Monday, August 20, 2012

Pulse of Cougar Nation: Which Games Will BYU Win in 2012?

Which games will BYU win during its 2012 season? Below is a table that shows what BYU fans thought:

It is pretty apparent that BYU fans feel, out of the 12 games on the 2012 schedule, 8 of them are givens. Those games should ensure at least 8 wins on the season. It's the four road games against the four most difficult opponents on the schedule that makes fans nervous.

So, going off these numbers, this is the 2012 schedule put in order from most likely to win to least likely to win:

1. Weber State
2. Hawaii (tie)
2. Utah State (tie)
2. San Jose State (tie)
2. Idaho (tie)
6. New Mexico State
7. Oregon State (tie)
7. Washington State (tie)
9. Utah
10. Georgia Tech
11. Boise State
12. Notre Dame

I Can't Even PRETEND To Be Surprised
I don't think we can legitimately be surprised that the vast, Vast, VAST majority of BYU fans feel the Cougars will beat Weber State, San Jose State, Idaho, Hawaii and New Mexico State. None of these teams pose much of a threat to BYU, as demonstrated by the bludgeonings they received in 2011.

I'm Not NOT Surprised
BYU put a pretty decent hurt on Oregon State in Corvallis last year, so I can understand why BYU fans would feel pretty confident in a home-game scenario. There's just smidge of surprise that 96.3 percent felt that was a W. Same goes for Washington State (96.3 percent). I mean, I think we'll win, but the other Cougars aren't like George-Michael-from-Arrested-Development bad at football, are they? (That was the best George-Michael-catching video I could find. Sorry.)

OK, I'm Pretty Surprised
Utah State. OK, two years ago, we lost and lost pretty badly to the Aggies. We all remember it. Last year, Riley Nelson performed a miracle (turning a bad football team into a good football team) to give us the come-from-behind victory. We should win this game, but 98.8 percent is a pretty high level of confidence considering the past two season.

The confidence for Utah game was a bit odd to me as well. I know the 54-10 beatdown is a tad deceptive, considering all of the unforced errors that led to points for Utah in that game. I also realize the BYU players want to right that wrong (especially Kyle Van Noy). That said, Utah didn't really lose all that much from last year to this year. We can win, but the confidence level surprised me is all.

Also, I kind of thought Georgia Tech was the toughest game on the schedule, so I was somewhat surprised to see the majority of fans - as slim a majority as it is (51.6 percent) - consider this a win, which leads me to...

I'm More Shocked Than Zack Was When He Found Out Jessie Was Taking "Drugs"
Really?! Notre Dame?! REALLY?!?! We get beat by Utah 54-10 at home last year, but Notre Dame, a team that hasn't managed better than an 8-5 record in the last five seasons, is the team we're all afraid of? I honestly don't get it. This isn't to say that I think we will definitely win, but I think Georgia Tech is more likely to be a loss, since GT is the second opponent in a row located on the other side of the country. Chances are, if BYU is going to be tired or fatigued, it's going to be against the second opponent. Also, Georgia Tech is a better team.

As far as Boise State is concerned, I don't see them as the second-toughest opponent on the schedule. I would put Georgia Tech, Utah, and even Notre Dame ahead of them. Boise State has lost so much that, despite being a very good home team, it is silly to think they won't have a big drop off. They're replacing the best QB ever to play for BSU (by a Shawn Bradley-sized difference), and on top of it, they're losing another 15-16 starters. It's a big deal. Peterson has a great program, but great programs are not immune from down years. This will be a down year.

That said, I expect 9 regular season wins from the Broncos, and we could still lose that game. I'm just shocked at that game being the 2nd-scariest opponent on the schedule.

If the fans are right, we're looking at a season with 9 or 10 wins, which would be fine (to me). Hopefully, they're wrong in a more positive way, and we can win every game this year.


  1. (Remember, I am an unbiased CFB fan, have no school preference in the nation).
    Firstly, this is a GREAT survey, Scott. Great idea. I find it fascinating because I've always felt BYU fans are more ignorantly overzealous about their team than any other school. This survey proved it and I very much appreciate it.

    Here's what I see:
    1. Washington State. This isn't the same 1-11 and 2-10 team from a couple years ago. 4 wins last year, 2 in the PAC-12, is about as good as BYU would do. Now they have a great coach with a record of success (Mike Leach). I agree with you Scott, BYU should win, but it's definitely NOT a given like the survey shows.

    2. Utah. Yeah right, Cougars. You get smashed last year and you suddenly think you can hang in SLC this year? This is an automatic loss for BYU in my opinion.

    3. Boise State. This is where I disagree with you. Kellen Moore wasn't the reason BSU won games last year. Their top 10 defense was the reason for their victories. You're correct in saying that they lost a lot of starters, even on defense. But in college football, defenses are easily replaced year in and year out, hence why SEC defenses are always so strong while their offenses fluctuate. I would actually go so far as to say Boise State is BYU's toughest opponent this year.

    4. Utah State. Right on, Scott. Not sure why BYU fans think this is a given, especially when the Aggies return their stud quarterback. I give the nod to Utah State.

    5. Oregon State. It's tough to say the Beavers will remain bottom-feeders, but it appears that way. Regardless, they've got to be better this year and the dream that BYU scores 38 again against a PAC-12 team is unlikely.

    6. Notre Dame. Agree and disagree. Like you said, this isn't a guaranteed loss. But Notre Dame still has athletes. And BYU always has trouble against teams that are more athletic. Last year, BYU either lost to or barely beat teams that I would consider more athletic, like UCF, Oregon State, Ole Miss, TCU, Texas and Utah.

    7. Georgia Tech should beat BYU. Nuff said. More athletic than Ole Miss. Much faster than any team BYU has had.

    In all, I don't think BYU is actually going to lose all these games. But I think BYU has several 50-50 toss-ups that the ignorant fan base (not named Scott Gower) fail to recognize because they can't look outside their little Provo bubble without a soapy view.
    Toss-ups: OSU, BSU, Utah, USU, WSU, Notre Dame, G-Tech. Remember, BYU, you're only one season removed from going 7-6 in the MWC.

  2. 1. Disagree. Washington State a good offensive coach, but WSU had a good offense last year. Their defense is the problem, and I don't see how they've solved that. BYU has a VERY good defense, and the offense is pretty solid.

    2. That game was not the blowout 54-10 would indicate. BYU is not likely to have 7 turnovers again. I know Bronco would disagree, but the BYU defense essentially gave up after BYU offense put them in hole. During the 1st 3 quarters or so, Utah could not effectively move the ball on BYU. This game will be tons closer, and BYU has a chance to win.

    3. Boise State lost like 17 total starters. That's an insane loss, and their first game against Michigan St. will clearly show this team is not nearly as good as the past 3-4 years.

    4. I think BYU wins by a decent margin. Utah State lost its best 2 backs. USU's "stud" QB didn't do that much against BYU last year. Not worried.

    5. Oregon State is not good. This game was in Corvallis (a hard place to play, ask USC) and was not close. In Provo, this is a win.

    6. Toss up. BYU didn't "barely" beat OSU. They won by 15 points after giving up a meaningless TD in the last few minutes.

    7. GT is the toughest game on the schedule (to me).

    You seem to have forgotten BYU w/ Nelson was very different than BYU w/ Heaps. I don't think BYU is a super team by any means, but I think a 10-2 record is my guess. I'll eat my hat if BYU does worse than 8-4 without major injuries.

  3. Time to eat your hat, Mr. Gower.

  4. Me? Did you already finish eating your hat, Zach?