In college football, winning isn't the only factor. Who you beat, and how, is a vital part of moving up the rankings and getting into a good bowl game. So each week during the 2012 season, we'll take a look at how BYU's past and future opponents performed.
BYU’s 2012 schedule Aug. 30: Washington State, W, 30-6 Sept. 8: Weber State, W, 45-13 Sept. 15: at Utah, L, 24-21 Sept. 20: at Boise State, L, 7-6 Sept. 28: Hawaii, W, 47-0 Oct. 5: Utah State, W, 6-3 Oct. 13: Oregon State, L, 42-24 Oct. 20: at Notre Dame, L, 17-14 Oct. 27: at Georgia Tech, W, 41-17 Nov. 10: Idaho, 8:15 p.m., ESPN U Nov. 17: at San Jose State, 2 p.m. Nov. 24: at New Mexico St., 1:30 p.m.
Record: 2-7, 0-6 Pac-12
Last week: Lost at Utah, 49-6
Any strides the Cougars might have apparently made in their performance against Stanford last week completely vanished against the Utes. After rolling up more than 400 passing yards against the Cardinal, Wazzu mustered only 259 in Salt Lake City.
They fared no better on the defensive side of the ball, allowing the Utes to tally 453 yards of offense and rarely pressuring freshman quarterback Travis Wilson.
And to top off a truly terrible performance, the Cougars allowed Utah kick returner Reggie Dunn to score his third TD return in the last two games.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 10 vs. No. 18 UCLA
Record: 1-8, 1-5 Big Sky
Last week: Lost at home to Montana, 24-21
The Wildcats finally notched their first win of the season on Oct. 20 against in-state rivals Southern Utah. After a bye week, Weber State tried to maintain that momentum against usual Big Sky heavyweight Montana.
It wasn't to be, as the Wildcats came from behind in the third quarter to take the lead, only to watch the Grizzles pull ahead for good with 6:37 remaining. The loss spoiled an effective performance by Weber's defense, as the offense only managed 238 total yards.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 10 vs. Northern Colorado
Record: 4-5, 2-4 Pac-12
Last week: Won at home vs. Washington State, 49-6
Well, then. After struggling on offense for much of the season, the Utes have broken out in a big way, tallying 49 points in each of their last two games.
Much of that credit, however, has to go to kick returner Reggie Dunn, who has returned three kickoffs for touchdowns in the last two games. With a weapon like that, it's easy to play with a lead and give your offense confidence.
Freshman Travis Wilson is now the Utes' season passing leader, surpassing senior Jon Hays since taking over the starting role. The Utes definitely look like they're on the right track.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 10 at Washington
Record: 7-2, 4-1 MWC
Last week: Lost to San Diego State, 21-19
The Broncos have squeaked out several close wins this season, but their luck finally ran out against the Aztecs last week.
Special teams made the difference, as SDSU returned the game's opening kickoff for a touchdown and later blocking a punt deep in Boise territory.
The Broncos' offensive stagnation caught up with them, with only 276 yards of total offense.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 10 at Hawaii
Record: 1-7, 0-5 MWC
Last week: Lost at Fresno State, 45-10
The Warriors still can't get off the schneid in Mountain West play, as the Bulldogs tore them apart in Fresno.
Historically, Hawaii has been known for its prolific offense, but the Warriors could only muster a field goal through most of the game before a late touchdown from Jeremy Higgins in garbage time.
With an angry Boise State on the schedule next week, it won't get better in the islands any time soon.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 10 vs. Boise State
Record: 8-2, 4-0 WAC
Last week: Won at home vs. Texas State, 38-7
The Aggies have romped through their WAC schedule with ease, and Saturday's matchup with Texas State was no different.
Quarterback Chuckie Keeton threw four touchdown passes and ran for another, all in the first half, as the Aggies rolled up 593 yards of total offense on the day.
With a bye this week, the only thing now standing between the Aggies and a likely WAC title is a matchup at No. 20 Louisiana Tech.
Next up: Bye; Saturday, Nov. 17 at No. 20 Louisiana Tech
Record: 7-1, 5-1 Pac-12
Last week: Won at home vs. Arizona State, 36-26
After Washington knocked them from the ranks of the unbeaten last week, the Beavers got back on the winning track by holding off Arizona State in Corvallis.
The game was tied at 19 at halftime, but the Beavers came out with 17 unanswered points in the second half to put the game out of reach.
Backup quarterback Cody Vaz, elevated to a starting role since Sean Mannion went down with injury, overcame a rough start and poor accuracy to throw three touchdown passes.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 10 at No. 14 Stanford
Last week: Won at home vs. Pitt, 29-26 in 3OT
Wow. The Irish were extremely lucky to eke out the win against the Panthers on Saturday. Pitt led 20-6 in the fourth quarter, but Notre Dame scored two touchdowns (and a vital two-point conversion) to send the game into overtime.
Notre Dame's quarterback inconsistency continued, as starter Everett Golson was yanked mid-game in favor of Tommy Rees. But Rees threw an interception and Golson re-entered, eventually scoring the game winner on a QB sneak.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 10 at Boston College
Record: 4-5, 3-3 ACC
Last week: Won at Maryland, 33-13
One week after BYU lit them up for 41 points, the Yellow Jackets' defense stood firm in a big road win against the Terrapins.
Truthfully, Tech's defense may not have had much to do with it. Maryland was playing its fifth quarterback of the season, the previous four having been lost to injury.
Tech did get its vaunted rushing attack back in gear, notching 370 yards on the ground. Orwin Smith led the way with 89 yards and a touchdown.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 10 at North Carolina
Record: 1-8, 1-3 WAC
Last week: Lost at home to San Jose State, 42-13
In a season where very little has gone right for the Vandals, they got more bad news. Starting quarterback Dominique Blackman was removed from the team after his third drug violation, leaving senior Logan Bushnell as the starter.
Bushnell couldn't do much against the Spartans, managing just 196 passing yards and one touchdown with one interception.
With BYU and Utah State still on the schedule, the Vandals probably won't win again this year.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 10 at BYU
Record: 7-2, 3-1 WAC
Last week: Won at Idaho, 42-13
The Spartans had little trouble dispatching the Vandals, leaving them with just two losses on the season, against Stanford and Utah State.
They still have a shot at a share of the WAC title, but only if Louisiana Tech beats Utah State later this month. The Spartans would then have to defeat the Bulldogs to have a chance.
Fortunately for SJSU, their passing offense, ranked 9th nationally, is still firing away.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 10 at New Mexico State
Record: 1-8, 0-4 WAC
Last week: Lost at Auburn, 42-7
After beating lower-division Sacramento State to start the year, the Aggies have lost eight straight games, the latest at the hands of a struggling Auburn team.
Quarterback Andrew Manley does have over 2,000 passing yards on the season to go with 14 touchdowns. But he managed just 222 yards Saturday against the SEC's Tigers.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 10 vs. San Jose State