Opinion: BYU, Navy Matchup Is Better Than You Think

Aug 6, 2020, 11:20 AM
Kalani Sitake - Idaho State - BYU...
Courtesy of BYU Photo

PROVO, Utah – The BYU Cougars finally have an opening game to replace the game vacated by the University of Utah. The Cougars will travel to Maryland for a labor day matchup against the Navy Midshipman.

Does it replace the excitement and thrill of playing your rival in week one? No, it doesn’t- but, in my opinion, this is a much better replacement game than you might think.

In a lot of ways, the success the midshipmen have achieved over the past decade is what BYU Head Coach Kalani Sitake and the Cougars are chasing.

They averaged eight wins a season over the past decade. Only one of those seasons did Navy finish with less than six wins.

In 2015 and 2019 they had double-digit winning seasons going 11 and 2 with bowl wins over Pittsburgh and Kansas State respectively.

It’s a lot easier to stomach a losing season when it’s sandwiched between two very successful campaigns.

The Cougars haven’t posted a ten-win season since 2011 when they beat Tulsa in armed forces bowl thanks to some late-game heroics from then quarterback Riley Nelson.

Cougar fans were left wondering where in the wide world of sports was ESPN during these tumultuous times? Well, the proud leader of sports delivered for BYU in a big way with a showcase game on Labor Day night.

Exposure continues to be a strength of the relationship between BYU and ESPN. If this game is played next month, the ratings will be huge and the platform for BYU will be even bigger when sports fans are hungry for football.

There haven’t been many bright days for BYU football since power five conferences began canceling non-conference games, but today was a much-needed sunny day for the Cougars.

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