1 of 6
Deseret Morning News Archives
Glen Redd (41) and coach LaVell Edwards lead victory celebration around Holiday Bowl trophy after stunning victory. Dec. 20, 1980. BYU-46, SMU-45.

“What three games from college football history would have garnered the most shocked/euphoric/overjoyed/bewildered reaction from college football Twitter if they happened today?”

That was the question posed to Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated for his regular college football column, "Dear Andy."

Staples answered the query with a quartet of games — somehow he initially forgot the 1982 contest between Cal and Stanford, a game famous for the "The Play" — and the 1980 Holiday Bowl between the BYU Cougars and the SMU Mustangs topped the list.

The Cougars rallied, in incredible fashion, to defeat the Mustangs that day, led by quarterback Jim McMahon, and it was the fourth quarter comeback in particular that won over Staples.

“The bowl game that would have melted college football fans’ timelines took place in San Diego, where a Jim McMahon-led BYU team trailed Pony Express-era SMU by 20 with less than three minutes remaining,” he wrote. “The Cougars scored a touchdown, recovered an onside kick and then scored another touchdown. They then stopped the Mustangs’ offense and blocked a punt. That set up McMahon’s Hail Mary to Clay Brown as time expired that gave BYU a 46–45 win.”

“On social media, this one would have built steam as the Cougars came back and reached a crescendo on the Hail Mary. Add in the fact that BYU Twitter is especially active and you have a recipe for a timeline full of astonished reactions.”

Utah has the worst schedule in the Pac-12, in regards to the College Football Playoff

AP
Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley (1) gets pressured by Arizona State defensive lineman Renell Wren in the second half during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

There is nothing in the world of college football debated more than strength of schedule.

It is the lifeblood of any argument between the Power Five and the Group of Five, and it also serves as one of the preeminent factors in determining which teams qualify for the College Football Playoff.

Too easy of a schedule, and even an undefeated season may not get a team into the playoff. Too hard and playoff disqualifying losses will add up.

Jon Wilner of the Mercury News had the playoff in mind when he examined the schedules of each and every Pac-12 football team in his piece Pac-12 football look-ahead series: Ranking the 2019 schedules.

His ultimate takeaway? Several contenders have disappointing non-conference lineups, including Stanford — for its overwhelming difficulty — and Washington State and Washington, for the opposite reason.

AP
Utah quarterback Jason Shelley (15) huddles BYU defensive back Keenan Ellis (30) in the first half during an NCAA college football game Saturday Nov. 24, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Throw in the entirety of the Pac-12 slate, and no school has a more disappointing schedule, with the playoff in mind, than Utah, however.

Considered one of five Pac-12 teams most likely to contend for a playoff berth, the Utes came in at No. 12 in the conference schedule rankings, thanks to out-of-conference matchups with Northern Illinois, Weber State and BYU.

The fortune, or misfortune in this case, of missing out on cross-division matchups with Stanford and Oregon only hurts the Utes’ schedule strength further.

There is the positive that the nature of Utah’s 2019-20 slate could propel the team to another Pac-12 South Division title, as well as its first ever Rose Bowl berth, though.

“While likely not tough enough for the CFP — unless the Utes are undefeated — the schedule is made to order for a division title and run at the Rose Bowl for what should be Utah’s best team since entering the Pac-12,” Wilner wrote. “The Utes won the South last year the hard way and now enjoy the flipped cross-division rotation, which excludes the Cardinal and Ducks.”

Aggies an NBA draft early entry deadline winner

AP
Utah State center Neemias Queta (23) dunks the ball as Nevada forward Tre'Shawn Thurman (0) defends during an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Logan, Utah. (Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal via AP)

The deadline for when underclassmen who declared for the NBA draft — without signing with an agent — could return to school came and went on Wednesday.

A number of players across the country decided to return to school, including Utah State center Neemias Queta.

Queta’s decision earned the Aggies the designation of early entry deadline winner, per NBCSports’ Rob Dauster.

“The Aggies are going to end up being one of, if not the best team from outside the top seven conferences next season as they return basically their entire roster from last season’s MWC champs,” Dauster wrote. “The best player on their roster — Sam Merrill — never even declared, but the guy that did — Neemias Queta — pulled his name out. For my money, Craig Smith has a top 20 team in Logan for next season.”

A great deal of Utah Jazz

Greatest moment in franchise history?

Michael Rapaport praises Donovan Mitchell.

Look at Royce O’Neale!

This is the best side of Enes Kanter.

A little bit of Utah

Mitch Wishnowsky is in the market for a new car.

NBA G League champion Dakarai Tucker visited his alma mater.

A little bit of Utah State

98 comments on this story

Gary Andersen is back for Round Two at Utah State. Will it work again? (SBNation)

Utah State remains Mountain West favorites with return of Neemias Queta (Yahoo Sports)

Some BYU

Regionals Roundtable: Staff Takes On The Field Of 64 (D1Baseball)

Another link for good measure

Utah Polynesian talent better prepared for college

And finally…

The NBA Finals, between the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors, start tonight at 7 p.m.

Americans, by and large, want the Canadians to win it all.