There’s a memory I have of the 1987 movie “Outrageous Fortune,” starring Bette Midler and Shelly Long.

Weird how random things from more than 30 years ago show up in my brain.

Stay with me here. It’ll come back to BYU football in a moment.

I don’t remember much about the movie but I do remember that comedian George Carlin had a bit part. I don’t recall the circumstance, but during a fight scene he sighed heavily and said, “Well, of course,” right before getting drilled in the face by a tent pole or something like that.

That’s got to be how the Cougar football team and Kalani Sitake feel at the midway point of the season.

I’m sure many loyal BYU fans feel the same.

Regardless of how the Boise State game turns out, it’s been a painful year for BYU, both figuratively and literally. It seems that once the injuries started, they just kept coming. There are some seasons where issues seem to get worse and worse.

Kind of like when I was taking algebra in junior high. Each week was another horror story.

Some of the Cougars best offensive players, including QB1 (Zac Wilson) and QB2 (Jaren Hall), along with RB1 (Ty’Son Williams) are out injured. The offensive line is a mess due to injuries – Thomas Shoaf is out for the year, Tristan Hoge is out and so is Keanu Saliapaga — and BYU started three freshmen (Clark Barrington, Blake Freeland and Harris LaChance) against Boise State.

A team with all of those guys healthy would probably be able to finish the season strong and get to a bowl game. The team as currently constituted?

Who knows?

Also, how fair is it to judge Sitake’s performance in the last six games of the season with his best offensive players sidelined?

Good luck with that, Tom.

On Ben Criddle’s radio show this week we were talking to former Boise State lineman Jadon Dailey about the culture and success of the Broncos. Criddle said he believed Boise State has an identity and has been able to build around it to have terrific success in the Mountain West Conference. The Broncos came into the BYU game 6-0 and ranked No. 14 in the country.

What’s BYU’s identity as a football program?

They identify as an independent, and as a program that has one of the most unique schedules in the country because of it.

But as far as building a program based on that identity? Bringing in the right recruits to make it work?

After nine years, were still waiting.

There has been an argument waged on social media and among friends ever since BYU decided on the independent path back in 2010: MWC or independence? While independence has its advantages with some impressive teams from P5 conferences on the schedule – ranked squads in Utah (No. 12), USC (No. 24), Washington (No. 22) and Boise State (No. 14) this year alone — and financial stability, there’s something to be said for what Boise State has done in the MWC. A big fish in a little pond is not all bad. Same deal with Gonzaga in men’s basketball. The Zags made some noise about changing conferences a couple of years ago but why would they leave? The set up in the West Coast Conference is perfect for them.

The argument will rage on until the next seismic shift happens in college football.

Whether you watched Saturday’s game in the comfort of your own home or sat in a rain-soaked LaVell Edwards Stadium, you had to be impressed with how calmly freshman Baylor Romney was handling is first start at quarterback. And how the offensive line, green as it was, handled their business. Lots of room for improvement because in the second quarter, the offense stalled. But not “Oh, my heck, what a train wreck” kind of thing.

The BYU defense was actually pretty stout in the first half against Boise State, slowing down the run and getting three straight three-and-outs at one point. It looked like the Cougars were pressuring more and it was working.

If not for a missed Jake Oldroyd field goal, the game would have been tied at the break.

That’s progress, right?

Oh, and next time that tent pole or whatever comes flying toward your face?


Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at

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