Cougars mostly deserved all the hype they got

By By Tony Pizza, Sports Editor

By Tony Pizza, Sports Editor

Let’s get one thing straight8212;TCU worked BYU like a NASCAR driver works the left power steering last Thursday night. The game itself, however, proved only one thing: TCU is a better team than BYU. It did nothing to prove the Cougars are overrated.

Sentiments between pollsters and fans change faster than the bed linen at a pay-by-the-hour motel. Whether BYU is overrated or not will be proved in one game, but rather the course of the entire season.

Once No. 9, but currently 3-3 Wisconsin, was overrated. Arizona State, who was ranked No. 15 after two weeks, is now on a four-game losing streak. The Sun Devils can now be called overrated. Same with previous non-Bowl Championship Series darling East Carolina, which is now 2-3 after starting the season with impressive wins over previously ranked Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

But if BYU was overrated as the No. 9 team in the country, then so is USC, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri and every other team in the Top 25 that suffered a loss because of either a sub-par performance, an inspired opposing effort or in BYU’s, Oklahoma’s and Missouri’s case, a better opponent that day.

Being ranked too high and being overrated are two completely separate issues as well.

After starting the season ranked No. 16, where exactly did you expect BYU to end up after a 6-0 record and many ranked teams losing ahead of them at opportune times? Sure BYU was ranked higher than Georgia, Missouri, Ohio State and LSU, teams that would destroy the Cougars, whether the game was in Provo or on Mars (if there is a distinction).

BYU is still a good football team, and as of now, deserves all the respect that the voters of The AP and Coaches Polls have given them. To say BYU is overrated would also be to discredit the amazing game that TCU had to play in order to beat a Top 10 team and end the longest winning streak in the country.

The loss to TCU merely put BYU in its place. BYU is a Top 15 team whether they lose to Utah or not on Nov. 22. When you look at it, rankings are like seniority in a union. Once you’ve got a spot, you keep that spot. As guys get laid off or retire ahead of you, you keep your spot and move up the ranks, accordingly. BYU was not overrated. They did, however have an inflated ranking that is more a result of a flawed ranking system than it is their lack of worth at the No. 9 spot.

Up until the TCU game, BYU had earned that spot. Whether it was a 28-27 win against a disappearing Washington team, or back-to-back waxings of UCLA and Wyoming, BYU had earned that spot, because realistically, BYU started its road to earning that spot back Sept. 22, 2007 when the Cougars handled Air Force 31-6. BYU has just one loss between that time and this, and unless they get two or three more losses in the next few weeks, all the Cougars got is a wake-up call and not the title “overrated.”

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