What if bowl stats before 2002 counted


The career stat lists on CougarStats do not include bowl game stats for players prior to 2002, the year that the NCAA started including bowl games in their official stats. For a long time, I’ve wondered how much of a disadvantage this gives the older players. Would it make much of a difference in the top 10 rankings if pre-2002 bowl statistics were included?

For passing and rushing leaders, the bowls make no difference. The top ten is unchanged. For scoring and receiving, the leaders would change.

RECEIVING

Dennis Pitta is BYU’s all-time leader in receptions with 221. 15 of those catches were in bowl games. Matt Bellini is third with 204. If Bellini’s 24 bowl game receptions were included in his career totals, he would take over the top spot with 228.

Official receiving leaders:

1 Pitta, Dennis 221
2 Collie, Austin 215
3 Bellini, Matt 204
4 Hooks, Margin 189
5 Odle, Phil 183
6 Hudson, Gordon 178
7 Mahe, Reno 166
8 Drage, Eric 162
9 Brown, Curtis 157
10 Christensen, Todd 152

Receiving leaders with pre-2002 bowl games included:

1 Bellini, Matt 228
2 Pitta, Dennis 221
3 Collie, Austin 215
4 Drage, Eric 195
5 Hooks, Margin 194
6 Hudson, Gordon 192
7 Odle, Phil 183
8 Mahe, Reno 173
9 Heimuli, Lakei 161
10 Christensen, Todd 160

If the NCAA did not change the rule in 2002 and no bowl game stats were included, Pitta would still be #1, but Bellini would hold the second place spot ahead of Austin Collie.

Receiving leaders with no bowl game stats:

1 Pitta, Dennis 206
2 Bellini, Matt 204
3 Collie, Austin 198
4 Hooks, Margin 189
5 Odle, Phil 183
6 Hudson, Gordon 178
7 Mahe, Reno 166
8 Drage, Eric 162
9 Christensen, Todd 152
10 Bellini, Mark 146

——

RECEIVING YARDS

Austin Collie officially has the most receiving yards in BYU history and if pre-2002 bowl stats were included he would still hold the title. However, Eric Drage has more yards in regular season games.

Official receiving yards leaders:

1 Collie, Austin 3,255
2 Drage, Eric 3,065
3 Pitta, Dennis 2,883
4 Hooks, Margin 2,841
5 Bellini, Matt 2,635
6 Odle, Phil 2,548
7 Hudson, Gordon 2,484
8 Bellini, Mark 2,429
9 Smith, Chris 2,367
10 Kozlowski, Glen 2,223

Receiving yards leaders with pre-2002 bowl games included:

1 Collie, Austin 3,255
2 Drage, Eric 3,227
3 Hooks, Margin 2,953
4 Pitta, Dennis 2,883
5 Bellini, Matt 2,868
6 Hudson, Gordon 2,600
7 Bellini, Mark 2,600
8 Odle, Phil 2,548
9 Smith, Chris 2,463
10 Kozlowski, Glen 2,330

Receiving yards leaders with no bowl game stats:

1 Drage, Eric 3,065
2 Collie, Austin 3,029
3 Hooks, Margin 2,841
4 Pitta, Dennis 2,742
5 Bellini, Matt 2,635
6 Odle, Phil 2,548
7 Hudson, Gordon 2,484
8 Bellini, Mark 2,429
9 Smith, Chris 2,367
10 Kozlowski, Glen 2,223

POINTS SCORED

The biggest loser in this little experiment is Mitch Payne, bless his heart. In the official stats Payne leads Owen Pochman by a single point. If you add Pochman’s bowl stats, he takes over #1 with 341 points. If you take away Mitch’s bowl stats, he gets passed by Pochman and Mitch’s big brother Matt.

Official scoring leaders:

1 Payne, Mitch 334
2 Pochman, Owen 333
3 Payne, Matt 312
4 Staley, Luke 290
5 Unga, Harvey 266
6 Gunther, Kurt 243
7 Willis, Jamal 240
8 Brown, Curtis 218
9 Hamilton, Waymon 192
10 Heimuli, Lakei 192

Scoring leaders with pre-2002 bowl games included:

1 Pochman, Owen 341
2 Payne, Mitch 334
3 Payne, Matt 316
4 Staley, Luke 290
5 Unga, Harvey 266
6 Gunther, Kurt 258
7 Willis, Jamal 252
8 Brown, Curtis 236
9 Hamilton, Waymon 198
10 Heimuli, Lakei 192

Scoring leaders with no bowl game stats:

1 Pochman, Owen 333
2 Payne, Matt 312
3 Payne, Mitch 308
4 Staley, Luke 290
5 Unga, Harvey 254
6 Gunther, Kurt 243
7 Willis, Jamal 240
8 Brown, Curtis 200
9 Hamilton, Waymon 192
10 Heimuli, Lakei 192
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