Eyes on the enemy - Week 8

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

BYU battled through a tough game to see another win, many of our upcoming opponents did the same. Find out how this last weekend has changed our chances for victory in the upcoming games.

BYU pulled off a pretty amazing win in Houston but in the end it wasn't  enough to sway many voters our way.  The future can surprise even them though and BYU has shown it can fight though adversity to win games.  We learned a lot from playing Houston including how to tough it out, something we will likely need against some of our coming opponents.

Boise State

The Broncos had a newsworthy weekend with headlines focusing not on their win against Nevada, but the loss of QB Joe Southwick to a broken ankle.  With the win against Nevada, Boise State has kept themselves in control of the 'Mountain' division of the Mountain West.  Their only loss being to #17 (and undefeated) Fresno State.  I'll be at the game on Friday, and I hope to see you all there.  Massey's ratings say BYU has a 73% win probability.

Wisconsin

The Badgers continued their pummeling of teams trying to make up for losses to Arizona State and Ohio State.  This week it was Illinois that they beat by 24 points.  BYU is going to need every minute of the bye week to prepare for this big game.  BYU's chances are at 24%.

Idaho State

BYU should use this game as a practice for Notre Dame the next week. The Bengals lost to Northern Arizona last weekend. BYU will win.  Massey gives us a 100% chance of victory.

Notre Dame

Despite an injury to QB Tommy Reese, the Fighting Irish pulled off a close win against USC.  BYU is looking like a slight favorite to win this game, a 55% chance by the computer's calculation, but BYU will need consistency from the offense and defense if they are to leave South Bend winners.

Nevada

As mentioned, Nevada lost at Boise State.  The Wolfpack gave up big yardage to the Boise State running attack, allowing 337 yards between backup QB Hedrick and RB Ajayi.  Perhaps that bodes well for Taysom and Jaamal's season ending game in Reno.  Currently BYU is favored at 91%

The Past

Our strength of schedule was aided a bit with Utah State and Georgia Tech winning big.  But for every up there are downs as Virginia and Utah lost.  (Sadly Utah also lost starting QB Travis Wilson to a thumb injury, the Utes will have a hard time without him.)  Texas and Middle Tennessee had the weekend off, so our overall strength of schedule was pretty neutral.

Despite missing out on the first edition of the BCS rankings, there is plenty of hope for a good season ("good" by Bronco Mendenhal's own definition is a top 25 ranking).  A strong win against Boise State could get us a few more votes in the polls and we just need a small bump to our computer average (29.8) to get us into the Top 25.

As a side note, 24th ranked Nebraska has a computer average of 39.5 while #25 Oregon State's average is 23.6, but Beavers however only "received votes" in the polls while Nebraska was ranked 23rd and 21st.  Just an interesting look at the system.  Last week Boise State received one point from one vote in the Harris Poll, while BYU received none.  A solid win against the Bronco's will be the first step to BYU's first top 25 ranking since being 25th in the AP Poll before losing to Boise last year. (Before that was the 2009 season when BYU was ranked every week getting as high as #9)

I hope everyone is excited as me to see the cougars avenge that loss and earn a spot in the Top 25 again. We can do it starting this Friday. GO COUGARS!!!

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