Last week, I revealed the results of a Top 5 poll of Vanquish The Foe writers about what non-BCS teams we desire BYU to play. Today, it's time to examine the results of the same poll for BCS/AQ/Big 5 opponents.
Again, I asked the writers to consider games against teams BYU is not already scheduled to play -- which rules out Wisconsin, Nebraska, Michigan, USC, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Virginia, Texas, Utah, Arizona, possibly Washington State, and Stanford (according to Utah AD Chris Hill, at least) who are all slated on BYU's future schedules.
Here's how they voted:
5. LSU TIGERS
BYU and LSU have never met on the football field, but once had a home-home series slated for 2003-04 that was canceled. While unlikely, playing middle-tier and above SEC teams is a dream many Cougar faithful share. LSU partially appears in the Top 5 thanks to our traveling man Presten, who voted for three SEC schools. Let's help a faithful traveler out, eh Mr. Holmoe? Presten wants to visit Death Valley.
4. ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS
BYU has some history with every other school in the Top 5, but none more so than Arizona State, former conference mate of BYU's in the WAC before ASU was adopted into the Pac 10. The Devils have a decided 20-7 series advantage over the Cougars, but the schools did meet in a four-game series in the '90s as well, splitting them 2-2.
The last time the two played was in 1998, when BYU returned home from a 38-31 road loss to Alabama to stifle ASU, 26-6. I attended this late, late ESPN2 game, and the Cougars shut down Heisman hopeful J.R. Redmond, allowing him just 28 yards on 16 carries.
With plenty of BYU faithful in the greater Phoenix area, visits to Tempe (or Glendale) would be popular, similar to what BYU has lined up with Arizona.
3. TCU HORNED FROGS
Three second-place votes launched TCU to the #3 spot of our poll. Many Cougar fans felt BYU had a burgeoning rivalry with the Horned Frogs that was cut short. After playing a few times during the WAC days, this matchup was revitalized with TCU's inclusion in the Mountain West in 2005, when the two schools played a thriller that saw BYU lose 51-50 at home in overtime.
BYU upset a top-15 TCU the next year on the road, but TCU owned the series from 2008-2011. ESPN helped broker a neutral-site game at Cowboys Stadium in 2011, BYU's first as an independent, and it seems rekindling this series with the now-Big-12 school is a sentiment shared by us and many other BYU fans. TCU leads the all-time series 6-5.
Also, we miss joking about Gary Patterson's pants-tugging.
2. OHIO STATE BUCKEYES
BYU shares more history with Ohio State than a casual observer might suspect. The two have met three different times in bowl games, each time the Buckeyes being the victorious party. After destroying Steve Young's Cougars 47-17 in the 1982 Holiday Bowl, BYU got a rematch in the 1985 Citrus Bowl. Robbie Bosco followed up BYU's 1984 National Championship with an 11-2 campaign, but OSU squeaked out a 10-7 win.
OSU won the 1993 Holiday Bowl, 28-21, despite John Walsh passing for 389 yards (BYU gave up 330 on the ground to the Buckeyes).
While OSU's spot at #2 on this list was helped in part to contributor Matt Brown's status with the Buckeyes, there is a strong desire for many BYU fans to avenge these losses. Also, the two losses to Urban Meyer in 2003-04 certainly come into play.
The top vote-getter currently has a lightning-rod of a quarterback and past games against BYU in two of the Cougars' most historic seasons.......
1. TEXAS A&M AGGIES
BYU shares three past games with A&M, holding a 2-1 advantage over the boys from College Station. The Aggies famously destroyed BYU 65-14 in the 1990 Holiday Bowl, congratulating Ty Detmer on his newly-won Heisman by separating both of his shoulders.
In another historic game, BYU outlasted A&M and avenged the '90 loss with a 41-37 home win to open what would become a historic 1996 season -- a 14-1 campaign that finished at #5 in the polls.
Revisiting famous games and bowls from BYU's past would be fun, but so would seeing the Cougars play at Kyle Field. A&M would be a school worth playing in a 2-for-1.
Below is how the full ballot played out. Who would you like to see BYU play?