In case you missed it, BYU had a great weekend, but they weren't the only ones, and comparatively, BYU didn't really score that many points. BYU's future opponents scored 381 points last weekend, an average of 42, two more than BYU pounded onto Texas. Three of those teams played inferior competition and proved, if nothing else, that they could score a lot of points. Utah (70 points scored), Boise State (63), and Wisconsin (48) won by a combined score of 181-21. You could even add Nevada (36) and Utah State (52) in there for a total of 269-48. It was a weekend to score big.
Just a side note, speaking of big scores, I found out that in 2002 the BCS computers stopped counting margin of victory in their formulas. So you can log that away in your list of dinner table factoids.
Utah State & Wisconsin
By the computer's calculations, BYU is favored to win against all those high scoring teams except Utah State and Wisconsin. Massey's algorithms somehow only give BYU a 36% chance of beating Utah State, and a 37% chance at Wisconsin. That seems a little strange to me, but I believe it has to do with Utah State's preseason hype and ranking (which has influence in the ratings until about the 5th week). Like I said last week, BYU vs Utah State will be a hard fought game, and I personally would not give the Aggies 64% chance of winning, more like 50%. Wisconsin will be very tough, and is also a ways away, so we'll give it some time before making guesses.
The biggest game of the weekend (judged by media coverage) also had an effect on BYU. Notre Dame lost a well fought battle against Michigan, with a great performance from the offense and an okay defense. Notre Dame is looking to be almost as good of a team as last year's 12-1 squad. I believe that BYU will almost certainly limit the fighting Irish to fewer points than they scored on Saturday evening, and give our offense a chance. I get the feeling that BYU's defense will gain as much national attention as they did last year and will keep most of our opponents from scoring too much. BYU's chances currently sit at 30% to topple the Irish.
As for our other opponents, I was able to watch most of Houston's game against Temple. Temple is not usually thought of as a great team, and their loss last week to Notre Dame was bad enough that Temple was the underdog against Houston.
The game however was extremely close. Temple's defense held Houston out of the end zone for almost the entire game, and Temple was able to move the ball fairly well against the Houston defense. Houston has a big time receiver in Deontay Greenberry who in two games has 235 yards, more than half of his season total from last year. Having a marquee player like that brings the drawback that Temple assumed that every pass was going to him so he was always well defended (but still racked up165 yards). All things considered, though Houston eventually pulled out the 22-13 win, it did not inspire a lot of confidence in Houston's offense. Houston's visit to Provo is still a month away, so there's still time for them and us to improve, but for now the computer gives BYU an 81% chance to win, and I agree whole-heartedly.
BYU's past opponent Virginia was blown out by Oregon 59-10, but almost everyone gets blown out by Oregon. It would have helped the Cougars in the computer's if Virginia would have put up a little more of a fight, but I don't think anyone really gave the Cavaliers a chance in that game.
BYU's current ranking in the Massey Ratings is 30th (out of 125), with a high ranking of 6th! and low of 57th. BYU's statistics continue to look impressive, improving significantly on offense this week. Our "32nd" place ranking in the AP poll (I use quotes because anything below 25 is unofficial) is courtesy of one 15th place vote and 24th and 25th. Once we show Utah who's boss and secure the beehive boot in two weeks, I would not be surprised to have BYU enter the Top 25.
I'm sure some will wonder why Texas still got more votes, coming in at "29th". This is because they are polls, voted on by humans who think they know football (like all of us), and they think Texas is a good team that had a bad night. Also, Texas only got votes from 8 of 60 pollsters, with an average ranking of 23, so it's not like everyone still thinks they're good, the polls are very volatile, teams go in and out every week. Now that we've put Texas in their place it will be beneficial to BYU's ranking for Texas to have a good year, so don't get too upset if they're ranked above us.
We will achieve greatness yet.