Don't get me wrong, USU was an ugly loss and Howell should be demoted for it, but contrary to what many over-reactors have been saying the last two days, BYU's season is not over. In fact, BYU is still slotted at #31 and #32 in the "others receiving votes" category of both rankings. As I said in response to many over the weekend, BYU has a pretty good shot at being ranked again by the end of October by beating UCF, Nevada and BSU, as winning teams typically move up 1-3 slots just based on natural attrition ahead of them. Also, I can say pretty convincingly that BYU will definitely be ranked again going into Cal if we are sitting at 10-1.
In other words, this can still be a really great season where we finish highly ranked and continue to make a splash on the national scene if the offense clicks under Stewart and BYU can get things figured out on the Defensive side of the ball. There's certainly a lot of room for error in the remainder of our schedule and plenty of evidence from the season that all of these things are possible. None of us liked the USU loss, but the national media types have all chalked it up to the Hill injury (somewhat unfairly so) and so it's not as costly as it would have been had Hill been in all 4 quarters in a losing effort.
NY6 is actually not even totally impossible at this point if BYU were to go 11-1 as the USU game is easily excused with the awful Hill injury (although such a feat would require at least one, if not 2-3, of the wins over Texas, Virginia, and Cal to become wins over P5 conference champions/runners up...which is not very likely, AND it would require BYU to absolutely destroy just about everyone remaining on its schedule maxing out on style points, AND it would require an awful lot of parody among 2nd best P5 conference teams including late season losses to P5 cellar dwellars PLUS beating the AAC and MWC champions would be a bonus). Like I said, NY6 is not totally impossible for 11-1 BYU, but extremely unlikely (along the same lines of discussion as BYU making the playoff before the USU loss). I'm content with playing for a national ranking at this point in the season and (absent a lot of balls bouncing BYU's way in terms of its opponents and SOS) I can't really complain about the Miami Beach bowl.
I'm signing out now for a while, but I will come back at the end of October if BYU wins its next 3 games just so that I can antagonize those posters who are about to say (and have said) that I'm a moron for proposing BYU could likely be ranked at that point in the season.