The Brigham Young Cougars have won 10 or more games on seven occasions. Some of you might remember that being the answer to the October 7, 2010, trivia question. Going back in time by five year intervals, you have to go back 20 years before BYU football did not win 10 consecutive games during the season.
2006: The Cougars won their final 10 games. It started with a shutout victory over Utah State, 38-0. BYU then went to Fort Worth, Texas, and beat 15th ranked TCU, 31-17. The next six opponents went quietly. San Diego State, UNLV, Air Force, Colorado State, Wyoming, and New Mexico lost by a combined score of 253-55. None of them scored more than 17 points, and none of these games were closer than 19 points. Utah looked to put an end to the Cougars win streak, but when John Beck miraculously connected with Jonny Harline on the final play of the game, the Utes became victim number nine. The 2006 squad put an exclamation point on the season and extended their win streak to double digits with a 38-8 triumph over Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl.
2001: The BYU Cougars rode a relentless offense to a 12-0 start. They came out of the gates fast posting 70 points in a win over Tulane. UNLV and New Mexico each gave BYU a scare in games four and six, respectively. Win number 10 was against the Wyoming Cowboys, 41-34. A Luke Staley touchdown run with 2:08 to play being the difference in this see-saw battle. BYU registered wins in the next two games against Utah and Mississippi State to extend this single season win streak to 12 games (14 overall).
1996: Fifteen years ago, BYU escaped defeat in the fourth game of the season and to beat New Mexico 17-14. After that, the flood gates opened. The Cougars cruised through the next nine games to reach 10 consecutive wins. BYU’s margin of victory in those nine games was 28.9 points. The tenth win was extra sweet as it came over arch rival Utah and it clinched a spot for BYU in the inaugural WAC Championship game. The 1996 squad didn’t stop there. Thrilling victories over Wyoming (WAC Championship Game) and Kansas State (Cotton Bowl) allowed BYU to finish the year with a dozen straight wins.
That takes us to 1991—20 years. The 1991 team did not win 10 consecutive games, however, it did go undefeated for 10 consecutive games (8-0-2). Not quite the same, but at the time, it felt just as good. BYU started the season 0-3, so to finish the year with only three losses was great. Since one tie featured a rally from a 28-point second half deficit and the other came against the team that finished ranked number 10 in both major polls, it was easy to see these ties as a “glass half full” and celebrate a 10 game undefeated streak.
I am not going to make a predictI think it goes without saying that I would love to see this pattern continue and watch BYU win at least 10 consecutive games at some point during the 2011 season.
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