Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Independent BYU football

How will BYU fare as an independent footballs school?  The schedule seems fairly manageable and respectable, with a wide range of possibilities.

Will Win:
New Mexico State - They did beat New Mexico and San Jose State last year
Idaho - They did beat 5 FBS teams last year. Those teams averaged 3 wins each.
Idaho State - They are an FCS team with one win last year (against an NAIA team)
San Jose State - They won one game last year, a narrow victory over an FCS team.
Utah State- Utah State won last year. That keeps them on track for their one win per decade.

Could Win:
Hawaii - Hawaii can be tough on the islands. However, BYU has historically had no problem there.
TCU - This could play out like the last few seasons of Mountain West conference games.
UCF - UCF is traveling cross-country to Provo, which should give the Cougars the advantage.
Utah - This is the rivalry game coming off of Utah's visit to USC (and BYU's trip to Texas.) Utah has the next week off, but BYU has the game at home.
Oregon State - This comes in the middle of OSU's conference play. The Beaver's next game is Washington State, while the Cougars follow with Idaho State. Both teams should be focussed here.
Texas - They are coming off of a bad year, and may be beatable. However, Rice should enable the Longhorms to get their opening day jitters out; and with the following games at UCLA and Iowa State, Texas is not likely to overlook BYU.
Mississippi - This is the first game for both teams. Mississippi is coming off of a mediocre year. However, the net games are vs Southern Illinois and at Vanderbilt, so this could by their early season focus. BYU may be caught looking towads Texas.

Worst case: An off game at Mississippi zaps their confidence causing them to lose all of their 'big' games and limp to a 5-7 record.

Best case: They go undefeated and squeak out wins over all their opponents. Hawaii wins the WAC, UCF wins CUSA, Texas wins the Big12 and Mississippi wins the SEC and Oregon State and Utah face off in the Pac-12 title game. Ohio State has the best record in the Big-10, but gets banned from the post season, leaving a two-loss team to win the championship. The ACC and Big East pummell each other as usual. BYU plays Boise State in the final BCS championship game.

Reasonable case: BYU knocks off a few of their big-time opponents to finish 10-2, and declare their first year of idependence a success.

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