Final preseason breakdown of BYU, Utah and Utah State's 2014 football schedules

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 19 2014 11:20 p.m. MDT

BYU, Utah and Utah State are coming to the end of their fall camps, so it's time to do the final preseason breakdown of the Aggies', Cougars' and Utes' 2014 football schedules before the season starts.

There's nothing way too early about this breakdown.

It's year four of independence for BYU, and the pressure is on for the Cougars to remain nationally relevent in a shifting college football landscape. They'll need to make the most of opportunites at Texas and at Central Florida to help their cause. Meanwhile, Utah has a brutally difficult Pac-12 slate to worry about this season. The Utes will face five teams ranked in the preseason AP Top 25. Finally, Utah State has a solid chance of winning its first Mountain West Conference title.

Here's the final breakdown of BYU, Utah and Utah State's schedules.

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Salt Lake City, UT

Horrible schedule. Holmoe and Bronco should be embarrassed.

BYU fans and players deserve better.

Central, UT


Shhhh, they think they are contenders if they win out (1/3 of the schedule went a combined 10 wins last year).

Elk Hair Caddis
Sandy, UT

It is a horrible home schedule and BYU's new ticket policy that is designed to transfer donor seats to BYU faculty makes it difficult to support BYU with an eye to the future.

Who am I sir?
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Last year was the year for BYU to "make a statement"! Acclaimed their toughest schedule ever, they played (including the bowl opponent) 7 teams from the top conferences. What statement did they make? They won 2 and lost 5. A good win against a Texas team (8 wins- 5 losses) was more than offset by a loss to Virginia (their only FBS win). With this years schedule, any statement would be no more than a whisper.

sherwood, OR

Great Schedule, Y fans think that the Y is some sort of great football school, it is a fair to middling team. Has been for some time. We need to stop living in the past and face reality. As long a BYU focus' on being just a Utah school, which it does and is, it will always be a fair to middling team. Every once in a while it will do great. This years rooster has 35% from Utah a population of 2.88 million, Oregon's team has 22% from Oregon with a population of 3.8 million. Washington has 32% from Washington with a population of 6.8 million people. Utah produces more DI athletes per population because the Y takes more kids, kids that should be at smaller schools but for the Y. At one time great Mormon Athletes went to the Y out of loyalty, no more. It has become what the Utes were in the 80s fair to middling. But four teams from power conf., good job.

salt lake city, UT

As a 30 year season ticker holder for the Utes we've gone back to hoping to still be in the hunt 1/2 way thru the season. But, at least we're watching great teams come in instead of having a schedule similar to BYU's. It's the best college football environment in the state and all Ute fans should be grateful for what we enjoy. A great stadium, beautiful campus, loyal fans, tough competition and awesome tailgating! Go Utes!

Reno, NV

@54-10: Exactly what makes BYU's 2014 schedule worse than the schedules they've seen over the past 40 years? Should we be upset that there are no trips to Laramie or El Paso? That Hawai'i isn't coming to town to be demolished?

This is no worse than any schedule we ever had in the WAC or MWC, and I'm excited to see BYU play this year. The only downside is not getting to play Utah.

Sandpoint, ID

It is going to be incredibly challenging, but how awesome is it that after game 1 every single game is going to be a great, fun game to get up for?! Even Colorado is turning things around with a good duel threat QB. This is going to be an incredibly entertaining schedule to watch. I just HOPE that Whitt gives full control of the offense to Christiansen and we stop playing not to lose when we have a lead.

water rocket
Magna, UT

BYU needs to run the table to be relevant in the post season bowl picture, just like it has always been! I hope they do run the table and are relevant in post season play (just like I have always been.

Utah rightfully wanted to join a top tier conference, and they did. The reality is that they are facing far better teams than Wyoming, Las Vegas, and Weber State (no disrespect intended). Utah needs to win to prove they belong, otherwise they are just fodder for the big boys.

USU has every right to feel confident with their position in the MWC. They took a step up in conferences and are already proving that they belong.

I am rooting for all three teams to do well because they are "MY" teams from "MY" state.

Northern, CO

U fans are in full damage control mode. BYU is going to lose 0-2 games while Utah is going to win 1-5 games. Everyone knows this so all the U can do is say BYU has the worst schedule in the history of history to make themselves feel better. They won't even be able to say they beat BYU this year. Nothing to look forward to for the U - BYU has a lot to look forward to this year.

Real Bass
Idaho Falls, ID

I wish I had nothing to do but look at articles about other teams. But then to me utah is irrelevant so I need not waste my time.

Las Vegas, NV

Real Bass

Thanks for pointing out that Utah is irrelevant to you while proving otherwise to the rest of us.

Nice try. Come again.

I am looking forward to the amazing football schedule that Utah has this year. Oregon and Arizona at home in November? Nice! Meanwhile down south, UNLV and Savannah ST - wow, how depressing for my blue friends and family.

I am also looking forward to the silence from the Utah haters when we win at least 7 games and the haters play in the pre-ordained "Even the MAC Turned Us Down" bowl against the sixth place AAC team.

When I am not watching the Utes play the toughest schedule in the nation, I look forward to watching a real Heisman contender play - Chuckie!

Go Utes!


It isn't much more fun to watch your team beat up on bad teams than it is to watch it get beat up on by good teams; however, on balance, I'll take 10-2 over 2-10.


I may be in the minority, but I simply just don't hate BYU's schedule as much as everyone wants me to. I like watching teams like Houston in a shootout. I also like seeing teams we haven't played or haven't played often. I'd like to see a few more powerhouses, no doubt, but I'm not ready to lynch Holmoe or anything even close.

Four the fourth year of Independence, I give the schedule a B-. To me, it is 2-3 games away from being what I'd like to see every year out of Independence.


The article says that the Texas game will be BYU's "most difficult of 2014". I disagree, at this point, admittedly preseason, it appears as if UCF will be BYU's most difficult game of 2014. UCF returns almost its entire defense which was 9th in the nation last year against the run. And, if UCF can reload at QB, then they will be a very good team this year.

West Jordan, UT

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Ute fans spend copious amounts of time on BYU boards, trying to find complaints; and, even while in with the "big boys" they cannot leave BYU alone. Inferiority complex? Seems like a legit diagnosis.

Eagle Mountain, UT

Two of these teams will have winning seasons, go to bowl games and have a chance to go undefeated. It is highly likely that the other one will crash, burn and continue their downward spiral. BYU and USU have excellent QBs, LBs and DB's and are at least 2 deep at each position. BYU is 2 deep on the OL with good talent and experience. Not so much with Utah. Recruiting is on the rise at BYU and USU. Not so much with Utah. The D1 football tables are turning in the state of Utah.

My predictions including bowl games
USU 12-2
BYU 12-1
Utah 4-8

Uncle Rico
Sandy, UT

BYU 11-1 (yep they are that good)
Utah 3-9 (Doormat of Pac 12)
Utah State 10-3 (Go Aggies!)

Woods Cross, UT

"Horrible schedule. Holmoe and Bronco should be embarrassed.
BYU fans and players deserve better."

1. You're not completely wrong, but it's no worse than our MWC schedules were.
2. This coming from a fan of a school who couldn't play their rival for two years because it's too hard, but then schedules Fresno State and Idaho State this year.
3. The schedule might not be stellar, but check back in December and tell me (again) that you prefer watching your team play in 12 games instead of 13.
4. Again, I admit, you're not completely wrong. I just like the smack-talk, and unfortunately it's all we've got this year. :)

Houston, TX

BYU 12-0
Utah State 11-2
Utah 2-10

Nibley, UT

@Good Guy Gary: Mostly correct with a few slight adjustments.
BYU 10-2 (Losses to Texas and USU)
Utah State 12-1 (Opening game loss to the Volunteers)
Utah 3-9 (There has to be 3 wins in there for the Utes)

Go Ags, Go Cougars, Go Utes

Syracuse, UT

BYU playing all over the country has the opportunity to do recruiting by simply being there and letting people see out team and learning about them. Believe it or not, this is excellent for recruiting! While at the same time, people will be able to also watch them on ESPN!

While the Utes get to play the same ol teams that will pound them into submission, then finish at the bottom of their conference. Meanwhile, I guess the upside is that no one will see them lose or even know who they are or what conference they play in due to their irrelevancy!

Hampton, VA

Uta by far has the hardest schedule and that's easy to see. The Pac-12 is the most talented it has been in over 20 years. However if Wilson stays healthy or Thompson is an adequate back up they should do great especially with Gionni Paul coming back perhaps before Michigan.
I'm actually going to agree with some BYU fans here and say that they have somewhat of a sleeper schedule. It sure looks like their are 10 or 11 wins on it, but UCF looks to still be decent, USU should be much more competitive than last year if they have Chuckie back, Cal has an explosive offense that mainly lost because of it's difficult schedule, Virginia has been getting top tier recruits, Texas is definitely going to be in revenge mode in Austin, as well as Boise St in Boise and even UConn had a little resurgence at the end of last season when they switched QBs.
USU is pretty cut and clear. They should run through this schedule.

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

I would much rather have the Utes' home schedule for sure. 4-8. They'll most likely get pounded, but those are some nice games.

Aggie fans are pumped apparently. 9-3. I'm not sure if it's just the return of Keeton or what. I think they're counting a win against BYU. But they only win about once in every 20 or so games against the Y.

BYU has a soft schedule through no fault of their own. 10-2. Not everyone is agreeing to play us. They don't have to, would you? We play very physical football and can ruin teams, unless they're deep.

9 days left!

Central, UT


Pssst, hear's a secret; 1/3 of this article is about the Utes.

Central, UT

'BYU has a soft schedule through no fault of their own.' then who, exactly, is at fault?

never break .500
Los Angeles, CA

the cool thing about ute fans ridiculing the Y's schedule, is that the ONLY two years of any significance in their program history was done against competition worse than the Cougars schedule this year. So keep it up and make fun….and, of course, lose most of your games again this year. That SOS trophy needs a good polishing.

Omaha, NE

"Aggie fans are pumped apparently. 9-3"

Not so fast. This team got depleted of most of their starters, which means many of Gary's recruits are gone now. Team plays at Tennessee, BYU, Boise, Arkansas State, and Wyoming. ASU is no slouch at home (only lost twice at home last 3 years) and Wyoming will be tough with that amazing coaching staff that just came in. 1 win of all those road games would be an accomplishment.

CTJ fan
Salt Lake City, UT

mocoregon, not sure why I'm responding to what you wrote, you obviously don't know much about the game but thought you should be educated. So this middling program you speak of, which has a winning percentage of more than 70% the last 10 years, including wins over a top 10 ranked Oklahoma on the road, a thumping of your Oregon Ducks in a bowl game, beating Texas and many others, and a top rated defense year after year. Let's not even talk about how BYU changed college football to what it is. BYU was the first to pass all the time and everybody else followed suit. A middling program doesn't have a national championship and regularly ranked the top 25 and compete with many of the top programs. I know you have thinking problems but maybe you should start thinking a bit more before you respond on these type of articles.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

BYU 5-7 - a lot of heartbreaking surprises coming their way. Who'd have thought they'd lose at UConn and Middle Tennessee State?

USU 10-2 - MWC Champs

Utah 7-5 - Wilson stays healthy and the Utes win all the close ones... OSU, WSU, Arizona, while picking up the expected wins...Colorado, Idaho State, Fresno State. The kicker will be the win over either Michigan or USC.

With a 7-5 record against the toughest schedule in the country, Utah officially ends the year as top dog in the state of Utah. Utah fans proceed to laugh all through 2015 at the fact that the cougs were supposed to be bowl shoe-ins while byu fans said the Utes would have absolutely no shot at a bowl game.

funny, funny year 2014 was!

Buena Park, CA

This is no way to approach a NC.

However the first four games next year, Taysom Hill's senior year, will be:
* Nebraska
* Boise State
* Michigan

Rancho Cucamonga, CA


I just meant that being successful in securing good games is not one-sided. Looks at the situation in scheduling the rivalry game. BYU would have continued it, but Utah stepped back from the commitment. No fault of BYU. In addition, we find it difficult to schedule H-H series with P5 teams out of their region because they know of the altitude and the risk of loss/injury playing such physical games against an unpredictable BYU squad.

Las Vegas, NV


"To me, it is 2-3 games away from being what I'd like to see every year out of Independence"

Do you realize that 3 games is 25% of your schedule? It must me nice knowing that in five years byU will have a decent home schedule, if Wisconsin doesn't back out like Notre Dame appears to be doing. Five years dudes - hang in there! I think that's the saying Bronco should put on the byU t-shirts this year, you could even add a picture of a baby cougar hanging from the branch of a tree "Five years dudes - hang in there!".

Go Utes!

Louisville, KY

Utah definitely has the best schedule in the state and a shot a great season, 8-4 is very possible with the talent and depth we have.
-A healthy, experienced QB and solid backup/special package QB in KT.
-Three headed monster at RB with Poole, Booker and McCormick.
-Great returning WR's. Dres (1,000 yd receiver), K Scott and solid new comers in Patrick, Clay and Hatfield.
-A solid D as always.
Last year was so close to being a break-out year had it not been for injuries to K Scott, Wilson, Murphy and Tonga.
I'm excited to watch some quality football!

Side note, Utah isn't "afraid" of playing BYU and we didn't drop them for Idaho State and Fresno State.
If anything, we upgraded our schedule by dropping BYU for a home and home with Michigan.

Good luck to all Utah schools!

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