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Five New Year's Resolutions for the BYU Football Program

With the Big 12 on the horizon, 2022 will be an important year for the BYU football program

It's that time of year. The time of year to make resolutions for the coming year. Today, we make five New Year's resolutions for the BYU football program.

BYU Football helmet

1. Improve the roster via the transfer portal

In 2021, BYU brought five FBS transfers into the program: Puka Nacua, Samson Nacua, Jakob Robinson, Kaleb Hayes, and Mufi Hunt. Four of those five players became key contributors during the season. 

Last year, BYU's depth was tested at nearly every position group besides running back. The same will probably be true next season as BYU is set to another difficult schedule in 2022.  The transfer portal can be a quick and effective way to fortify depth at certain positions. Through the first few years of its existence, the transfer portal has made a net positive impact on the BYU football program. That trend needs to continue in 2022 - BYU needs to find more contributors in the transfer portal. 

2. Find a replacement for Tyler Allgeier

Whether Tyler Allgeier stays for another season or declares for the NFL Draft, BYU needs to find a replacement for the new single-season rushing leader. If Allgeier declares for the NFL Draft, BYU could find a running back via the transfer portal. If Allgeier returns for another season, the Cougars could use either the high school ranks or the transfer portal to find a running back.

Since the core parts of BYU's offensive staff were formed in 2018, BYU has signed only three scholarship running backs: Hinckley Ropati, Bruce Garrett, and Nukuluve Helu. Ropati suffered a torn ACL during his first Fall camp and has been working towards full health. Garrett transferred out of the program during his first Fall camp, and Helu left to serve a mission after signing with BYU in 2020. 

BYU has found other ways to bring productive running backs. Allgeier came to BYU as a PWO, Katoa followed Sitake to BYU after signing with Oregon State, and Ty'Son Williams and Emmanuel Esupka came to BYU via the transfer portal.

Point being, BYU will need to restock the running back pipeline once Allgeier leaves. Whether that comes from the high school ranks or the transfer portal probably doesn't matter much.

3. Ramp up operations for Big 12

BYU has less than two years to prepare for its debut season in the Big 12. In the meantime, BYU has a lot of operational ground to make up before it will look like most Big 12 programs. The athletic department must use this year to start ramping up towards the Big 12. That includes nutrition, recruiting staff, facilities, and more. Investing now could lessen some of the unavoidable growing pains included in the move to a P5 conference.

4. Ramp up recruiting for the Big 12

Since 2016, approximately 58% of BYU's signees have held one or more competing FBS offer when they signed with the Cougars. If BYU is going to establish the depth it will need in the Big 12, that number probably needs to be closer 80%-90%. That all starts with the class of 2023.

P5 or G5 offers

There are multiple highly-touted players in the 2023 class with connections to the program. BYU needs to be very patient and calculated before it extends offers and accepts commitments in the 2023 class. If BYU is going to approach 80%-90%, each member of the coaching staff needs to be committed to staying patient and going all out for top targets. If not, the number will probably hover around 70%.

5. A winning record against Power Five teams

BYU went 6-1 against Power Five foes in 2021 - the best mark in program history. 

BYU will take on five Power Five teams in 2022: Baylor, Oregon, Notre Dame, Arkansas, and Stanford. Baylor will come into Lavell Edwards Stadium as the reigning Big 12 champion. Notre Dame finished one spot outside of the playoff. Oregon won the PAC-12 North and finished in the top 20. Arkansas went 8-4 in 2021. 

A winning record against those five teams would probably mean a very successful season for the BYU football program.