Here’s what’s going on inside Darnell’s head.

You know that feeling on a Sunday morning when you’re putting something in the Crock-Pot, you look out the kitchen window and it starts to snow?

Bliss.

Moving on Saying goodbye to BYU football 2020 is going to be really hard for Cougar Nation.

Last week started a parade of players choosing to move on to the next phase of their careers, namely quarterback Zach Wilson, wide receiver Dax Milne, offensive tackle Brady Christensen, safety Troy Warner and nose tackle Khyiris Tonga, among others. The first three players are juniors and have decided to strike while the iron is hot.

Think about it. The first two months of the college football season there weren’t many stories bigger than BYU blowing through its revamped schedule. While most of the Power Five conferences were wringing their hands and hesitating to play, the Cougars were out there virtually every week. Wilson, Milne, Christensen, Warner and Tonga, along with their teammates, had their talents on display, and they were substantial.

BYU finished 11-1 and will finish at least in the Top 15, if not the Top 10, when the final rankings come out. A lot of credit should go to the coaching staff for developing talent. BYU could have five or six players drafted in June, and that’s stunning considering the lack of Cougars drafted in the past 20 years.

Is BYU back? The only way we’ll know is by watching the Cougars next year, if they are allowed to play the schedule as it’s currently set. Lots of players will need to step up. Fortunately, BYU played a lot of youngsters in 2020.

And who’s up for a good quarterback derby this summer?

News of the WorldNew Year’s Eve my family and I drove to Thanksgiving Point to watch the new Tom Hanks movie, “News of the World.” Hanks plays a retired Civil War captain whose occupation is to travel from town to town reading newspapers to folks.

The irony of a long-time newspaper guy watching a movie about newspapers on the day the Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune sent out their final daily print editions is not lost on me.

This industry has changed dramatically since I came on full time at the Herald in 1998. The way people consume news is incomprehensible sometimes to a dinosaur like me, who has been writing for newspapers since I was 12 years old.

The Salt Lake papers will be printing one paper a week, as I understand it.

I had a good friend call me the other day. His aged mother likes to actually read a printed paper and he wondered if the Daily Herald would still be printed.

Yup. Six days a week. It’s delivered by the postal service now so it comes with your mail.

We’re still working hard at it and know there are those of you who appreciate it.

Earned respectThe top Group of Five team — Cincinnati — saw its undefeated season come to an end with a loss in the Peach Bowl to Georgia. That the loss came on a last-second field goal probably won’t make a bit of difference to the powers in college football.

It should.

The Bearcats were really good this year and had a great shot at beating the Bulldogs. There is always going to be a winner and a loser but Cincinnati showed it could compete with a program like Georgia.

Lots of BYU fans commented on social media that the Cougars could have competed with the teams who ended up getting invited to New Year’s Six bowl games.

I agree with them.

On holdI hoped to be writing about BYU’s West Coast Conference opener last week, but games with Pepperdine and San Diego were both postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests within those programs. In fact, only two WCC games were played on opening weekend. The rest were all postponed.

BYU is supposed to play Pacific on Thursday at home but the Tigers have been on pause for the virus. Who knows if the game will go on?

I talked to a few of my counterparts about why this surge in the WCC. It could be due to the holidays with players and coaches going home for Christmas and New Year’s. But it sure would be nice if the Cougars could play a few games in conference, right?

Technically correctAfter BYU upset San Diego State at Viejas Arena last month, Cougar coach Mark Pope said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Aztecs didn’t lose another game all year, they were so good.

He was right: SDSU didn’t lose another game in 2020.

In 2021, however, Colorado State came back from a 26-point deficit to beat the Aztecs 70-67 on Saturday for their first loss since being beaten by BYU.

A packed calendarGet ready for a really busy winter and spring in BYU sports.

Right now, men’s and women’s basketball is underway. Gymnastics and men’s volleyball starts up in January. Women’s volleyball begins at the end of January and women’s soccer in February. Spring sports — baseball, softball, outdoor track and field — are slated to begin on schedule.

I sure hope some BYU fans are allowed to attend these events.

I need a reminder A few weeks ago I asked readers for suggestions on how to identify my new car in a big parking lot. A reader mentioned an app that identifies the location of your vehicle through GPS. I downloaded the app but keep forgetting to use it.

Good thoughtsPrayers up for former BYU men’s basketball coach Dave Rose and his family. Rose suffered a stroke last week and is recovering, listed as “stabilized” by reports.

Rose is one of the good guys, for sure. He was a terrific coach — the best in Cougar history in terms of winning percentage. He has a good sense of humor once you get past the coach-speak that permeates all media opportunities.

Last year I was hosting Ben Criddle’s radio show and my co-host was former BYU assistant coach Tim LaComb. He called up Rose and asked him to come on the show. Rose actually drove down to our remote location and spent an hour with us talking about Cougar basketball.

I remarked to Rose how I enjoyed the one-on-one interviews he used to allow us beat writers after the season but discontinued. He said, “Well, discontinued for you” and gave me a sly smile.

Get better soon, Dave.

That’s it for now, but for this: You can’t calm the storm so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.

Stay active, mask up and treat each other with kindness. Have a great week.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

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