Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.
Here are the opinions du jour.
n It’s the perfect scenario for a perfect game.
Marshall University has an open date on Nov. 28. Well, guess who else has an open date on that very same day?
Brigham Young University.
What an absolutely perfect matchup. Marshall is undefeated (5-0) and BYU is undefeated (7-0). MU is nationally ranked (No. 16 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll) and BYU is nationally ranked (No. 9). The Thundering Herd needs a game (only eight contests are scheduled) and the Cougars need a game (11 are scheduled).
In the world of college football, this is a quintessential perfect storm.
Just look at the statistical comparison.
BYU is averaging 44.4 points compared to MU’s 33.8. BYU has passed for 2,364 yards (337.7 average), while MU has thrown for 1,148 (229.6 per game). Marshall has rushed for 197.6 yards per game (988 yards total) and 4.6 yards per carry, while BYU’s ground game has accumulated 1,330 yards (190.0 per game and 4.9 per rush).
BYU is averaging 527.7 yards total offense, while Marshall averages 427.2 yards.
Now let’s compare the defenses.
BYU has given up 1,284 yards passing (183.4 yards per game) and seven touchdowns. Marshall has allowed 965 yards passing (193.0 yards per game) and four TDs.
The Cougars have yielded 1,330 yards rushing (190.0 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry), but have allowed only two rushing touchdowns. Marshall has given up 360 yards rushing (72.0 yards per game and 2.4 yards per carry) and also has yielded only two rushing TDs.
Besides all that, BYU already has a relationship with Conference USA. The independent Cougars have played three games vs. C-USA competition already during the 2020 season. BYU defeated Louisiana Tech 45-14 on Oct. 2, edged UTSA 27-20 on Oct. 10 and, just last Saturday, throttled Western Kentucky 41-10.
By comparison, Marshall defeated LA Tech 35-17 and beat Western Kentucky 38-14. The notable difference, however, is BYU’s wins were all at home in Provo, Utah, while MU’s victories over LA Tech and WKU were both on the road.
Would a prospective MU vs. BYU game have to be played in LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo? Yes. All three of the C-USA games were played there.
But it would be worth it. And not because it would give the money-strapped Marshall athletic department a pay day. It’s because this is a rare perfect matchup in a 2020 season that has been nothing but imperfect.
The respective powers that be at both schools need to make this game happen.
n Remember C-USA’s new Thursday and Saturday vs. the same opponent scheduling model for basketball?
Well, apparently it might not happen. Word has it that there will be a vote in C-USA this week to alter the schedule to Friday and Saturday matchups vs. the same foe instead.
n Mountain State college football is looking good.
West Virginia University leaped into CBS Sports’ College Football Power Rankings all the way from “receiving votes” to No. 16 after defeating Kansas State 37-10 Saturday. Meanwhile, Marshall held steady at No. 24.
Both Mountain State FBS programs in a Top 25?
Geez, that really is “Almost Heaven.”