BYU Betting Odds Preview
The BYU Cougars have hit double-digits in the win column in six of the last eight seasons. But last year, with injuries affecting the quarterback position, the Cougars found the going a bit rough playing their Independent schedule. BYU has gone to a bowl game eight years in a row, winning its last four, and stands a good chance of extending that streak this season; getting back to double-digit victories is another story.
BYU had 14 starters back last season, and started 2-0. But the Cougars then lost back-to-back tough games against Utah and Boise State, and later lost badly to Oregon State. BYU then gave BCS-bound Notre Dame all it could handle in a three-point loss in South Bend, then trounced Georgia Tech in Atlanta, and later defeated San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl to finish at 8-5.
The Cougars also managed to go 8-5 ATS last year, and are now a profitable 32-20 ATS over the last four seasons. This year BYU returns 12 starters; eight are back on offense, including leading rusher Jamaal Williams, WR Cody Hoffman (100 catches last year for 1,200 yards), and three along the offensive line, but just four starters are back on defense, none on the defensive line. The Cougars will also have to replace the two guys who took the most snaps at QB last year, although sophomore Taysom Hill did some good things last season before hurting his knee, completing almost 60 percent of his passes and rushing for almost 400 yards.
This year's schedule is at least as tough as last year's; the Cougars open at Virginia, host Texas and Utah, later play at Utah State, host Georgia Tech, play at Houston, host Boise State, then end the season with three November road games at Wisconsin, Notre Dame (again), and Nevada. From afar it looks like BYU might play as many as 10 or 11 teams that make bowls this season, and might be favored in as few as five games.