Four Storylines Leading Up To BYU Media Day
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – BYU Media Day is about a week and a half away with many storylines swirling around the Cougars, the SportsBeat Afterhours podcast discussed the main ones that stand out.
They were joined by new KSL Sports BYU Insider Mitch Harper to talk about the four main stories that will be asked throughout the day.
1. Kalani Sitake in “Year Two”
Yeah, it’s technically year four for Coach Sitake, but he pretty much hit the reset button after the disaster that was the 2017 season. The Cougars cleaned house on the offensive side of the ball and Sitake finally had a chance to bring his guys in. The result? BYU improves from a decade low 4-9 season to 7-6 with a big bowl win over Western Michigan.
But, still to be dealt with is Sitake’s contract. Entering the final year of his deal, the BYU head coach has yet to receive an extension.
Athletic Director Tom Holmoe says not to worry. During his annual media round table, Holmoe said that he knows where Sitake stands, as well as Sitake knows where he stands, and all that needs to be done is to play ball.
Obviously, an extension is in the works, but there isn’t much known about the long-term plans for the program. Plus, in order to feed the never-ending news media cycle, we’d love a little more clarity on that for our own purposes.
2. Zach Wilson’s Rehabilitation
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson finished a phenomenal freshman season posting a 4-3 record as the starter while completing 66 percent of his passes and throwing 12 touchdowns to three interceptions.
Following the season, Wilson underwent a minor shoulder surgery in order to repair some damage. This kept him out of spring ball – giving an opportunity for the back up quarterbacks to get some much-needed reps – but as a rising sophomore, Wilson needs them just as badly.
The expectations are sky high for Wilson this season and as the clear number one following his freshman year, he is set up to have a stellar sophomore campaign. While fans may be concerned after what happened to Jake Heaps and Tanner Mangum, there isn’t much to worry about. Heaps was constantly looking over his shoulder as Riley Nelson pushed him for reps, and Mangum was sidelined for a year after Taysom Hill returned for his fifth season.
Getting an update on Wilson’s recovery will put fans at ease, and will give us media members some good content until fall camp starts.
3. BYU-ESPN Television Rights
After getting the one-year option picked up, BYU and ESPN are in a contract year. This is the ninth year of the BYU-ESPN television relationship and the two are natural partners. BYU brings a national following and consistent ratings. ESPN provides a platform for BYU to present to college football powerhouses.
With conference television rights set to expire in 2024, conference realignment seems to be looming and BYU will look for a lucrative deal to set itself up as a desirous program for P5 conferences in the changing CFB landscape.
4. Tom Holmoe’s Long-Term Vision
It’s always good to hear from the big boss and see what he thinks of the programs. Is he happy? What needs to be improved? What is the future of the program? The question constantly swirling around BYU is about their long-term vision in the college football landscape. How does Holmoe’s understanding of it change year-to-year? Obviously, he is positive of the prospects of the BYU Athletic Department, but as Conference Commissioners come-and-go, Presidents are replaced, and Athletic Directors shuffle around, how do Holmoe’s relationships shake up?
We’ll have these questions, and more answered on BYU Media Day on June 18th. KSL Sports has you covered with TV, digital, and radio content following the event.
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