BYU Football: Did you know? (Winning Percentage as an Independent)

The BYU Cougars bucked the trend in college football and became an independent seven years ago. Since that time, and especially after 2017's very poor record, many have complained that the BYU football program has fallen. That type of claim can be looked at from many different angles, one of which is winning percentage.
Did you know that BYU's winning percentage during its seven seasons as an independent is the second worst over a seven year stretch since 1976?
BYU's winning percentage in seven season stretches

2011-17: 56-31, 64.3%
2004-10: 61-27, 69.3%
1997-2003: 50-37, 57.5%
1990-1996: 63-25-2, 71.1%
1983-89: 71-20, 78%
1976-82: 69-17, 80.2%
1969-75: 39-37-1, 51.3%
1962-68: 31-38-1, 45%

Except for a stretch of time that included Gary Crowton's first two losing seasons, and two mediocre seasons in LaVell Edwards' final four seasons, you have to go back to the late 1960s and early 70s to find a time when this level of winning would feel like a marked improvement.

To match the 69.3% from 2004-10, which is the next rung up the ladder, BYU would have had to win five more games. That equates to less than one win more per season. To match the next closest winning percentage (71.1), it is exactly one win per season. This, too, can be looked at from many different angles.
  • BYU is just a healthy Taysom Hill away from matching the good stretches since 1990.
  • BYU was hit by the perfect storm in 2017, otherwise it would be on par with the previous seven year stretch.
  • BYU has managed to remain competitive even with a much harder strength of schedule.
  • BYU didn't have a special season during this seven-year stretch, while each of the other seven-year stretches had at least one.

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