s just not happening?
“I’m disappointed, especially because a lot of us, that’s a game where we do have something to prove. That’s a game where we have that little chip on our shoulder and we just don’t get to experience that this year.”
Guard Brandon Averette added, “Yeah, it was a little disappointing finding that out. But we’ve got Kentucky so we’re really content with that one.”
Jeremiah Jensen of KSL-TV defended his UVU media day bowling championship last week, but there wasn’t much competition from myself and Sean Walker of KSL Digital. I’m a shooter, not a bowler.
Seeding and RPI
The 12th-ranked BYU women’s volleyball team won two matches on the road this week (at Loyola Marymount 3-1 and at Pepperdine 3-0) to move to 18-3 overall and 9-1 in WCC play. The Cougars are 21st in RPI and will probably host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. But they will have to go on the road if they make it to the Sweet 16.
The No. 4 BYU soccer team won twice this week at Portland (2-0) and at home against San Diego (3-1) to push its record to 15-0-1 overall and 5-0-1 in WCC play. With three league matches left, the Cougars are 20th in RPI. They will definitely host a first round match in the NCAA Tournament but beyond that probably will be on the road.
Such is the life of two really good programs in a mid-major conference. There just aren’t many opportunities to improve your RPI in league play. Volleyball beat No. 18 Utah and No. 2 Stanford, both on the road, in the preseason and lost to two top ten teams in Marquette and Texas. Soccer beat six Power 5 programs in the preseason, including No. 12 Texas A&M and No. 14 Kansas.
My point is, both Cougar teams did all they could in the preseason. All I know is I wouldn’t want to be a team from a Power Five conference that plays either one in the NCAA.
Thoughts and prayers to former BYU men’s basketball coach Dave Rose as he recovers from a heart attack suffered last week. We’re all mortal and news like that makes you think and then appreciate every moment you have with your loved ones. I know we were annoying, Dave, but I know every single media member who covered the team during your tenure wishes you the speediest of recoveries.
That’s all for now, but for this: Halloween is approaching. Zombies eat brains. You should be safe.
Just kidding. Have a great Halloween and an awesome week.