Wild road ahead: BYU, Utah and Utah State face season-determining November slates

Published: Thursday, Oct. 31 2013 8:00 p.m. MDT

While the 2013 season has brought plenty of highs and lows already for BYU, Utah and Utah State, the end of the regular season is lining up to be perhaps more exciting.

The Cougars, Utes and Aggies all have opportunities to determine how their 2013 college football seasons will be viewed by outsiders during the month of November.

BYU is riding a five-game winning streak, and with games against national powers Wisconsin and Notre Dame on the horizon, the Cougars could find themselves ranked among the country's elite if they win out.

Utah is sitting at .500, needing two victories to get back in the bowling business. While Arizona State and Oregon loom, there are winnable games against Washington State and Colorado that could put the Utes back in the postseason.

Utah State, meanwhile, is 4-4 like the Utes. Despite losing starting quarterback Chuckie Keeton, among others, for the season due to injuries, the Aggies still can make a strong run to finish their first year in the Mountain West Conference. If Boise State were to falter and USU wins out, the Aggies would find themselves in the league's championship game.

With that in mind, here's a look at the remaining opponents for BYU, Utah and Utah State, with a look at the bowl possibilities for the three local teams:

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Who am I sir?
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Before the season began everyone knew BYU would be going to the Fight Hunger Bowl (6 wins with Idaho State, Middle Tennessee, Nevada, Houston, and others no problem) So their November games are meaningless in that regards. Their opponent's games in another story as seen by the variety of teams projected to play them. Note all are PAC-12 teams and it may not be until the last game of the year so clear the bowl picture there!
Utah's November games will present a huge hurdle to overcome. Oregon and Arizona State all but impossible to win. That leaves must wins over Washington State (away for Utah) and Colorado. Utah will probably (not certainly!) be favored in one of the four games. That's what you get when you play one of the toughest schedules in college football.
Utah State can only think about what it might have been like if Chuckie had not been out for the season so early in the season! (Sorry - I really hoped you would win the MWC in your first year. (I guess that is still a mathematical possibility?!)
That said, "Bring November on!" and Good luck to all.

Sparkley Briefs
New York, NY

I think that the Wisconsin game will let us know how good BYU really is. If they can pull out a win in that game, then I will believe that they are one of the best 25 teams in the nation and rising. Otherwise, their recent winning streak is probably more indicative of a weak run of opponents. I think that if Hill plays well against ND, the Cougars win that one. It will be fun to watch. Good luck Cougars!

Y Grad / Y Dad
Richland, WA

I like more "blue friendly" comments, but your sentiments are spot on.

Of course, that is the way of it. As the season wears on, it becomes increasingly obvious who are pretenders and who are the real deal. But there are anomalies along the way. Is Texas the team that was humiliated by the cougars, or the team that thumped Oklahoma? Is BYU the team that lost to Virginia or the team that beat Texas, Houston and Boise? We'll know better after Wisconsin.

The other interesting factor though is, of course a team after a loss doesn't look as good as it did before the loss. If the cougars DO pull out a win at Wisconsin, by virtue of the loss, will Wisconsin suddenly not be a signature win?

GD
Syracuse, UT

It is easy to criticize a schedule or a team. Any win is a big win, especially this time of year. I'd like to see all three teams win enough to be in a bowl game. That is basically the goal each of them have. So good luck to all three teams.

Ldsrm
Spanish fork, UT

Hear is how I see things being a big byu fan I see The Aggies need two wins to become bowl eligible. The combined record of their remaining opponents is 13-18, including UNLV at 5-3.

I think Utah state is primly going to win tomorrow and may not lose until thy play in a bowl game but with out Choky as there qb I have to say it being's some drought but they should be ok

I would love to see Utah win but I am not quite Shure thy can pull off 2 wins simply because
Arizonian should have ben a win but we no Oregon is not likely but Colorado cold be that being said thy would need 1 more win witch leaves either Arizona state Despite a Pac-12 opening loss to Stanford, Arizona State is sitting pretty atop the league's South Division at 4-1 after their Halloween-night rout of Washington State.
or Washington state is in the same spot as Utah so it well be fun to see all 3 in but I think only 2 this year

I think byu and problly Utah state

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA

Why blame the officials with "the referees allowed the clock to run out on Wisconsin as it tried to line up a game-winning field goal." Clock management is a team responsibility not an official responsibility. It is not the job of the officials to stop the clock to give a team a chance. Now, it could be you meant that the referees were to slow in granting a time out when the game was on the line, but as written (on both pages), it is a nonsensical statement.

AZUTE1
Mesa, AZ

What'll ultimately be remembered in the rankings is the impact of Idaho State/UNR.

Bye-week preceding WISC, bye-week preceding ND [Idaho State equates to one] and then concluding w/yet another down MWC team.

If they wish to be in the conversation w/Elite teams from the power conferences, they need to not only beat them, they need to schedule like them, as well -- Back-to-Back, Week-in, Week-out grind.

LEDSFW
Las Vegas, NV

Utah will NOT beat Oregon, ASU or Wazzo...and maybe not improving Colorado. BYU may yet win out and finish 11-2 or at least 10-3...not bad. USU shoud finish at least 8-4 plus a bowl and I would give USU an edge there in most cases. This is the first time in a long time I thought UTAH had it all together with a good, young developing QB. But UTAH has no heart. Where BYU suffered humiliating losses to Virginia and an arch rival,and still bounced back to become a legitimate top ten caliber team, UTAH won over BYU and STANFORD and called it a season. The Aggies lost their QB and like BYU, have bounced right back. Only UTAH has laid an enormous egg against teams it could have been able to defeat after the Stanford win.

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