Poll Results: Should BYU be ranked in the Top 25?

The overwhelming majority of Brigham Young Cougars fans feel the 2011 football team with its 10-3 record should be ranked in the final Top 25 rankings that should come out tomorrow (January 10). The exact percentage was 85% of voters. The other 15% voted "No."

If I had a ballot for the top 25, then BYU would be on it.

I took into account several criteria. The win-loss record is the first consideration by the top 25 panel of voters. BYU is one of 23 teams (24 if you count USA Today Top 25 ineligible USC) with a 10-3 record or better. Before bowl season, teams with a 9-3 record ranked as high as 16 and as low as 24. Clearly, BYU deserves serious consideration for the top 25 based on record alone.

The variation between 9-3 teams is a product of how impressed poll voters were with a team's wins and how "quality" the losses were. Two of BYU's three losses came to teams ranked in the final BCS standings--no. 18 TCU and no. 24 Texas. BYU had a chance to win both games, and if played again it wouldn't be surprising to see BYU win both. Even if BYU won one and was 11-2, then there isn't any question that BYU would/should be ranked. What hurts BYU the most, at 10-3, is that its most impressive win was over Tulsa in the Armed Forces Bowl.

Tulsa presents an interesting case study. The Golden Hurricane lost four games in the regular season. All four teams were ranked in the top 10 when they played, and currently ranked in the top 20. With that pretense comes the line of thought that BYU showed it belonged in the top 25. Of course, those other four teams didn't earn their ranking based on beating Tulsa. The value in beating Tulsa shows that BYU was able to do what four top 20 teams could do. In fact, the BYU defense held Tulsa to fewer total yards than anyone.

BYU should be in the top 25, but just barely.

Thank you to everyone who voted. Don't forget to vote in this week's poll: "Which senior will be missed most in 2012?"

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com


  1. At the end of the season, BYU is effectively ranked 29th in the AP Poll, behind Notre Dame, Cincinatti, and Arkansas State. Four of the teams ranked between #20 and #28 lost their bowl game. I certainly believe BYU will be ranked above Penn State, Notre Dame, and Arkansas State after they each lost their bowl game, but the kicker is Nebraska. They were ranked #21, lost to a very good South Carolina team 30-13. While I personally feel BYU should be ranked in the Top 25, I don't know if the pollsters will give BYU enough credit and demote Nebraska enough for BYU to be in and Nebraska to be out. If BYU is in, it will for sure be at #25 and not any higher.

  2. I can see the voters thinking it over. "Hmmm, Nebraska at 9-4 or BYU at 10-3. Nebraska."

    If the voters put 8-4 Florida State in over BYU, I have little confidence they would pick BYU over Nebraska.

    Unless, they were really impressed with those Armed Forces Bowl highlights. Or they don't like Nebraska getting blown out 45-17 and 48-17, and losing bad 30-13 to South Carolina sans Marcus Lattimore, and losing to Northwestern.

    Then again, those two blowouts were to teams playing in BCS bowls, and this is possibly the best South Carolina team ever.

    The real kicker was Cincinnati winning its bowl game. I was also hoping/expecting Clemson to beat West Virginia.


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