Cougars in the Spotlight

Staley Marching to Record Books

Considering that it's in only its third season of existence, the Mountain West Conference does not yet have a place in its record books for career records. When it does, however, you can bet that BYU's Luke Staley will be all over the page.

Burning Questions

Does BYU have a realistic chance at a BCS berth? If you mean the Rose Bowl, you have my permission to move on to the next question. If you mean a 13-0 Cougars team receiving one of the two at-large bids available to the other three bowls, then, yes, BYU has a very good shot. Here's why: First of all, BYU fans travel. Second, Salt Lake City is not far from the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Ariz. Third, a matchup of the Pac-10 champion, which will go to the Fiesta Bowl because the Rose Bowl is otherwise occupied, against an unbeaten BYU has some cachet. Last, by awarding an invitation to the Cougars, the bowls and the six BCS conferences can look as if they are doing something for the competitive good of the sport and not just themselves. In truth, there may not be many one-loss teams available for at-large berths. Illinois is a possibility. Miami, should it falter. The rest are in the Big 12 (Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas). However, BCS rules allow only one at-large bid per league. Unbeaten BYU would be tough to overlook in favor of a two-loss team.

Heisman Watch

Brandon Doman, QB, BYU

Last week: 21-of-27 (77.8 percent), 284 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 18 carries, 164 yards, 2 TDs

2001 stats: 177-of-266 (66.5 percent), 23 TDs, 3 INTs; 93 carries, 437 yards, 8 TDs

He's the reason the Cougars are in the running for a BCS bid. If they go unbeaten, they ought to get one. Are you listening, Fiesta Bowl?

We hit the November stretch with three unbeatens

Of the three, BYU is the least likely to reach the Rose Bowl presented by AT&T and play for the national title. In fact, that is impossible. Why? Because of the Cougars' strength-of-schedule. Forget Miami or Nebraska; that schedule will not boost BYU past once-beaten Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, Oregon, Tennessee or Washington.

However, there will be an intense lobby for BYU to be invited to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl if the Cougars wind up 13-0 and all of the available at-large teams from the power conferences have lost at least twice.