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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Opponent Tracker: Week 1 Results For BYU’s 2012 Opponents


Another new item this fall from Blue Cougar Football will be to analyze the performance of the Brigham Young Cougars’ future and past opponents. This will give Blue Cougar Football followers a look at BYU’s strength of schedule on the season and what to expect in upcoming games.

For week one, pretty much everything that was supposed to happen for the Cougars’ opponents did happen. There were still a few surprises, however.  

Weber State (0-1): Lost 37-10 to Fresno State. Playing two FBS teams to start off their season could be rough, especially with the recent coaching changes. Expected loss, doesn’t hurt Brigham Young. Next opponent: BYU, September 8.

Utah (1-0): Won 41-0 against Northern Colorado, an FCS school. It was Utah’s first shutout since 2007 and, no matter who it was against, could give the defense some confidence. Expected win, doesn’t help or hurt BYU. Next opponent: Utah State, September 8.

Boise State (0-1): Lost 17-13 to No. 13 Michigan State. This loss not only ended BSU’s three year streak of defeating ranked opponents on opening night, but dropped the Broncos out of the AP Top 25 for the first time in 62 straight polls. This loss hurts the Cougars in overall strength of schedule, but fortunately it came to a ranked opponent. Next opponent: Miami (OH), September 15.

Hawaii (0-1): Lost 49-10 to No. 1 USC. The Trojans scored on the first play from scrimmage, a 75-yard catch and run by Marqise Lee. Norm Chow was in over his head in his first game as head coach. Expected loss, doesn’t hurt the Cougars overall strength of schedule, although a smaller margin of defeat would have been nice. Next opponent: Lamar, September 16.

Utah State (0-1): Won 34-3 over in-state opponent Southern Utah. Once again, playing against an FCS school doesn’t bolster a team’s resume, so the win doesn’t help Brigham Young’s strength of schedule. Next opponent: Utah, September 8.

Oregon State (0-0): Game postponed against Nichols State because of Hurricane Isaac. Nichols State couldn’t take their flight to Corvallis because of the weather conditions and a make-up game is yet to be determined. Nichols State is another FCS school, so missing the game doesn’t make a difference in how Brigham Young’s opponents fare. Next opponent:  No. 13 Wisconsin, Spetember .

Notre Dame (1-0): Won 50-10 over Navy. In a game played in Dublin, Ireland, Notre Dame demolished a longtime rival and pushed itself into the top 25. This bodes well for the Cougars. If Notre Dame can remain ranked in the polls, the game scheduled for October 20 could be the unofficial FBS Independent championship game on Oct. 20. Next opponent: Purdue, September 8.

Georgia Tech (0-1): Lost 20-17 in overtime against No. 16 Virginia Tech. Georgia Tech had the game in their hands. They scored a touchdown with 44 seconds to go to take a 17-14 lead. Then they let Virginia Tech march right down the field and line up for a field goal to put it into overtime. GT quarterback Tevin Washington threw an interception to start the overtime, and then VT put the game away with another field goal. This loss was bad for BYU. A quality win over a ranked opponent could have had Georgia Tech in this week’s rankings. Instead they will be looked at as a middle of the pack ACC squad. Next opponent: Presbyterian, September 8.

Idaho (0-1): Lost 20-3 to Eastern Washington. Losing to an FSC school will definitely hurt a team’s credibility, no matter how good the FSC school is. Eastern Washington has made it to the FSC playoffs in recent years, and has gained some national attention for their bright red field, but beating an FBS school is still a big deal for any FCS team. The win was Eastern Washington’s first against an FBS foe since 2003, also against Idaho. This doesn’t help Brigham Young by any means in their strength of schedule, but it probably doesn’t hurt too bad either. Most people looked at Idaho as a lowly opponent anyway. Next opponent: Bowling Green, September 8.

San Jose State (0-1): Lost 20-17 to #21 Stanford. It was an impressive performance by the Spartans to battle so valiantly against a team that has played in two straight BCS bowl games. Unfortunately, hardly anyone remembers the final score; they only remember the wins and losses. However, if the game against the Cardinal was any indication of how much San Jose State has improved this year, this is good for BYU. The WAC is still the WAC, but it is always better to play a team from the top of the conference than the bottom. Next opponent: UC Davis, September 8.

New Mexico State (1-0): Won 49-19 over Sacramento State. Once again, a win over an FCS school is hard to get excited about when measuring a team’s strength. However, this win could help New Mexico State be at least .500 when they play Brigham Young this year, unlike last season when they were 4-6 heading into the matchup. Next opponent: Ohio, September 8.

Washington State (0-1): Lost to BYU 30-6. We all know how this one went. Wasington State’s only hope in the game was lost on its first possession, on the Jeff Tuel interception. Hopefully WAZZU can win some big Pac-12 games to help make this win look impressive for Brigham Young. Next opponent: Eastern Washington, September 8.

As far as strength of schedule looks, Brigham Young’s overall SOS should be what it was before this week. However, if Boise State, Georgia Tech, and San Jose State could have swung those close games from losses to wins, Brigham Young’s schedule would look a whole lot tougher, and possibly more impressive to poll voters and to those computers who play a major role in the BCS standings.

Overall opponents record after week one: 3-8.


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

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