I know the 2019 schedule looks intimidating, but it really isn't.
To start things off you've got Utah. I have no problem guaranteeing a win over that team. It will happen. But even if you doubt me, grant me this. It's a 50-50, no? The game is always close and with Zach Wilson, and with all summer for Grimes to game-plan, you can't really think we're a pushover to them. It's a toss up at worst.
The next two games really aren't a scare. Let's be honest. Tennessee sucks, so does USC. Okay so either of them COULD be full of athletes and renewal next year but actually...I think it is unlikely. Best case scenario for either of them is a rebuilding year. That doesn't add up to BYU guaranteed wins, it means each is 50-50. So one is a loss, potentially.
Washington is a loss. I know, Wisconsin, but I look at it that beating the Huskies is less than 50% chance so we're just going to count it as a loss.
Toledo and USF are not guaranteed wins, but I think even on the road BYU is favored to beat them. I watched a USF game in person this year and I'd put them on par with WMU or maybe even McNeese. Yeah things could change for both those schools, but I don't see a loss coming from there.
Then there's Boise State. Zach was one slightly better choice away from beating them. Kalani Sitake was one take-the-field-goal choice away from beating them. They will not survive a trip to Provo in 2019.
Lastly USU. With their head coach gone I don't see them bringing the same heat to Provo. This is a win.
All the others on the schedule are a win, except that somewhere along the way, BYU will likely drop one they shouldn't have, or perhaps they actually will lose to Utah.
I know you could make a case for why they will lose more, but you could also make a case for why BYU could go undefeated. I think the probabilities even out somewhere along the lines of three losses.
If that sounds unrealistic to you, think how much better this season would have gone if we had Squally Canada performing in every game of the season. All we need is a couple good running backs. Before the bowl game, I didn't think we had them. But that changed in the second half.
You see Riley Burt looked terrible all year. Handing off to Riley Burt was how the Utah game ended. While he showed a little skill early on, he never had the look of someone who knew how to run the right angles. What I saw yesterday started out the same, but I was surprised that by the end of the game, he looked like he had figured out a thing or two. It is quite possible that he comes back strong next year.
Now a solid running performance in each of the first games next year, whether from Burt or anyone, easily accounts for an extra touch down of offense to. When you consider how close the games were in 2018, it would clearly make the difference between a 7-6 season and a 10-3 season to have had a solid running game. Cal, BSU and NIU are obvious wins with just a little more running help and an experienced Zach Wilson at the helm.
I believe BYU will have a run game and it will be strong enough to get them through the toughest part of the schedule. So therefore I don't think it is a stretch to expect that three losses or better is a realistic outcome for next year.
The big question is, that if the year DID end that way, would you want Kalani Sitake to have a new five-year contract?