BYU football: Ranked teams the Cougars beat that ended their season outside the AP top 25

Published: Sunday, Oct. 4 2015 10:59 p.m. MDT

Marc Wilson studies his receivers Dec. 8, 1979. (Deseret News Archives) (, Deseret News Archives) Marc Wilson studies his receivers Dec. 8, 1979. (Deseret News Archives) (, Deseret News Archives)

After beating undefeated Houston in thrilling fashion, the BYU football team is building a campaign to be a top 25 team. It started with a dominant win over Texas, which was ranked 15th by the Associated Press the night of Sept. 7. The problem: the Longhorns contest may not prove to be the Cougars’ signature win, let alone a high-profile one.

It may continue a trend where BYU has beaten a nationally ranked team that wound up worse than expected — even outside the polls.

Texas is now just 4-2, and if it follows a pattern seen in each of its past three seasons, it may be mediocre when all is said and done. Since reaching the 2010 national championship, the Longhorns went 5-7 and 8-5 in 2010 and 2011 before finishing 9-4 and 19th in the final Associated Press poll last season.

Texas’ 16-point win over nationally ranked Oklahoma on Oct. 12 may have cooled head coach Mack Brown’s seat. Still, only a three-game winning streak has kept the Longhorn program from embarrassment after starting 1-2. Following its 40-21 loss at BYU, Texas lost by three touchdowns at home against an average Ole Miss club.

The Cougars’ beatdown of the Longhorns isn’t the only time a BYU team has defeated a nationally ranked club, only for that opponent to be much weaker than expected — even outside the final Associated Press poll. The trend is found during the LaVell Edwards era. Under Edwards, BYU went 21-21-1 against ranked teams, but nine of the victories came against teams not found in final rankings. Those 10 teams had a combined record of just 76-63-3.

Such wins have also happened twice under Bronco Mendenhall — but it’s not like many examples avail themselves since his teams are just 4-13 against top 25 competition. There is no example possible with Gary Crowton-coached teams. They went 0-6 against nationally ranked clubs in four seasons.

Here's 12 games when BYU beat a ranked opponent that later fell out of the ranks.

Rhett Wilkinson is a project manager for UtahPolicy.com and hails the true-blooded Aggies from Utah. The co-founder of magazine Aggie BluePrint.com, he's been an intern for the Deseret News and other publications. rhett.wilkinson@usu.edu | @wilklogan

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