December 30th - New HeadlineBYU football: Tulsa winds up on top despite
hype for Riley Nelson, Brandon Doman, and meaningless wins against zero
competition.Have kinda had it with the Bronco, Doman, & Des news
I do believe there are a ton of positives coming from Riley Nelson's story...
Battling the depth chart, overcoming injuries, leadership, toughness.. However,
just like Heaps last year, when BYU gets to their DII portion of the schedule
any QB can look good.. Against real teams Nelson is 0-1 (TCU). Not to say
he's not legit or wouldn't be if given the opportunity to play a team w/ a
pulse, but I'm personally curious to what Nelson does next year (if he stays
healthy) against a decent schedule...
Again another example of what it takes to lead and inspire your team mates
instead of pouting and quitting.
Come on Desert News.....the guy pounced on a bunch of WAC teams!! Tulsa wins
Riley has a mature attitude and he's a leader. He's also a real athlete who is
willing to take risks and go for it. Jake has a good arm but he's clearly not a
leader and, obviously, not very mature. You don't get the impression the other
guys even like him very much. They respect and like Riley. Good luck to Riley.
I hope he can reach his potential. Go Cougars!
There are some great life lessons in Nelson's experience about patience, dealing
with adversity and never giving up. At the beginning of the year,
most (including me) would have never thought that opportunity would come to
Nelson. But opportunity presented itself, he was prepared, and he made the most
of it. If only another QB would have learned these valuable lessons
in leadership. I deal with those who feel "entitled"
every day at work. (The opposite of what Nelson has displayed this past year.)
It's not a characteristic that takes people very far in life. Maybe we should
stop giving trophies to 10 year olds when they play a sport, regardless of
whether they win or lose.
"Nelson is not only the Cougars' starter, but he's also their leader."
Heaps was the first but never obtained the second. BIG difference between the
two-- leadership."'He's an animal. He's such a freak,' wide
receiver Ross Apo said of Nelson... Every time Riley gets on the field, it's
always a spark to the team.'"The players, Heaps' own teammates
who he lifted, watched tapes, practiced with on a regular basis for 2 1/2 years
(remember Heaps enrolled into the Y early) NEVER used such words to desribe
him.These are characteristics that come from within; they can't be
"taught." Nelson frurtrates me at times, but I'll take him over Heaps
The vast difference between Riley and Jake is heart and leadership.Jake is a skilled passer, but he plays like a robot - no heart.Riley throws ugly passes, but plays with the heart and leadership skills that
inspire everyone around him to play their best.
Talent, skill, and ability....nicedesire, character, and
Cats: I agree with your assessment regarding Heaps. There were a couple of
times during the year, after he had been benched, when someone made a big play
and Heaps would run over to congratulate the player (most often JJ) and Heaps
would be ignored. Seriously big difference between potential and reality.
Heaps has great potential but never inspired the rest of his teammates to reach
theirs. Nelson is limited in skills (not saying he is a bad QB or not athletic
-- just never gonna be a Manning), but inspires the rest of his team to their
What will the SLC media use for a story when Jake Heaps is gone. Oh wait, he is
gone, and the SLC media still stirs the Heaps-Nelson pot. When will it end??
EdGradyIdaho Falls, ID When will it end??When you
Its because are coaches are the very best. Riley won against the very best teams
Commentators:Story is about Riley, not "the other guy."
Let it go; he's gone.BYUfaninWashSt | 1:27 a.m. Dec. 24, 2011 Everett, WA "Have kinda had it with the Bronco, Doman, &
Des news hype machine."Lots of other teams out there to cheer
for. Merry Christmas and good luck!Riley, if you lose to them,
you'll be 0-2 against good teams. If you beat them, they'll suddenly be just
another chump cupcake. Get used to it. But you've faced tougher things and
more bitter criticism already. Whiney fans are a piece of cake.
Riley is an elite level talent who finally has a chance to shine.
BYUfaninWashStSome readers like personal interest stories when there isn't
a game commentary. Pass it on by if you are only interested in stories that pay
homage to Jake Heaps and why Doman and Bronco are to blame for Riley being a
Why to Athletes think that they have so much "adversity"? We hear
that word over and over describing college and professional athletes. We read
about teams that have overcome "adversity". I love sports, and I love
what sports teach young people. This doesn't relate to this article, but when I
hear players making millions of dollars talk about adversity because of an
injury or because their team was losing and they fought through their slump and
began to win, I wonder if people in general really believe that they have
undergone some level of adversity. I guess they have been going through a hard
time, but it seems so shallow to me. I have watched parents in NICU with their
tiny babies who are trying hard to put on a good face. There are no press
conferences for them to tell us all about their adversity, and how they have
overcome it because of their toughness. The Clinically Depressed individuals
that fight every day of their lives to get out of bed and support their families
in a state of constant pain, the parents who struggle to feed their families,
children and adults with cancer, parents who have lost children. I hope as a
society we do put quotes around the word adversity when we refer to athletes and
games. There is real adversity in the world. I am happy for athletes who can
rise to the top, and hope that they have wonderful lives. I just hope that we
never lose sight of what is truly important in our society, and focus on those
who have true adversity in their lives.
Dramatic victories against the WAC say all we need to know about the state of
the BYU football program.
Does no one see that we are talking about an 18 year old vs. a 21 year old?Those 3 years make a HUGE difference in who you really are. Not many 20
something year old players with families are gonna liosten to ANY kid that just
graduated High School. Jake was "Immature"? well Duh! He
was a kid, he's supposed to be immature. In a couple of years everyone will
marvel at the great job Wiess 'did with him'. That will be 'wrong'
too. It will be because he's finally had to deal with some things AND grow up.
It's what kids do when you give them time.
Riley is NOT a great quarterback. He might be a great leader, but there is no
need to put him in the ranks of Detmer, Young, McMahon or Doman.
Hopefully Riley can live up to all of the hype, because up to this point, the
only legitimate opponent he has played against is TCU and that didn't go to
Personally, I think Heaps supposed "lack of leadership" showed us as
much about the immaturity of his supposed "mature" teammates as it did
about Heaps:- Was the team divided behind Heaps? Who made that
happen, who helped that happen, who didn't nip that in the bud?-
Were there not Captains to mentor Heaps, to rally the team, or did everyone,
including coaches, captains, "All-American candidate lineman" point
the finger at Heaps instead of look to themselves? Heaps gets blamed because
the people WHO should have led, didn't? Sounds like 2010 when Bronco pointed
the finger at everyone but himself. (Bronco, in the NFL the HEAD coach makes
the decision whether to run out the last 48 seconds and kick a field goal, not
the OC.)- Did BYU not have an OC who was learning, who didn't know
whether to be on the sideline or in the booth, didn't know what play to call
against which defense?- I am not anti-Riley. He says all the right
things, does the right things, but seriously, would you want Peyton Manning
being a gunner? Admirable for a player, stupid for your backup QB and stupid
for coaches to allow it.
BYUfaninWashStateYour negativism is waxing old. In fact, I seriously
doubt you are a BYU fan. Heaps has moved on. you should, too. There isn't going
to be a coaching change in the near future, So if you can't back the Cougars
with the current regime then you are free to find another team to support.Win or lose next week I'll still support the Cougs and will still
contend that they have the right guy starting at QB. And as YGrad/YDad said, win
or lose there will still be critics of Nelson and/or coaches.The
coaches frustrate me, too, sometimes. I think Bronco is an alright Defensive
coordinator and Doman is much improved OC who started out pretty bad. He has a
way to go but I think he'll get there, but they seriously need to get a coach
who is dedicated only to the QB's.BYU is good, but not a
"great" football program. I am hopeful that they can be, but with the
self imposed restrictions at BYU, it is unlikely they ever will be. I can deal
with that. Can you?
"Hype" for Heaps? He PLAYED better than Riley last year, put up good
numbers, won a bowl. There was reason and evidence for the pub, it wasn't hype.
The fact he didn't perform, that happens all the time. Good year one year, bad
year the next -- heard of the Sophomore slump? Look, I was critical
of Heaps and his dumb play against Utah, his not chasing down the guy at Ole
Miss, but the point of sports and LIFE is you don't turn on people, you work
with them. But hey, instead, lets vilify the kid. Let's let
columnist pile on, let's let fans who don't know the difference between a Bike
and Huggies vilify a kid who has accomplished more than they ever will, despite
his shortcomings this year.Let's all go to your office, your gas
station, your unemployment line, and critique your performance. This article
wasn't even ABOUT Heaps. It was about Riley.MOVE ON!
Next season will define Nelson's ability to play football by beating Boise State
and Washington State and thru out the rest of next years season. I think he is
capable of doing that anyways.
@Mildred in Fillmore"Riley is an elite level talent who finally has a
chance to shine."I really have to differ here. With Nelson at
QB, BYU is only able to let their opponents know where they stand on a national
level. If the opposing team is weak to moderate, BYU will probably beat them.
If the opposing team even closely resembles a national power (top 25), BYU will
probably not fare too well.Why? Because Nelson the QB is as good
right now as he is going to be. Far from being "elite", Nelson does a
good job of managing Doman's offense against average to weaker teams. There
simply is no evidence to suggest otherwise.Sorry all you Riley
Nelson lovers out there. He may be a good kid, and a return missionary who
loves his mother--but he's only an OK D1 quarterback.
HonorCode and BYUfaninWash St.: You obviously are not BYU fans, but rather
critics. Your pick of Tulsa to win next week's game will soon have you eating
crow. Riley didn't lose the TCU game. Was he perfect... no. But he put us in a
position to have won. Statistically, we did. It should've been obvious to any
neutral observer that it was our mistake-prone punting team that us that
game.TrueBlue: Because Riley has thrown some questionable passes
does not mean all his passes are "ugly". His extraordinary passing
performace at Hawaii should have proved otherwise to you and any other
critics.SLCguy and Rational: Heaps claimed leadership upon arrival.
The fact that he wasn't willing to wait and learn by taking a redshirt year was
not the coaches or his teammates fault. He knows he doesn't compare well to
Riley, so he chose on his own to leave.3ULLS3Y3: Riley actually is a
great qb. The others you mentioned didn't reach their lofty status until their
senior years, as will Riley. He seems to get better and better with each game.
I've seen enough to be convinced. The really good ones always seem greater after
they are gone.
61Cougar, FYI, Mildred is a ute troll.
To "Don't Feed the Trolls": You are confusing Mildred with 61Cougar,
who was disagreeing with Mildred for her optimism about BYU football and Riley.
Re-read both hers and 61Cougars comments again. It is not Mildred who seems like
the ute troll.Because 61Cougar has already declared his position, he isn't
willing to admit that Riley can get better with time and more experience.
Hogwash! All of those kids on the football team can get better with the right
desire. It is nonsense to think they can not improve in the middle of their
college playing years. If 61Cougar is even half open-minded, he will admit proof
of that in the game next week and especially in the games next year. Our team is
on the right path. The fact that the Riley recruits chose to stay and not leave
with him should indicate as much. They like what is going on with the program
and the direction it's headed. Why else would those highly recruited 4-star
players who have all kinds of choices choose to stay. It is time to be less
critical and more optimistic about our football program!
at Winnamucca, NV: thanks for your post. As a high school coach I get sick of
hearing the "a" word all the time from the coaches I have or do work
with. I am not sure they realize what they are saying whenthey use the word.
Your points are so accurate, I cannot add anything to them!
I think I'll take a Stephen A Smith side on this and say that Tim Tebow (I mean
Riley Heaps) is not a starting quarterback in the NFL (NCAA). Heaps not
performing wasn't all his fault. He's only a sophomore. Where was the Senior
leadership. Most of the guys on this team are all older then him! (He didn't
serve a mission.) Let's not forget that Doman was brand new offensive
coordinator and the play calling was super sketchy at the beginning of the year.
Also look at the #'s. Winning percentage of teams that Heaps started against =
44%. Winning percentage of teams that Nelson started against = 37%We aren't going to go to a BCS game with Nelson. I rather would have
taken my chances with Heaps.
RonBergundy,We weren't going to a BCS bowl with Heaps either. If you
didn't notice, Nelson knocked him out of the starting spot.BYU isn't
talking about BCS births right now, it is trying to consistently field a top 25
Howard S: Dramatic victories against the WAC say all we need to know about the
state of the BYU football program.As opposed to dramatic losses to
the 105th ranked CU Buffaloes on your home field with a conference championship
game on the line?
@Don't Feed the Trolls - Thanks for the heads-up!@Tators - Just
because I take an objective look at BYU's current QB that comes across to you as
being negative, doesn't mean I'm a Ute troll. A quick glance at the sheepskin
on my wall verifies that, yes indeed, BYU is the school from which I graduated.
But while far from being a Ute troll masquerading in these story threads, I do
try to suppress my myopic tendencies in an effort to be objective.You are wrong to accuse me of not being willing to admit that Nelson can get
better with time and experience. I believe he can. My take is that I don't
believe he will, and my post only reflected that VERY open-minded belief. Do I think BYU will beat Tulsa next week? I think they have a good
chance, but I do have my doubts. Why? Because, like BYU, Tulsa's losses came
to good teams as well--which, in applying this overly simple, objective
analysis, I see the game as a toss-up.In the mean time, have a Merry
Christmas, and Go Cougs!
@Rutland vs. MedfieldShould have been posted under
"61Cougar" entry.(technical glitch--or attention to
Reily winds up on top? On top of what? Ok he started and beat a bunch of low
budget teams (Idaho, Idaho st, etc...). BYU gets crushed against top 20 D1
teams without the type of QB they have had in the past few years (Beck, Hall,
etc...). This transition to a running QB simply isn't going to work for the Y
against top 20 competition. If the Y wants to get back to the top 20 then they
have to return to their roots - THROWING THE FOOTBALL!
Riley Nelson was terrible at the beginning of last year. I as so glad that he
started against Air Force. That, but the way Cougar fan, was a loss and a big
Howard S; as opposed to dramatic victories over bottom level PAC 3 teams that
couldn't win the WAC. By the way there was only one dramatic game with a WAC
team and that was when we found our quarterback. Being in the PAC doesn't make
you a good team. Just look at Colorado. Oh, wait, bad subject. P.S. I know
@DisgruntledColorado...Colorado smack? Really?If it
weren't for Utah v. Colorado the Cougar Nation would have nothing meaningful to
run smack about.Well... except for those rousing victories over the
dregs of the WAC.
Riley is a football player's football player. A total stud. Heaps could not have
had a better tutor.
Can't somebody fix the headline? It's "injuries" that Riley suffered,
not "injures." And he's a great QB, despite the detractors.
@61And you know about mediocrity from experience ? When one judge's
others from there own life's narrow prism, you are always correct.
Howard S.It's hilarious how Utah fans constantly belittle the
opponent that represents your only significant accomplishment this season.It must really hurt to see the Cougars currently ranked just outside the
Top 25, at #26, while the mighty Utes aren't even mentioned in the "others
receiving votes".Obviously, in the eyes of the poll voters,
losing big to a bowl bound rival isn't nearly as much of a black mark on the
season as getting dominated at home by a 10-loss team.btw - Enjoy
the Sun Bowl; I'm sure Utah fans are giddy with excitement at the prospect of
spending New Year's Eve in El Paso - all 10 of them.
@SportsFan: I think Utes are happy receiving $2M for their Sun Bowl appearance,
or just happy to be going to a bowl game after being 3-4 in their first 7 games,
by overcoming lamebrain decisions by the coaches to not bring in a qualified
backup for Wynn, but were able to rely on their defense to keep them in enough
games to be bowl-eligible. And it also helped to have a very determined JWIV to
power his way to 1400 yards and a few TDs along the way. Cougar fans
should know all about finding silver lining at the end of a mediocre season like
in 2010 as they finished 7-6. Utes fans aren't completely delusional, many of
them predicted 7-5 and 8-4 season for their team.
"I think Utes are happy receiving $2M for their Sun Bowl
appearance,..."Why are Utah fans so obsessed with money? Few of U have the money or desire to even attend the game, yet you
pretend to be so thrilled to be playing in a game that hardly anybody besides
hardcore Utah and Ga Tech fans will be watching, let alone attending.
Swoop...and more people want to watch Tulsa in the Helicopter
bowl?Wow, I missed something I think.
"...and more people want to watch Tulsa in the Helicopter bowl?Wow, I missed something I think."Yes, you did!How
do the 35 bowl matchups stack up?According to ESPN:17.
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl - BYU vs Tulsa19. Hyundai Sun Bowl -
Georgia Tech vs. UtahWith BYU having at least twice as many fans as
Utah, guaranteed, there will be thousands more BYU fans watching the Armed
Forces Bowl than there will be Utah fans watching the Sun Bowl.As
for the national television audience:The Armed Forces Bowl will be
played unopposed in its time slot.The Sun Bowl will be competiting
with three other bowls - the Meineke Car Care Bowl starting two hours before the
Sun Bowl, and the Liberty Bowl and Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl each starting 30
minutes after the Sun Bowl.Despite their records, Illinois versus
UCLA will be a much bigger draw than Utah versus Ga Tech.
@SportsCenterNational tv audience?BYU's national
audience is mostly a myth. Want some facts?BYU's tv audience for
last years New Mexico Bowl ranked 28th out of 35 bowl games. Where was the vast
BYU fan base?The actual attendance at the 2010 New Mexico bowl was
32nd out of 35 bowl games. Where was the vast BYU fan base?Oh, and
ESPNs ranking of bowl games is like relying on Dick Harmon's ranking.
Howard S.Last year's New Mexico Bowl would have ranked dead last if
a 6-6 Utah team had been playing in the bowl. Utah will have even fewer fans at
the Sun Bowl this year, than BYU had at the New Mexico Bowl last year.
For those who admire our current QB and the back ups, that is nice. I hope that
most Cougar fans are not settling for average as it seems to be the mindset. If
Riley is this great tudor and stud, we have a serious problem. The idea that he
almost lead us to victory against TCU and he looked great and improved against
Hawaii is concerning. We didn't almost win the TCU game and he didn't look
good. Hawaii.....please, they are a bad football team. Any of our top 3 QB's
should have won that football game for us. We don't have a hard schedule next
year so we should win 9-10 games again but that won't put our current QB's in
the "pipeline" or in line to compare them against the QB factory of
the past. Those guys had us ranked, won big bowl games and actually beat top 25
ranked teams. Best win next year could be BSU. Thank goodness for us that
Moore ( a big time QB ) will have graduated. That still won't mean a victory for
@heSportsAuthority ...would have ranked dead last if...**********Wouda, coulda, shouda...It's what the BYU
football program has been reduced to.The facts are that the BYU
appearance in the 2010 New Mexico bowl ranked 28th out of 35.
Well Howard, since you're all about facts, get ready for the harsh reality of
the coming days.BYU's bowl game will outrank the Utes, in actual
attendance and viewership. And if BYU wins, they're going to outrank the
Utes.It's what Pac 10.2 Ute football will be reduced to.And Jimmer will still be in the news.And BYU basketball will be
great.AND UTE basketball... not so much.Much to look forward
to Howard. Thanks again for your interest (obsession) about everything BYU
@17-14 Hurts Don't It?As usual for the Cougar Nation... a lot of
speculation and projections but not one fact in anything you said.Let me explain... a fact is something that has already occurred. Nothing you
stated has occurred therefore none of it is factual.Not that facts
matter to the Cougar Collective.
But he made some costly decisions that probably cost us that football game. What
I'm hoping to see now is what we did in the Hawaii game â secure the
football, still make the plays that he makes, but secure the football and have
efficient production against no matter who we're playing now."And that is the difference.... TCU vs Hawaii. Those crazy
throw-it-up-for-grabs passes that brought Cougar fans out of their chairs
cheering, were the same passes that TCUâs rookie secondary was picking
off.I fear that Brandon Doman and Riley Nelson both remain
unproven. Hope Brandon is right. We may have to wait until next year, or this
Friday to have a sneak preview of that hoped for transformation. Go Cougars!
Best of luck, Jake Heaps.
Howard: Here are some facts for you. The 2010 New Mexico Bowl attendance
was its highest ever, with the exception of its inaugural year when hometown New
Mexico played in it. The 2010 number even surpassed the bowl's second year
attendance when UNM's best team in over 20 years played in it again.The PAC also signed up to play in the New Mexico Bowl from 2011 - 2013.
Unfortunately, the PAC did not have a bowl eligible team available to fulfill
its obligation this year.
@Cougar in TexasLet's put your facts in perspective.In
the five years history of the New Mexico Bowl, excluding 2010, the average
attendance is about 28,000.In 2010, when BYU appeared, the
attendance was about 32,000.So the BYU draw was about 4,000.Combined with the fact that tv ratings for the 2010 New Mexico Bowl
ranked 28th out of the 35 bowls, it doesn't reflect very well on the purported
vast national BYU audience.Makes you wonder if BYUs vast national
audience is only a mirage.
It's easy to see why Apo talks so highly about Nelson and there's lack of such
comments about Heaps. Riley is all about complimenting his teammates and
sharing the credit. Heaps was all about promoting himself, and still is. If he
takes his attitude with him to Kansas, he's all but done in football.The best teams are those that work as a team. I hope coaches pay attention to
that when they are looking at the next recruits.