There are mixed reviews about BYU in the social media world these days. Someone in the locker room taped and posted a brief video of the Cougars celebrating their Nov. 29 win at Cal.
Sure, the Cougars improved to 8-4 and their winning streak is at four games heading to the bowl season. And sure, the road win knocked the Golden Bears out of bowl eligibility. However, as coach Bronco Mendenhall was raised in the air, and players celebrated by treating water bottles like World Series champagne, it sure seemed as if BYU were going overboard.
If the Cougars are up for a party, they will be in for a good spot: facing the American Athletic Conference champion Memphis Tigers (9-3) in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl.
BYU is coming off what 10th-year coach Mendenhall called the most satisfying win he experienced as a coach or player.
BYU meets a Memphis team riding a string of six wins. The Tigers have not dropped a game since a 28-24 home setback against Houston on Oct. 11. The Tigers' only other losses were both road defeat at nationally ranked UCLA (42-35) and Ole Miss (24-3).
The Cougars were bothered by injuries all season, but they found the right time to figure out some cohesion amid the star-player health madness.
BYU saw its best quarterback, running back, wide receiver and linebacker miss significant time, and as many as 11 starters/key contributors were sidelined beyond one game because of injuries.
"Our team is excited to be in the postseason for a 10th straight season and looking forward to the challenge of facing Memphis in the Miami Beach Bowl," Mendenhall said. "Memphis had a great regular season, winning a share of the AAC title. They are well coached with a strong defense and a balanced offense. It should be a great matchup in Miami."