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Eyes on the enemy: week 5

BYU's win over Middle Tennessee was uninspiring and BYU continues to have their work cut out for them. Here's a breakdown of our upcoming foes and how they looked last weekend.

If the offense continues to improve, we could have a strong season.
If the offense continues to improve, we could have a strong season.
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Most fans of BYU are happy to have another win in the books, but the way it happened has left many feeling worried about our upcoming games. The same could be said for the computer's views on BYU, despite the win it did little to bolster our rankings. BYU is still ranked 50th by the computer aggregate, and the probability of winning many of our games went down (also partly due to our opponents winning). Lets take a look at how our opponents did, and what that means for us.

Utah State

The Aggies won big at San Jose State, which really put a damper on the out look for the Cougar's trip to Logan on Friday. Utah State is ranked 40th by the computers, and given a 78% chance at beating BYU. This game will be big.

Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets hosted Virginia Tech in what was a much closer game than expected. Georgia Tech lost, but maintained a top 30 computer ranking. Going up against Miami (FL) next week probably won't make things any better for them, and when they come into Provo for the Cougar's homecoming game, the two teams will be very close in the rankings. Right now the computer says Georgia Tech is favored at 48% so we'll see how the next weekend turns out for both teams.


Our fellow Cougars squeaked out an interesting win last weekend. They were out-gained by the UTSA Roadrunners by three yards, but got 4 interceptions and a fumble with four fourth quarter touchdowns that stole the upset away from UTSA. This Houston team has been looking shaky and while ranked 41st by the computers, will likely be a much larger underdog when BYU visits later this month. The Cougars are off this week and play Memphis the week before BYU's visit.

Boise State

Beating a team like 0-4 Southern Mississippi doesn't do a whole lot to your rankings, but Boise State did notch the win, and has achieved a 46th place computer composite ranking. BYU is still favored to beat the Broncos who are off this weekend, but will take their own visit to Logan the following week. Despite being favored to win the Mountain West in the preseason, the Bronco's seem to still be rebuilding.


Despite the Badgers loosing, the computer analysis of BYU's trip to Madison increasingly favors Wisconsin, coming in this week as a 17% win chance for BYU. The Badgers may have two losses, but I wouldn't expect them to lose again before they host BYU on November 9th. This is turning into BYU's biggest game of the year (in terms of quality of opponent) and BYU has a lot to improve on in the coming month. Keeping this a one possession game would be a giant win for BYU, even as a loss.

Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish fought hard, but weren't up to the task of beating Oklahoma. BYU's chances jumped up to 44% against Notre Dame who currently hold a 49th computer ranking.

The Rest

Nevada won a shoot-out against Air Force and currently hold an 81st computer ranking. BYU is still favored at 74% to win. Idaho State is turning out to be not only an FCS foe, but not a very good FCS team. The Bengals lost to UC Davis last weekend.

Virginia didn't do us any favors by losing to a ho-hum Pittsburgh team, while Texas and Utah had the week off.

That's the weekly roundup for BYU's opponents. For those of you intrigued by the computer analysis/ratings I have been keeping a table of the computer's predictions for the year. I'll give you all a sneak peak now and show you how it ends up later in the season. The percentages reflect how our likelihood of winning has changed over the weeks.

Preseason Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Virginia 67% L
Texas 55% 46% W
Utah 62% 61% 61% L
MTSU 89% 97% 97% 91% W
Utah St. 39% 36% 33% 26% 22%
Ga Tech 52% 66% 44% 30% 48%
Houston 73% 81% 79% 67% 54%

I think it's fascinating to see how all of the rankings change with each weeks wins and losses. Starting this week and next, the computer rankings are getting to be quite accurate since all the teams are interconnected through each others' wins and losses, so these percentages will start to be good predictors in the coming weeks. If they can be trusted now, BYU will end up at least in a bowl game.