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BYU is Bringing in the New

Written by Andrew Scofield   
Saturday, 30 July 2016 16:44

collegefootball-picksBrigham Young University will be competing as an NCAA Division I FBS independent for the sixth year straight, and college football betting isn't impressed with what they've done the last five. Although they've posted winning seasons each year, they've also lost their last three bowl games. Last season BYU was invited to the Las Vegas Bowl where 11th year head coach Bronco Mendenhall led the Cougars to another postseason loss. Mendenhall grew tired of BYU and accepted a position as head coach for the University of Virginia. Now BYU is calling upon Kalani Sitake, Oregon State University's former defensive coordinator, to lead the Cougars. This will be Sitake's first time holding a head coaching position and the world of college football betting anxiously awaits his performance.


 

By not being in a division BYU is exempt from having to compete for a smaller title. However, their odds for the national title speak volumes about what is expected from Sitake's first year at the helm. The sportsbooks have BYU's odds listed as +35000 and while that may not be +65500, it's a long way off from Clemson's +730 odds. But comparing this team to Clemson, who has the best quarterback in college football, just isn't fair. And even though they might not have the talent that the Tigers have, the Cougars still have enough for Sitake to work with.

Sitake isn't the only change in coaching, the Cougars have also brought along Ty Detmer to be their offensive coordinator. In his first year the former Heisman will have to pin Taysom Hill and Tanner Mangum against each other in order to find BYU's best option at quarterback. Hill, who is a fifth-year senior, isn't the only member of this offense with ample experience. The Cougars running back Jamaal Williams will be heading into his senior year. Williams will be looking to run for over 930 yards in order to become BYU's all-time leader in rushing yards. While they did lose some depth at wide receiver, they'll still have 6'6" senior Nick Kurtz as well as 4-star transfer Jonah Trinnaman to back him up.

Joining both Sitake and Detmer in their first year will be new defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki. Tuiaki is bringing with him a new defensive scheme, switching the cougars from a 3-4 to a more traditional 4-3. This is the first defensive change in ten years for BYU and college football betting will be waiting to see if it pays off. Because of these changes several outside linebackers will have to make the change to defensive end, ultimately furthering the depth for this defense. With the majority of starters returning there is no questioning this defenses' depth overall. However, it will be interesting to see how well they can transition to a new defensive scheme.

While not competing in a division allows schools the luxury to pick their own schedule, college football is a tricky game. Winning all your games isn't enough to make it to the playoffs; you have to beat competitive teams. BYU knows this and they willingly selected one of the toughest schedules for next season. The Cougars players have the skill to win, but using a new scheme may prove to be a risky gamble. While they probably won't compete for a national title, you can still expect Sitake to lead this team to a bowl game.

 
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