For months, Cougar fans have been touting the BYU Cougars football schedule as a force to be reckoned with, and based on early odds the hype will be justified. This week Sports Insights came out with the lines for the first week, and a number of their "Games of the Year". This list just happened to include the first four games for the Cougars as they face the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Boise State Broncos, the UCLA Bruins, and the Michigan Wolverines.
There doesn't seem to be much consensus regarding the Cougars record after the first four games as each game is winnable but going into week five with a winning record will be considered quite a feat. According to the lines the Cougars will be underdogs in all four games, but three of the four games should be close. If the Cougars can play all the games close into the fourth quarter, as the lines suggest, the Cougars can turn a close game into a win with one play.
Listed below are the lines for the first four games for the Cougars. You can also see the entire list of week one games and their other games of choice here.
BYU @ Nebraska (September 5th)
The Cougars will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska for a 1:30 MDT kickoff. The game will be shown live on ABC for the nation to see how the Cougars will match up against new Cornhuskers head coach Mike Riley. Those making the lines for the game have come to the conclusion that Memorial Stadium will be the difference in a high scoring affair. The current line for this game is Nebraska by 5 in a game that could find both teams in the 30's.
BYU vs Boise State (September 12th)
Week two of the season allows BYU to play their first home game as they host the Broncos. The Cougars are looking for revenge after getting hammered in Boise last year. The line for this game is the closest of the four, but is also the lone home game. The odds-makers don't think that the home crowd will be enough to propel the Cougars to a win and have Boise winning by 4.
BYU @ UCLA (September 19th)
When BYU makes a trip to the Rose Bowl in week three, they will be facing a well respected Bruins team that would look forward to beating up on BYU. This game is the only game that the odds-makers feel will not be close on the scoreboard and as such has given UCLA a double-digit win. Currently the line sits at 14 in favor of the Bruins but this could easily change based on both teams opening two weeks.
BYU @ Michigan
In the last of the four games on the list the Cougars will visit Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The line sits right where the Cougars started the year, as 5 point underdogs. This game should be interesting as the Cougars will have had a few weeks to see what they are made of, and the Wolverines will have had a few weeks under the helm of new head coach Jim Harbaugh. Once again 5 points is basically the home stadium advantage so the Cougars should have the opportunity to win a close one on the road.
The first four games for the Cougars will be grueling but they should have a chance to make some noise in September. What do you think of the lines as they stand? Let us know in the comments below.