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

Published: Sunday, Oct. 20 2013 11:56 p.m. MDT

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.

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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Plano, TX

That A&M game is the one where Marc Wilson played a week after appendicitis surgery.

Spanish Fork, UT

In 1967 BYU went to undefeated Oregon State (ranked in the UPI and who was ranked in #7 in the AP at the end of the year) and beat them 31-13. Their program wasn't the same for three decades after that.

Who am I sir?
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Of the 12 games listed, 8 were in Sept. The rankings at that time were very subjective based primarily on the prior year and, perhaps, historical reputations. The fact that BYU beat them was a contributing factor to their falling out of the rankings; however, it was only one factor. Other teams would also have "upset" them. Conclusion. At the end of the season these teams were not as strong as believed and were not a top 25 team. Note: this is not unique to BYU. The same would be said for any team beating a top 25 team early in the year if that team also loses other games which together throws them out of the national rankings.

Las Vegas, NV

Except that several polls now rank Texas back in the Top 25, and Ol Miss just knocked off NC contender LSU. Notre Dame just beat USC while Boise State and Wisconsin just won big again. Maybe BYU is a pretty good team after all.

Salt Lake City, UT

It does seem like BYU beats a ranked team an then that team tanks the rest of the season. I wish that just once BYU could beat a team that goes on to have a decent season.

The Middle Of, UT

Over the years there is a never ending stream of smack talk over this? The talk of a national championship, award winners, ranked seasons and these four wins are the only victories over ranked teams (midseason and later)?
No. 14 Penn State
No. 17 Notre Dame
No. 18 Oregon State
No. 20 Washington State

Not even a top 10 win in the lot, one in the top 15.
Is this really true, BYU has never beaten Utah when they have been ranked?

I know that this post is going to be a lightening rod (if allowed through), please respond intelligently and with facts.

Sandy, UT

@82Ute & Vladhagan

BYU defeats #1 Miami...Miami then goes on to finish #2 in the Nation.
So you see, it looks like BYU did indeed beat "The U" while they were ranked.

This of course assured that Ty Detmer and BYU, would win one of the two most coveted prizes in all of College Football...The Heisman Memorial Trophy.

Along side BYU's undisputed Unanimous National Championship (Coaches, Writers, N.F.F., F.W.A.A.) this is what keeps Ute fans up at night, to this day.

Get back to us Utah fans, when your program has even one National Award winner (BYU has 21) or even one College Hall of Famer (BYU has 7)!


The Middle Of, UT


Typical response. Popularity contest is what BYU is good at, by that I mean that it is all about the votes. On the field their claim to fame is beating #1 Miami in the first game of the year. Oh and Michigan in '84 (that was 6-5?).

That is all. Continue getting 9-11 wins against mediocre teams. Hey you will get popularity votes then, won't you.

Totally underwhelmed.

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