5 Ways to Improve The ROC


Sep 21, 2013; Provo, UT, USA; Brigham Young Cougars student sectionbefore the game against the Utah Utes at Lavell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

BYU made a huge step this past year by finally having a unified student section at football games, forming what is know as the ROC (Roar of the Cougars).  While having this designated student section at football games is cool and all, some improvements can be made going forward. Here are five observations I have made as I have sat in the ROC on game day and talked to BYU students during my time going to school here at BYU. This article will focus mainly on the ROC section for football home games.

1. Educate Students

This is my first point because I feel as though the most improvement can and should be made here. BYU football has a rich history. A national championship, conference titles, All-American quaterbacks, and a Heisman trophy winner are just a few of the honors that BYU fans should be proud of. Sadly, BYU students know very little about Cougar football history.

Our parents’ generation grew up in the midst of this golden era and are well aware of what BYU was and should be. While we should not live in the past and put all of our stock in the “good ol’ days”; a basic knowledge of BYU football’s storied past should be doable.

More from BYU Football

Talking to students here, it is amazing how little they know about BYU football. A lot of these people even consider themselves football fans.  I was once in a lecture of about 200 plus students, and the professor asked everyone to raise their hand if they knew who Jim McMahon was. I was the only one whose hand was raised! Sure he’s not Mormon and a shining example of a typical Mormon boy, but he led BYU to one of the greatest comebacks in College football history and won a Super Bowl! I have made many other similar observations. For example, most students are not aware that BYU has won a national championship. Other than Steve Young, many could not name a single BYU quarterback from the past. Even Heisman Trophy winner Ty Detmer or more recent starters such as John Beck and Max Hall are unknowns.

So a simple message to students: Do Better!

2. Joint efforts with tailgaters

This one makes a lot of sense. BYU needs a bigger tailgating presence. BYU students do not buy a lot of food during games because it is too expensive. Why not have BYU students pay a little bit more on their ROC passes and join the tailgating scene? There are some things that would need to be worked out though. One is that student seats are first come first serve, meaning that if you want a good seat, you have to stand in line all to day to get it. I wanted to tailgate this past football season, but ended up not doing so because I would have ended up with a seat in the nosebleeds. Other students have expressed the same desire to tailgate, but had the same concern. Other things would need to be worked out as well, but if these things were addressed it would be a big benefit for BYU’s tailgating scene to get bigger.

 3. Wear the same color

This one is pretty straightforward. Lavell Edwards has said in the past, that LES on game day looks like a bag of skittles because of all the different colors in it. The ROC tries to advertise to students which color to wear, but students are not getting the message. The Utah game was a success because of all the advertising going into game day for the alternate royal blue uniforms. As a result, most of LES was decked out in Royal Blue. Other than the Georgia Tech game, where students were given free white t-shirts, all sorts of different colors were worn during the game. This year should be better with three games where the Cougars are wearing alternate uniforms, but the message needs to be delivered loud and clear to the students on what to wear.

4. Increase Social Media Presence

Problem number three would be an easy fix if The Roc gains a stronger presence on social media. The ROC’s twitter page just barely eclipsed 3,000 followers.  Not bad considering the ROC is fairly new, but it has half as many followers as the MUSS (University of Utah) and less followers than The Hurd (Utah State). These other accounts have been around for a couple years longer than the ROC, but with BYU’s larger fan base and enrollment, BYU could pass these other accounts with some better marketing and advertising.

5. Use our uniqueness to our advantage

BYU is one of the most unique colleges in the countries.  We’re a bunch of Mormons from all over the country at a private college in Utah that doesn’t drink or have sex. We are weird. Instead of just showing up to the games and yelling, I am sure students can come up with original chants that can catch on and be unique from the rest of the country.  The USMNT “I believe” chant caught on throughout the whole country for the World Cup. If the ROC puts out a challenge for students to come up with something creative, I am sure some good ideas would come up.

These are just some of my ideas for improving the ROC. What are your thoughts cougar nation? What can BYU’s student section do better, or the BYU fan base in general do to enhance the game day experience?  Post your thoughts in the comments section or tweet us @LawlessRepublic.