College football arrives. Make your BYU season predictions here.

September 2, 2010    By: Geoff J @ 8:46 am   Category: Sports

After an exciting offseason for BYU athletics, it is finally time to start playing some games. The NCAA football season officially kicks off tonight and BYU’s first game is this Saturday vs. The University of Washington Huskies, coached by former BYU All-America QB Steve Sarkesian.

Here are some of the strengths and weaknesses of the 2010 version of BYU football:

Strengths:
- A tremendous offensive line led by All-America candidate left tackle Matt Reynolds. The line is experienced, huge, and deep.
- A solid and experienced defensive backfield. BYU lost their free safety but the other three starters and most back-ups are back with more experience.
- Perhaps the deepest receiving corps in BYU history. Lots of talent and depth at BYU receiver right now.
- Speed on defense. While much of the defense is short on experience these guys are faster than your typical BYU defense.

Weaknesses:
- Inexperience at QB. Bronco will be using both true freshman Jake Heaps and Junior Riley Nelson this season. All eyes will be on these two newcomers. Heaps has the big arm and big pedigree but Nelson has more experience, is a scrambler, and is known as a fiery competitor.
- No Harvey Unga. BYU has some young talent at RB but it hurt to lose our all time leading rusher.
- Inexperience at tight end. With Pitta and George gone, five guys are vying for playing time at TE still.
- Unsettled middle linebackers. Looks like five guys will be shuttling through the two MLB spots as well.

So with that here are my season predictions:

9/4 Washington Huskies W

9/11 @ Air Force Falcons W

9/18 @ Florida St. Seminoles L

9/25 Nevada Wolf Pack W

10/1 @ Utah St. Aggies W

10/9 San Diego St. Aztecs W

10/16 @ TCU Horned Frogs L

10/23 Wyoming Cowboys W

11/6 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels W

11/13 @ Colorado St. Rams W

11/20 New Mexico Lobos W

11/27 @ Utah Utes W

There you have it. An optimistic 10-2 prediction. Yes, I know that 8-4 is at least as likely but where is the fun in predicting that? Add your predictions here and come back after the season to crow if you do well.

34 Comments »

  1. I’ll go with 9-3. I hate picking against BYU at home, but I think Washington beats the Cougs on Saturday. I hope I’m wrong, of course. Looking forward to the season and your excellent commentary here at NCT, Geoff.

    Comment by Christopher — September 2, 2010 @ 9:01 am

  2. I think it will all come down to Washington and momentum is so crucial in football. If they beat Washington I believe you 10-2 is probably very likely. If they lose to Washington I believe 8-4 is about the best I could count on.

    For better or for worse, winning (and losing) is contagious.

    Here’s to a great BYU season! (By the way, I’m predicting we beat Washington and go onto a 10-2 season myself. Here’s to hope!)

    Comment by Joseph Smidt — September 2, 2010 @ 9:08 am

  3. I know that 8-4 is at least as likely but where is the fun in predicting that?

    In Uteland, that’s where. Put me down for 8-4.

    Comment by Last Lemming — September 2, 2010 @ 9:09 am

  4. Ah yes, that dour joyless wasteland known as Uteland.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 2, 2010 @ 9:18 am

  5. Yes, Geoff, you are optimistic. I don’t think they get past the big games, and I also think they lose their focus later in the season and drop an “easy” game (e.g. New Mexico), too. So, losses against UW, TCU, FSU, Utah and one other.

    7-5

    Comment by Hunter — September 2, 2010 @ 9:20 am

  6. Hunter, you do realize NM is widely expected to be the worst team in the MWC this year, right? Predicting BYU loses a conference game to someone other than the U or TCU is fair, but predicting the lowly Lobos to be that team doesn’t make much sense.

    Comment by Christopher — September 2, 2010 @ 9:25 am

  7. Unless BYU settles on a QB they will go 6-6,7-5,8-4

    Most likely 7-5

    Comment by bbell — September 2, 2010 @ 10:13 am

  8. I’d say 8-4, though the games against the U and Washington could go either way. Maybe 9-3 to hedge my bet.

    Comment by jjohnsen — September 2, 2010 @ 10:14 am

  9. I didn’t know they were considered the worst team in the MWC, but knew they are considered to be at the bottom. But that’s my point — I think once BYU loses a couple early on, they will lose motivation and drop an easy one, like a New Mexico.

    I hope I’m wrong.

    Comment by Hunter — September 2, 2010 @ 10:19 am

  10. I would love to be wrong, but 8 – 4. Losses to UW, FSU, TCU, & UU.

    Comment by mondo cool — September 2, 2010 @ 10:19 am

  11. Hunter — If BYU is to be upset this year it certainly won’t be by New Mexico.

    Mondo — That looks pretty feasible.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 2, 2010 @ 10:22 am

  12. Also, look for the BYU defense to surprise a lot of people this year. We lost several starters from last year in the front seven yet this season the defense could very well be better than it has been in a long time.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 2, 2010 @ 10:25 am

  13. I often wonder why so many of the free thinking heretics who comfortably meander on the fringe of mormon tradtion can be so “neo-orthodox” in there commitment to BYU athletics…

    Is this due to some sense of overcompensation to counterbalance the rebellious disregard for following the mainstream of the church on everything else?

    And I think Geoff is being way too “relief society optimistic” in his assesment. I think BYU will be 8-4 as well.

    Comment by Riley — September 2, 2010 @ 10:34 am

  14. You are over thinking things Riley. If I had attended another college and met my wife there I would probably be a fan of that football program instead. But I am a BYU grad and a dedicated Cougar for life. That’s all there is to it.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 2, 2010 @ 10:40 am

  15. Oh Geoff… we can’t make you come out of your box of self-deception, only you can do that.

    “Thisss isss where the healing beginsss..” – Chip Douglass, The Cable Guy

    Comment by Riley — September 2, 2010 @ 10:45 am

  16. Hehe. You have that faint aroma of a stinky Ute today Riley.

    Luckily I like a ton of Utes.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 2, 2010 @ 10:52 am

  17. The 2 QB situation is a pretty bad call. They need to red-shirt Heap and give Nelson the position for 2 years. Teams are almost never great with an unsettled QB situation.

    They settle on Nelson I could go 9-3 or 10-2. Otherwise my 7-5 prediction is where I end up.

    Comment by bbell — September 2, 2010 @ 10:59 am

  18. We are lucky indeed. From time to time we Ute fans are fortunate to have people like yourself, who are chariatable enough to grace us with their friendship despite our dour natures. Heaven knows we, “the least of these”, need it.

    Comment by Riley — September 2, 2010 @ 11:04 am

  19. I do think Nelson needs to be the starter for now. But I think they need to give Heap some good playing time to prepare him for next year. Nelson is exciting in his run game and that would make BYU’s offense a little more diverse.

    Comment by Riley — September 2, 2010 @ 11:07 am

  20. Despite my Uteness, my 8-4 prediction includes a motivated BYU upsetting FSU on the road, but losing to an equally motivated Washington at home and an even more motivated Utah State in Logan.

    Comment by Last Lemming — September 2, 2010 @ 11:18 am

  21. I haven’t really been following preseason developments closely, so I really appreciate this preview, Geoff.

    Here’s the to optimistic prediction of 10-2.

    Comment by Ben — September 2, 2010 @ 11:19 am

  22. bbell: Teams are almost never great with an unsettled QB situation.

    Except when they are… see the national champion Florida Gators with QBs Chris Leak and Tim Tebow.

    Having said that I expect Heaps will take a majority of the snaps by mid season.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 2, 2010 @ 11:26 am

  23. I’m surprised by all the UW love here. They have a terrible road record. That said, their QB is probably the best BYU will see all season, and they have extra motivation to win for their coach, but I don’t see a BYU loss the first week at home.

    The way the Utah State game went last year, that is the one that seems most likely to be the upset special this year.

    9-3.

    Comment by CS Eric — September 2, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

  24. I think 8-4 is most likely but I think 9-3 is doable. I’d love 10-2 but I think that pretty unlikely. What I worry about is a 7-5 or even a 6-6 record.

    Comment by Clark — September 2, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

  25. Clark I agree and am concerned that BYU is in a rebuilding year due to the loss of the starting QB and RB

    Comment by bbell — September 2, 2010 @ 2:08 pm

  26. I’m encouraged by your picks Clark. Every year you underestimate BYU football by 1-2 wins so you picking 9 wins is a great sign!

    Comment by Geoff J — September 2, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

  27. My prediction in 3 words: Las Vegas Bowl

    Or is that 2 words?

    Comment by L-d Sus — September 2, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

  28. BYU wins by double digits against UW, and everyone will be high in the sky about the season – until they drop the next two at AF and FSU. They come back and recover the next few games, but then lose again at TCU. One of the next four games will result in an upset due to turnovers. They finish the season beating Utah in another close one. 8-4.

    Comment by Eric Russell — September 2, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

  29. 0-12, with most losses by blowout.

    Also, lots of interceptions and fumbles from traitorous transfer QBs.

    Comment by Scott B. — September 2, 2010 @ 3:02 pm

  30. Hehe. I’m afraid this post is about BYU rather than your beloved USU Aggies Scott.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 2, 2010 @ 3:11 pm

  31. Riley Nelson made the Aggies look adequate, which is an incredible feat in and of itself. I’m surprised that he gets so little love.

    Comment by John C. — September 3, 2010 @ 4:52 am

  32. Geoff, it helps my optimism when I’m always pleasantly surprised.

    Comment by Clark — September 3, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

  33. Interesting comments by Steve Young in an interview that can be heard here: http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=498&sid=12274449

    Basically Steve says that Utah was BYU’s brother in the MWC and when Utah left BYU had no one there to really stick up for us in conference. He also said BYU had little reason to stay without Utah to anchor us in.

    And here is a good blog post by a Navy fan who gets it: http://thebirddog.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/welcome-to-the-club-byu/

    Comment by Geoff J — September 3, 2010 @ 2:08 pm

  34. Being wrong hasn’t felt this good since that one date my Jr. year in high school.
    Congrats Cougs!

    Comment by mondo cool — September 4, 2010 @ 8:47 pm

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