Washington State on the Schedule and a Solution for Jake Heaps
Cougars Set to Tangle in 2012
BYU’s 2012 lineup is actually an impressive schedule that features 5 BCS teams (including Utah and Notre Dame), EVERY major football team in the state of Utah, and some entertaining matchups that should provide Cougar Nation with plenty of excitement throughout the fall.
A season opener at Georgia Tech means BYU should be well motivated in the summer. Its also a fantastic opportunity for the Cougars to launch a BCS bid with a veteran quarterback (we’ll get to that in a second).
The home opener the following week against Weber State provides a nice tune-up game for a couple of tough road tests against Boise State and Utah, though the Weber State game may be pushed until later in the season with Washington State taking that slot.
“We haven’t signed the contract but we were set to play BYU later, I think in 2015, ’16, ’17, somewhere in there. My contacts with ESPN inquired about us moving that series up. There were a lot of things that had to take place, which the people at ESPN managed for us, so it looks like there’s a good possibility that we could open up at BYU for the 2012 season and have them return in 2013.” —Washington State AD Bill Moos
Also on tilt are home games against Utah State and Oregon State. Both should be fun to watch and add a little sizzle to a home slate that also includes Hawaii and Idaho.
The Cougars hit the road against New Mexico State and San Jose State as well. Finally, BYU’s long-awaited series with Notre Dame gets started with BYU visiting South Bend on October 20th.
Current Schedule (not finalized of course):
Sept 1 @ Georgia Tech
Sept 8 Weber State
Sept 15 @ Utah
Sept 22 @ Boise State
Sept 29 TBA
Oct 5 Utah State
Oct 13 Oregon State
Oct 20 @ Notre Dame
Dates Unannounced: Home vs. Hawaii, Idaho, Washington State. Away vs. New Mexico State, San Jose State.
What To Do About Jake
2 1/2 games into the Riley Nelson Era (which could be very short-lived) the Junior from Logan has done nothing short of change the entire complexion of the team. With Nelson at the helm the Cougars are tough, gritty, and unstoppable. Yes, there are mistakes. Yes, there are serious concerns about his durability with the way he throws himself around, but BYU suddenly appears hungry. Riley has shaken off the cobwebs of BYU’s offense and is revving the engine up.
There will be growing pains, sure, but on the whole the team is changing for the better. And with a favorable schedule the rest of the season, BYU could easily run the table, including a win in Texas vs. TCU, and finish out with a bowl victory and a glossy 11-2 record.
But what about 2012? And what about Jake Heaps?
With a senior Riley Nelson and an attractive schedule, 2012 could be a ton of fun. But what do you do about the kid from Washington? Jake Heaps certainly has the skillset to be a top quarterback-in college AND the pros. But what Heaps really lacks is experience, maturity, and leadership.
What Heaps really needs is to redshirt 2012. Sitting a year with Riley as the starter being backed up by a capable James Lark is not a bad proposition for BYU. It gives Heaps two years as “the guy”. It gives Heaps exactly what he needs most; time to mature and develop.
2013 with a Junior Jake Heaps could be something stellar.
The winds of change seem to keep blowing, with reports out today that Missouri may be on the way to the SEC after all. By adding Washington State for 2012, it seems BYU is set on being an independent next year. But the Big 12 could easily add Louisville, West Virginia and BYU for 2013.
Jake Heaps as the very first BYU quarterback to play as part of the Big 12? That might be just the carrot needed to get Heaps to stick around, put in his time as a redshirt, and lead BYU to new heights his Junior and Senior years.