Despite the Brigham Young Cougars’ two tough back-to-back losses and a wild-card this week with Georgia Tech’s triple option, the most popular choice for poll voters was 9-4 as BYU’s final record for 2012. I apologize for not having a specific breakdown of the votes for each selection. There were some technical difficulties approximately one day ago, and all votes that had been cast were lost. As I monitored the results throughout the week, slightly less than half of all voters (approx. 45-48%) were selecting 9-4. The next highest voter getter was 8-5, which was consistently over 30%. Almost all of the remaining 20-25% voted for 7-6 or 6-7.
It pains me to say it, but my vote is for 8-5.
I am pleased to see that so many Cougar fans still have enough confidence in the team to sweep the rest of the season. While I realize that three of BYU’s four losses were to top 25 teams, and no one left on the schedule is even close to that level, the Georgia Tech game poses lots of unique challenges: a second long road trip, the option, and trying to bounce back after a very tough loss. During a typical week, I find enough reasons for optimism that I convince myself BYU will win. This week something is lacking. I can’t find that. To predict a 9-4 season would go against my better judgment at this point.
BYU will make it to a bowl game. That is guaranteed. If you have been following the weekly opponent tracker on this site, you know that there is no possible way, BYU loses to Idaho or New Mexico State. That will get BYU to the six wins necessary to qualify.
San Jose State could pose some challenges with their offense, but their defense has been exposed in recent weeks. The game may be close like the Spartans’ season opener against Stanford, but BYU should come out on top. That puts BYU at 7-5 going into the bowl.
ESPN is currently projecting either Nevada or San Diego State as BYU’s opponent in the Poinsettia Bowl. How that game turns out will depend on the level of motivation that BYU has. With a school record 3-bowl win streak on the line, and well over 20 seniors playing their final game, I think BYU will find enough reasons to be motivated and finish 8-5 rather than 7-6 for the second time in three years.
Thank you to everyone who voted, don't forget to come back after the Georgia Tech game and vote in the new poll question.