Two years ago, we polled the Vanquish The Foe staff about the "BCS" teams we wanted to see BYU play. Texas A&M took the cake, while top-five vote getters LSU and Arizona State have now found themselves onto future BYU schedules.
As we did in revisiting our Group of 5 poll, I asked our contributors to submit a ballot of the five Power 5 schools they'd most like to see BYU schedule that aren't currently inked to play the Cougars. Here are the results:
1. OHIO STATE BUCKEYES (3)
Total Points: 19
Two years ago, OSU came in second. Now with a national championship in tow, our staff of BYU faithful wants to see the Cougars take on the Buckeyes.
It's for more than just getting a shot at the national title winner, however. Many have cast votes desiring to see historic games from BYU's past revisited, and the Cougars have faced Ohio State three times in bowl games.
Matt Brown: "This gives BYU a chance to give themselves a real measuring stick, will give traveling fans a chance to make a church history road trip out of everything, and some exposure in an important recruiting state. There aren't many more stadiums more iconic than Ohio Stadium. These two teams have talked a few times in the Independence Era but haven't been able to make it happen. Pick up the phone, Gene Smith, and get this game done."
Of course, signing up for such a game probably means more L's at the hands of Urb, but...
Devan Mitchell: "Urban Meyer still brings vomit to the mouths of many a BYU fan, and while I hold no illusions about how this matchup would go, how many BYU fans wouldn't want to go to a game at the Horseshoe?"
We won't spend too much time worrying about if BYU could get anything more than a one-off game in Columbus.
Past Games: 3 (Ohio State 3-0)
Last: 1993 - Ohio State 28, BYU 21
2. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (1)
Total Points: 12
Rachel Konishi: "The ultimate battle between good and evil. I imagine if this game ever took place, it would usher in the second coming."
To many college football fans, Alabama's ridiculous cash flow, recruiting prowess, conference, and obsessively-focused head coach represent the ultimate enemy. A chance to take down the Crimson Tide would be worth whatever it took to schedule it.
But there is a little history. Alabama was once committed to a home-and-home against BYU, but after Shaun Alexander trampled over the Cougars to the tune of 115 yards and 5 TDs in 1998, the return trip never materialized. You owe us, Bama! (Please?)
Devan Mitchell: "The tradition of Alabama football is a huge draw for me as far as this matchup goes. Also, I hear their fans are very hospitable and will feed you in the tailgate after they beat you."
Past Games: 1 (Alabama 1-0)
Last: 1998 - Alabama 38, BYU 31
3. MIAMI HURRICANES (1)
Total Points: 11
Here's another call to revisit historic games from BYU's past. Back in the 90s, Miami did some pretty cool things as an independent, including traveling west to play road games. This resulted in a home-and-home with BYU, and the iconic conquest of BYU defeating the #1 Hurricanes in Provo.
For recruiting reasons, it wouldn't hurt to play more in Florida.
Keith Shirts: "The U. The real U. The most famous non-conference game of all time came against Miami. Why not play them again? Here is what BYU and Miami have in common:
- Private school
- Lots of historically great QBs
- Jake Heaps
- Fights opponent
Beyond that, BYU does have that national brand and sells away tickets anywhere and, uh, Miami has some seats to fill."
With possibilities of Miami moving into new digs, a game against BYU might be a decent way to use such a stadium.
Past Games: 2 (1-1)
Last: 1990 - BYU 28, Miami 21
T4. TEXAS LONGHORNS (2)
Total Points: 10
Really, the entire nation outside of Burnt Orange faithful would like to see more of these games. BYU would have gone 3-0 against Texas in the most recent set of games if it had any semblance of a working offense in its Heaps-led 17-16 loss a few years ago.
That's BYU's only football loss to the Longhorns, and in its four wins, BYU has outscored Texas by an average score of 38-13.
If you start factoring in other sports -- like Tyler Haws finishing off Texas with this ridiculous one-legged running jumper, or unseeded women's volleyball dispatching ranked Texas to reach the national championship game, we've really got something fun.
Keith Shirts: "Charlie Strong displaying 'Believe You're Unbeatable' during the week the Longhorns played a BYU team that went 8-5 and lost to the previous season is the most fascinating thing that has happened to BYU football in five seasons. There is a genuine stigma surrounding the Cougars in Austin, Texas. Sporting events are ALWAYS better when they involve neurotic distress. The more time that passes, the less a matchup with BYU will agonize Texas, and that is unfortunate."
Past Games: 5 (BYU 4-1)
Last: 2014 - BYU 41, Texas 7
T4. TEXAS A&M AGGIES
Total Points: 10
Texas A&M offers a triple-win: Texas, SEC, and revisiting historic games. It would definitely be worth a 2-for-1 to get the Aggies on the schedule, and now that the SEC says BYU will count toward the conference's non-conference power game quota, it gives A&M a winnable-but-quality game. And many a fan would flock to College Station to try and get hands on tickets for the Kyle Field experience.
Plus, you can never avenge enough the time A&M ransacked BYU 65-14 and separated both of Ty Detmer's shoulders in the 1990 Holiday Bowl.
Past Games: 3 (BYU 2-1)
Last: 1996 - BYU 41, Texas A&M 37
Others Receiving Votes (Points):
TCU  (9): Just missing the cut is our former MWC friends who got the invite to the big kids' table. The games against TCU have been mostly compelling, and yes, we want to play in Texas.
Duke  (9): Duke almost rose into our top 5 by the virtue of Steve Pierce's "let's make friends with awesome basketball schools" voting philosophy, and it's always fun to sprinkle a little ACC into the schedule. James Taylor: "I think it is always good to play across the country. Beautiful campus, well worth the travel. Duke is an up and coming program and a win against them should carry more weight than beating, say, Virginia."
Baylor (8): Matt Brown: "Baylor hasn't played anybody. BYU would like to play more Big 12 teams to prove to the internet that they are worthy. Both teams play exciting, up-tempo football. This seems like a pretty easy matchup to me."
Oregon (7): Oregon and Colorado are the only two schools in the Pac-12 who have yet to play or schedule BYU in the independent era.
Rutgers  (5): Rutgers' only mark on any ballot was from Jake Welch, who slotted the Scarlet Knights #1 on his ballot due to some previous time spent living in New Jersey. "I MEAN WHO DOESN'T WANT TO PLAY THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW JERSEY IN A FOOTBALL GAME? If they're good enough for the Big 10 then they are good enough for BYU. Also, I really need an excuse to go back to Piscataway and eat my face off at the grease trucks."
Florida State, Northwestern, Iowa, Maryland, Kentucky, Georgia, Kansas State (4): Lotta good game possibilities here. Florida State is pretty popular among BYU fans, but I think our staff is still suffering from some Seminole-induced PTSD.
Oklahoma (3): That time in Cowboys Stadium was fun right?
North Carolina, Colorado (2)
Vanderbilt, Florida, Kansas, Notre Dame (1): Steve and Jake are friends, so of course Steve's basketball bent throws a vote to the Jayhawks on the Power 5 poll while Jake votes for KU on the non-power poll. Lol.
Notre Dame, you say? That vote was from yours truly. BYU and ND are contracted for more games but none are scheduled and the Irish are booked solid for the next 10 years. So this is my call to South Bend to get some games on the schedule or write us the payout check and move on.