The college football season always packs plenty of surprises each year.

Small teams upset big teams, conference realignment makes for interesting combinations in odd places and the ever-rotating coaching carousel turns a bit more, providing all of us interesting storylines heading into next season.

It’s been an up and down year, especially for the teams in the state of Utah. The Utes have surprised the PAC-12, the Aggies have sustained a number of crucial injuries in their inaugural year in the Mountain West Conference and the Cougars are taking on a greatly varied schedule in their third year of independence.

So what do you think you know about college football? Think you have what it takes to prove you’re a guru on the sport?

Take our quiz and find out.

Sam McConkie is a technical and professional writing graduate from Utah State University. Email: Landon Hemsley is web sports producer for


Which team is currently chasing after its third consecutive national title?


B. Ohio State

C. Alabama

D. Oregon


C. Alabama

The Crimson Tide have been anything but a cupcake over the last five years. Led by head coach Nick Saban, Alabama has not won fewer than 10 games in a season since 2007.


Which quarterback currently has the highest pass efficiency rating in the country?

A. Marcus Mariota, Oregon

B. Tajh Boyd, Clemson

C. Brett Smith, Wyoming

D. Bryce Petty, Baylor


D. Bryce Petty, Baylor

Petty came into the season with very high expectations, but he's lived up to his billing. He throws 13 touchdowns for every interception and leads the nation's highest-scoring offense.

ESPN rates him the best player in the Big 12.


Which team currently has the longest losing streak in the FBS at 17 games?

A. UMass

B. Eastern Michigan

C. Southern Miss

D. New Mexico State


C. Southern Miss

When you lose that many games in a row, questions start to be asked about whether or not you're going to change things up at the quarterback position. When Southern Miss head coach Todd Monken was asked if Allen Bridgford would continue to be the starter this week against East Carolina, his answer was very brief.


Which team had their five-game winning streak recently snapped?

A. Georgia

B. Ohio State

C. Michigan

D. San Jose State


C. Michigan

The Wolverines were on a roll, having beaten Notre Dame, Minnesota and UConn, among others. Then they took a visit to State College, Penn., and lost in four overtimes to the Nittany Lions. The win was epic enough to give the Big Ten Network reason to re-run parts of it this week.

Happy Valley wasn't such a happy place for the Wolverines that day.


Which school did current San Jose State head coach Ron Caragher play at?

A. Stanford


C. California

D. Arizona



Perhaps Caragher's name sounds a bit unfamilar. Don't worry, there's a good reason. Caragher was a backup for Troy Aikman from 1985 to 1989.

The embattled coach is in hot water already — he's taking full blame for SJSU's terrible start. Much more is expected from him. SJSU did win 11 games last year, after all.


When is the last time the Utah Utes defeated Arizona State?

A. 1952

B. 1976

C. 1978

D. 2004


B. 1976

Yes, that's correct. It's been nearly 30 years since the Utes have taken down the Sun Devils. The last time they did, both were members of the WAC.

Now newly re-united conference brethren, Utah still struggles against ASU. In fact, since Utah joined the Pac-12, Arizona State has owned them. In neither of Utah's Pac-12 games against ASU have the Utes lost by fewer than 20 points.


When is the last time the Utah State Aggies defeated Boise State?

A. 1997

B. 2000

C. 2002

D. 2008


A. 1997

The date was Nov. 1, 1997, and both USU and BSU were members of the Big West Conference.

USU was a three touchdown favorite heading into the game and, in dramatic fashion, managed to win only after rallying in the fourth quarter.

USU went on to bowl that year, but lost it. They didn't go to another bowl again until the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, a 14-year stretch.


Which opponent has BYU never defeated?

A. Oregon

B. Boise State

C. Penn State

D. Oklahoma


B. Boise State

That's not to say the Cougars haven't come close. They've been within a foot of beating BSU.

In 2004, down 27-28, the Cougars had a virtual chip shot as time expired — a field goal that would have won them the game and snapped BSU's 14-game win streak. Instead, BYU dropped to 1-3 on the year.

But hey, Matt certainly brought the Payne on a couple punt returns.


Which year did BYU win its first bowl game in school history?

A. 1975, Gotham Bowl

B. 1979, Holiday Bowl

C. 1980, Holiday Bowl

D. 1982, Music City Bowl


C. 1980, Holiday Bowl

If you're a regular reader of the Deseret News, you probably already knew this one. Jim McMahon, who was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday, led BYU back from a 20-point deficit in the final three minutes of the game to give BYU the win. By so doing, he also sealed his Cougar legacy.

See that and nine other moments that made Mad Mac famous ... and infamous.


Which year did Utah State win its first bowl game in school history?

A. 1984, Gator Bowl

B. 1991, Sun Bowl

C. 1993, Las Vegas Bowl

D. 2012, Potato Bowl


C. 1993, Las Vegas Bowl

The win was so incredible to the Aggies that they didn't know what to do after the game was over. No one in Aggieland had ever carried a football bowl trophy before.

Aggie fans had to wait nearly 20 years to experience the thrill of a second bowl win, but most Aggies will agree that it was worth the wait.


Which team did Utah defeat in the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl?

A. Washington


C. Stanford



Utah has a reputation for defensive football, and that's what was offered in the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl. Utah came out on top of a very unglamorous 10-6 win over the USC Trojans.

The win was the first time that Utah had beaten USC since 1916.


When is the last time the BYU Cougars finished in the AP top five?

A. 1990

B. 1997

C. 2006

D. 2009


B. 1997

If you thought it was 1996, give yourself a half point. The 1997 Cotton Bowl, played at the end of the 1996 season, was the win that gave the Cougars the most they have ever won in a single season. It also solidified Steve Sarkisian's place in the BYU pantheon of great quarterbacks.


At which school did LaVell Edwards play linebacker?


B. Nevada

C. Rice

D. Utah State


D. Utah State

Edwards grew up in Utah Valley, but that didn't mean he automatically wanted to attend BYU. The school's football was awful at the time, and furthermore, staying at home would have meant he would have had to milk the cows as part of his daily chores.

So, Edwards went to Utah's agricultural university, where he succeeded in avoiding the milking of cows.


Which Aggie quarterback currently holds the all-time, active career passing yards record in the Canadian Football League?

A. Eric Hipple

B. Riley Nelson

C. Anthony Calvillo

D. Kent Baer


C. Anthony Calvillo

The former Aggie was the starting quarterback at USU during the Aggies' first ever bowl win. Current head coach Matt Wells was his backup.

Twenty years later, he's still playing football... Well, sort of. Calvillo, the longtime starter of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, suffered a concussion earlier this season, and it's been quarterbacking by committee ever since.


Jason Whittingham is the _________ of Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham.

A. Son

B. Third Cousin

C. Nephew

D. Son-in-law


C. Nephew

The Whittingham family has a long tradition of football excellence in the state of Utah, but not a history of nepotism. Jason Whittingham is one of the most productive linebackers on Utah's football team, and that's why he plays. He's had to continue to prove himself since he earned a scholarship a year ago.


Who was the first football player from Southern Utah to be drafted in the NFL?

A. Cody Larsen

B. Brad Sorensen

C. Griff McNabb

D. Ed Lamb


B. Brad Sorensen

Sorensen did not begin his collegiate careet at Southern Utah — he redshirted at BYU in 2009.

One year later, when it became clear that he was not going to get any playing time behind Jake Heaps and Riley Nelson, he picked up his football and left for Cedar City to play for former BYU assistant Ed Lamb. He led Southern Utah to a Great West title, earned conference Player of the Year awards, and kept Southern Utah stable as it transitioned into the Big Sky.

He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers this year to back up Phillip Rivers, the first quarterback from Utah to be drafted since John Beck was drafted in 2007.


Which former Weber State coach led the Wildcats to the FCS semifinals in 2008?

A. Jody Sears

B. Bobby Petrino

C. Dave Arslanian

D. Ron McBride


D. Ron McBride

The Wildcats have obviously fallen quite a bit since the man who resurrected both Utah and Weber State football left the program for retirement. That semifinal game, a road game in Missoula, Mont., was loud, raucous and cold. Most people think the crowd influenced the result.

Not coach Mac.


Who reknowned coach is the inventor of the "Pistol" formation?

A. Pete Carroll

B. Chris Ault

C. Skip Holtz

D. Urban Meyer


B. Chris Ault

As Ron Kantowski of the Las Vegas Review Journal reports, Ault may not be spending time in Reno, but that doesn't mean he's far away from football. He's employed by the Kansas City Chiefs these days. He was hired to mentor the quarterback that his protegé, Colin Kaepernick, had beaten out of a job in San Francisco.

That quarterback also happens to be the man who built a decent reputation as a rushing quarterback while leading Utah to the 2004 Fiesta Bowl. That same quarterback is also presently leading the Chiefs to their first 6-0 start since 2003. That quarterback is Alex Smith.


Who is the winningest quarterback in NCAA history?

A. Steve Young, BYU

B. Colt McCoy, Texas

C. Kellen Moore, Boise State

D. Aaron Murray, Georgia


C. Kellen Moore, Boise State

His name is legend in the Gem State. Moore won 50 games while a starting quarterback of the Boise State Broncos and only lost three times.

These days, the lefty spends his time trying to throw with his right arm and cut four seconds of his 40-yard dash time.


How many passes did former Louisiana Tech quarterback Colby Cameron throw without an interception?

A. 390

B. 425

C. 431

D. 444


D. 444

Consider this: BYU quarterback Taysom Hill attempted 48 passes against Utah in the Cougars' third game of this season, his season high for pass attempts. If Hill were on pace to match Cameron's record, he would play nine complete games and part of a 10th without throwing a single interception.

Who finally picked Cameron off? Utah State.


How many consecutive bowl games did Utah go to before not making a bowl in 2012?

A. 7

B. 8

C. 9

D. 10


C. 9

In all, the Utes have played in 18 bowl games. The nine games that comprise the streak are the 2003 Liberty Bowl, the 2005 Fiesta Bowl, the 2005 Emerald Bowl, the 2006 Armed Forces Bowl, the 2007 Poinsettia Bowl, the 2009 Sugar Bowl, the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl, the 2010 Las Vegas Bowl and the 2011 Sun Bowl.

Of those nine games, the only loss Utah incurred was the 2010 Las Vegas Bowl, and it came at the hands of Boise State.


Who played in the first Rose Bowl game?

A. Oregon and Wisconsin

B. Stanford and Michigan

C. Washington State and Purdue

D. Arizona State and Indiana


B. Stanford and Michigan

The first Tournament of Roses football game was held in 1902.

According to the University of Michigan, the game was a deviation from the norm. The tournament committee only turned to football because they felt something more dramatic was needed.

Michigan was unbelievably good that year. They not only hadn't lost a game, but they hadn't allowed a single one of their opponents to score on them the whole year. They ended the season with 550 points scored and 0 allowed, a record which obviously continues to stand today.

Following 1902, the tournament association abandoned football as a titular event for 16 years. They felt the lopsided score made the event boring.


Which team put up the most yards on the ground ever against the Texas Longhorns?

A. Oklahoma


C. Alabama

D. Texas Tech



Ok, that was perhaps a bit too easy for Cougar fans. Who could forget Taysom Hill's dynamic, record-setting performance against the Longhorns? Perhaps only the Texas faithful.


What was the first team to give BYU a loss more than a century ago?

A. Utah

B. Utah State

C. Colorado State

D. Idaho State


B. Utah State

It wasn't close either. The Aggies beat BYU 42-3.

BYU, which previously had played games under the name of Brigham Young Academy, considers the 1922 season as the University's first. Utah and Utah State disagree.


Which of these FBS teams has not been upset by an FCS team this season?

A. Akron

B. Kansas State

C. South Alabama

D. San Diego State


A. Akron

Akron has not won a single football game against an FBS opponent all year long, but they are perfect against FCS opponents. The Zips defeated James Madison 35-33 on Sept. 7.

That win is something Akron can hold up against many, many teams this year. In one weekend, seven different FCS teams walked out of FBS stadiums with a boatload of cash and a mark in the W column.

The seven FCS teams to do so that week were Eastern Washington, McNeese State, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Eastern Illinois, Towson and Southern Utah.

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