PROVO BYU quarterback Max Hall is willing to say what many college football players and coaches won't: He pays attention to the polls.
Hall has good reason. BYU is looking a lot like it used to, in the rankings and on the field, where Hall is building on the school's quarterback legacy.
"It's not something we dwell on, but it's nice to see us move up in the polls," said Hall, who has No. 11 BYU off to its best start in seven years. "We know we need to be up there at the end of the season to have a shot at our goal of a BCS game. The farther up we are right now the better.
"It's nice to be there. We just need to stay there."
If Hall's season continues the way it started, BYU can count on continuing to rise. Through four games, he has thrown for 1,284 yards and 15 touchdowns, tying the school record with seven TD tosses in a 59-0 embarrassment of UCLA. He has also completed 107-of-144 attempts (74 percent) with only two interceptions.
The statistics are impressive, but the number Hall is most pleased with is the Cougars' ranking. After being No. 16 in the preseason poll, BYU is now one spot out of the top 10, territory the Cougars haven't been in since opening the 2001 season 12-0 and reaching No. 8.
And with four Top 10 teams losing this past week, the Cougars are almost assured of moving up when the polls come out today even though they didn't play a game this week.
The Cougars are viewed by many as the favorite among the potential "BCS Busters," schools trying to break into the Bowl Championship Series from leagues that don't have a guaranteed bid. And Hall's name has come up in early talk of the Heisman Trophy contenders.
Both situations depend on how well team plays. As long as the Cougars remain unbeaten, talk of both the BCS and Hall's Heisman chances will only increase.
Hall credits his teammates, and isn't just being modest. He hasn't been sacked this year and the defense shut out the Cougars' last two opponents great circumstances for any quarterback.