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Posts Tagged ‘Cody Hoffman’

No. 20: B.Y.U.

The suspicion was there in October and November, but it didn’t become official until Riley Nelson duped Tulsa, Dan Marino-style, late in the fourth quarter of December’s Armed Forces Bowl. Then it was official: Nelson’s become a legend. Not quite a Ty Detmer-level legend, mind you; Detmer was legendary, and there’s a difference. Nelson’s a legend in the Merriam-Webster definition of the word, third from the top: “a popular myth of recent origin.” Popular? Nelson’s popularity is off the charts in Provo, thanks to the way he put B.Y.U. on his shoulders and carried it to a 10-win season despite a horribly disappointing start. Nelson wasn’t due to see the field at all, not with Jake Heaps back for a full season as the starter, but a funny thing happened on the road to the Heisman: Heaps struggled. Nelson’s ascension to the starting role, so vital last fall, now gives B.Y.U. a leader, an identity and a shot at making some national noise in its second go-round as an Independent.

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    Nelson Channels His Inner Dan Marino

    I remember it well: Nov. 27, 1994, and Dan Marino, along with Bernie Kosar, a forgotten collaborator, shocked the flummoxed New York Jets by pulling the most brazen and audacious of post-snap stunts. Down by a field goal, 24-21, at the Jets’ eight-yard line with 22 seconds left and no timeouts, Marino made the universal signal for spiking the football — yelling “Fire!” and miming the spike, for example — as his team rushed to the line of scrimmage. Up to the moment when the ball was supposed to leave his hands, stopping the clock, all went according to plan for Dolphins and Jets alike. Then it didn’t, and I can still remember the call from the Jets’ radio team: “He stood there like a house on the side of the road!”

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      No. 12: B.Y.U.

      Everyone used to do it, pretty much. Notre Dame did it best; Notre Dame still does it, as do Navy and Army. Penn State used to do it. So did Pittsburgh, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), West Virginia and Boston College, among others. Now B.Y.U. wants to get into the fun, ditching the past of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, the Mountain States Athletic Conference, the WAC and the Mountain West for the opportunity stemming from one’s independence – or being an Independent, I guess. Like Texas, which may one day want to follow suit, B.Y.U. brings the following to this lack of conference affiliation: history, past success, recent success, lofty expectations, a television network, talent and a dedicated fan base that stems from coast to coast, let alone from country to country. Unlike Texas, the Cougars have a quarterback.

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        The Countdown

        A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.