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, W, 52-13 Nov. 17: at San Jose State, 2 p.m. Nov. 24: at New Mexico St., 1:30 p.m.
Record: 2-8, 0-7 Pac-12
Last week: Lost at UCLA, 44-36
Just when you think things can't get worse for the Cougars...they do.
Their performance against UCLA actually wouldn't have been too bad, except that they gave up 3 points to the Bruins in the second quarter. Credit Wazzu for fighting back, but the game was never really in doubt.
On top of that, star receiver Marquess Wilson quit the team after being suspended for violating team rules. Wilson has since accused Wazzu coach Mike Leach of verbally and physically abusing players. Basically, things are getting ugly in Pullman.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 17 at Arizona State
Record: 1-9, 1-6 Big Sky
Last week: Lost to Northern Colorado, 42-34
The Wildcats seemed to finally be on the right track after beating Southern Utah and narrowly losing to Montana, but they couldn't overcome five total touchdowns from Northern Colorado quarterback Seth Lobato.
At least Weber State's final opponent is the only team in the conference with a worse Big Sky record: the lowly Idaho State Bengals.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 17 at Idaho State
Record: 4-6, 2-5 Pac-12
Last week: Lost at Washington, 34-15
The Utes' quest for bowl eligibility took a major hit with a loss in Seattle on Saturday.
Things started well as Utah took an 8-0 lead in the first quarter on a 46-yard John White scamper. But the Utes couldn't stop Huskies running back Bishop Sankey, who finished with 162 yards on 36 carries.
The loss means Utah will have to win both of their remaining games -- at home vs. Arizona and away vs. Colorado -- or else they'll be spending the holiday season at home.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 17 vs. Arizona
Record: 8-2, 5-1 MWC
Last week: Won at Hawaii, 49-14
After suffering a difficult loss to San Diego State on Nov. 3, the Broncos took out their frustrations on the hapless Warriors in Honolulu.
Boise has had plenty of offensive struggles this year, but that wasn't the case Saturday as the Broncos leaped out to a 35-7 halftime lead. They were able to clear the bench in the second half and coast.
Boise will be favored in its final two games, making a three-way tie at the top of the MWC likely.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 17 vs. Colorado State
Record: 1-8, 0-6 MWC
Last week: Lost at home to Boise State, 49-14
The Warriors are still winless in MWC play after getting throttled by an angry Boise State team. Their defense is absolutely terrible -- almost dead last in the nation in points allowed per game -- and the offense isn't much better.
The only good news for Hawaii is that they still have a couple of winnable games on their schedule, and they do get to end the season with two home games. And honestly...at the end of the day, they still live in Hawaii. That's not bad.
Next up: Friday, Nov. 16 at Air Force
Record: 8-2, 4-0 WAC
Last week: Bye
The Aggies had a week off to prepare for this Saturday's huge battle in Louisiana against the No. 20 Bulldogs.
The game will determine the WAC championship, but that's hardly the biggest thing on the line for the Aggies. The result likely won't affect USU's bowl fate, either.
No, the biggest prize is the Aggies' chance to beat a nationally ranked team and get closer to a 10-win season. That would almost surely mean a historic Top 25 ranking. High stakes for a program in the doldrums for so long.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 17 at No. 20 Louisiana Tech
Record: 7-2, 5-2 Pac-12
Last week: Lost at Stanford, 27-23
After starting the season 6-0, the attrition of the Pac-12 has caught up to the Beavers. They lost their second straight road game on Saturday, all but ending their chances at a Rose Bowl berth.
In truth, the Beavers shouldn't even have been that close against the Cardinal. Stanford turned the ball over four times, keeping OSU in the game until Beavers QB Cody Vaz coughed one up himself late in the fourth quarter.
The loss means the Beavers trail both Stanford and rival Oregon in the Pac-12 North standings.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 17 vs. California
Last week: Won at Boston College, 21-6
After narrowly escaping the Pitt Panthers the week before, the Irish had little trouble with Boston College.
The Notre Dame defense, statistically the best in the country, held BC to 300 yards and just six points, while quarterback Everett Golson continued his string of clutch performances with two touchdowns through the air and one on the ground.
With Alabama's loss to Texas A&M, the Irish are now squarely in the national title picture.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 17 vs. Wake Forest
Record: 5-5, 4-3 ACC
Last week: Won at North Carolina, 68-50
Two weeks after sputtering offensively against BYU in a 41-17 loss, the schizophrenic Yellow Jackets unleashed an offensive performance for the ages against the Tar Heels.
The 118 combined points were the highest in the history of ACC football, as they also combined for 1,085 yards of offense.
The win means Georgia Tech only has to defeat Duke this week to earn bowl eligibility.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 17 vs. Duke
Record: 1-9, 1-3 WAC
Last week: Lost at BYU, 52-13
As expected, the Vandals were absolutely no match for the Cougars in Provo on Saturday night.
For a moment, they actually looked like they might hang with BYU. They moved the ball well on their opening drive before stalling, and their first-quarter touchdown was a surprise.
Of course, the Vandals also gave up 28 points in that first quarter. But when you're 1-9, you have to enjoy the little things.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 17 vs. UTSA
Record: 8-2, 4-1 WAC
Last week: Won at New Mexico State, 47-7
The Spartans are actually still in the hunt for a share of the WAC championship. They face BYU this week in a non-conference game, but a win over Louisiana Tech would create a three-way tie (if the Bulldogs defeat Utah State this week).
In either case, San Jose State would probably end the season hoping for an at-large bowl invite, as the Aggies are likely to take the WAC's only selection.
In the meantime, the Spartans will pit their 9th-ranked passing offense against a stingy BYU defense this week.
Next up: Saturday, Nov. 17 vs. BYU
Record: 1-9, 0-5 WAC
Last week: Lost to San Jose State, 47-7
New Mexico State is the only team to lose to Idaho this season. Really, that says all you need to know about this Aggies team.
They've got this weekend off to prepare to host BYU. It may not help much, but at least you can't lose on a bye week.
Next up: Bye; Saturday, Nov. 24 vs. BYU