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(All information as of June 20, 2007)
COACH AND PROGRAM
Coming off an 11-2 MWC championship season that ended with a 10-game winning streak and 38-8 rout of Oregon in the PureVision Las Vegas Bowl, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall doesn't believe his team reached a high as much as it did a familiar plateau.
"I think it was the next step," Mendenhall said. "Finishing 15th in the country with a decisive bowl victory, that is what BYU football is and what it always has been and what the expectations are."
The next step for Mendenhall and the Cougars is maintaining that level of excellence, and he points to the standard set by BYU legend LaVell Edwards, who won 20 conference titles in 29 seasons and a national championship.
When Mendenhall was hired to replace Gary Crowton, multiple league titles seemed a long ways away. Crowton, who succeeded Edwards in 2001, went 12-2 in his first season, but the Cougars made the quick plunge from conference kings to also-rans. BYU had losing records in each of Crowton's last three seasons, a streak of futility not seen in Provo since the 1965 team broke a string of six consecutive losing seasons.