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Oct 3, 2022
krindorr Contributor
What to watch this week - BYU, Big 12, poll watching

So...this week is the one we've been waiting for all year - Notre Dame. Except, unfortunately, it looks like they might be Notre Dame this year.  Going to be a game that tells us a lot about BYU and also a lot about ND. So that's definitely on the watch list.  But what else?

Here's a list of other games that could have interest from a BYU perspective

Noon ET

Tough to decide between two big games in this slot.  The biggest in my opinion though is Arkansas @ #23 Mississippi St (SECN).  Not only is this a chance to scout our next opponent, but will have a major impact on how Arkansas is perceived.  Currently 4th in "Others Receiving Votes", an Arkansas win here would likely be enough to push them into the Top 25, setting up a marquee matchup for BYU next week.  Unfortunately Miss St is favored by a touchdown.  If Arkansas loses this week, then the game next week against BYU becomes a sort of no-win situation where Arkansas is only considered a quality win in the case that they beat BYU, but not if they lose.

Other options include

  • #17 TCU @ #19 Kansas (FS1):  Not only is this a Big 12 game, but both these teams are undefeated and right behind BYU in the polls.  Whichever one prevails has a real chance of passing BYU.  TCU is favored by a touchdown and appears to be for real.
  • #8 Tennessee @ 25 LSU (ESPN):  Don't play either of these teams, and neither of them are in the Big 12, but could be interesting from a rankings standpoint.  A win by LSU or a loss by Tennessee gets them in the same range as BYU, and should be a good game.  Plus it's easier to find on ESPN than on SEC Network or FS1.
  • Texas v Oklahoma (ABC): This one has to be mentioned, but honestly is less compelling.  It's (kind of) supporting our Big 12 folks...except that they're both leaving.  Neither of them are an opponent this year, and they don't play into the rankings where BYU is.  The only real issue is that the BIg 12 doesn't want either of them winning the conference...but it's unfortunately impossible for both to lose this game. This is the game the national broadcasts will be pushing, but it's lower priority from our perspective

3:30 PM ET

Unpopular truth, but the game to watch in this time slot is #11 Utah @ #18 UCLA (FOX).  Not only should it be a fairly good quality game, but it's relevant to BYU based on poll positioning and weakening the PAC12.  There's a real chance that whichever team wins this will be ahead of BYU, but also a possibility that both fall behind (if Utah loses).  Utah is favored by 4.5

One reason the Utah game was the clear choice in this slot is the lack of super relevant other options.  Best of the rest includes

  • Texas Tech @ #7 Oklahoma St (FS1): Texas Tech isn't exactly good...but they've proven themselves to be dangerous, beating Texas and keeping it within two scores against two ranked teams (NC State and K State).  For the sake of the Big 12, we want Oklahoma St to win this one.  For the sake of moving up the rankings, we'd love Texas Tech to pull the upset.  Vegas doesn't find that very likely though, favoring Oklahoma St by 9.5.
  • If you want a 3rd game, there's a few kind of interesting ones, but nothing great. UNC @ Miami (FOX, 4PM) is a chance for UNC to look better, which slightly helps Notre Dame, which slightly helps BYU... but it's a pretty weak connection and Miami is actually favored.  #21 Washington @ Arizona St (PAC12, 4 PM) pits a team just behind us in the rankings against a potential Big 12 expansion candidate...but nobody should willingly choose to watch Arizona St play football this year (luckily very few can, since it's on the PAC12 network).  Best choice (if for some reason you aren't doing one of the first two options) is actually an under-the-radar ECU @ Tulane (ESPNU). Tulane is 4-1, received votes in the last AP Poll and is possibly the best team ECU will play until they travel to Provo at the end of the month.

7:30 PM ET

As always, the easiest choice of the day is to watch BYU.  In this case, it's particularly interesting as it is a high profile matchup.  BYU v Notre Dame (NBC/Peacock) is the choice.  Should be pretty close, as Vegas has Notre Dame favored by 3.5

There are no other games to consider watching, because you should be watching BYU... but these ones are worth paying attention to

  • #20 Kansas St @ Iowa St (ESPNU): Big 12 game with some interesting implications.  Kansas St staying ranked is nice for the Big 12, but Iowa St is currently Baylor's marquee win.  And Baylor is our marquee win, so it's helpful if Iowa St doesn't drop to .500.  Not a great game by any stretch, but I always like to list a couple options and Kansas St is favored by only 2, so it's at least predicted to be a close, good game.
  • I'm trying to make myself care about Air Force @ USU (FS1, 7 PM) or Wyoming @ New Mexico (CBSSN, 7 PM) as games involving BYU opponents... but I just can't. Nobody is assessing BYU's resume based on those teams anyway, and they're in the past so there's not even scouting benefits.  If I have to put a third, it's probably Florida St @ #14 NC State (ACCN, 8 PM). NC State is one of the few teams ahead of us in the rankings that has a strong chance of losing and being passed by us.  They're favored, but by only 3.5 

~10 PM ET

So... this is why networks like West Coast teams.  There's only 4 late games this week and they're all pretty bad.  The most relevant is #12 Oregon @ Arizona (PAC12, 9 PM). Generally we'd like Oregon to lose, given that they're ahead of us.  Plus, Arizona is the most likely Big 12 expansion candidate. But we should also be rooting for Oregon to win, since they beat us up pretty good and them losing to Arizona wouldn't look good for us. Oregon is favored by 13, so it probably won't be close... but it's what is available 

If not that, then options include

  • Fresno St @ Boise St (9:45 PM, FS1): Fresno is coming off an embarassing loss to UConn and hasn't beat an FBS team yet this year.  Boise St lost to UTEP, but at least they beat New Mexico and SDSU.  We're playing them later, so this is a chance to watch and root for them to not completely torpedo their resume, but honestly, this game is just gross. Boise is favored by 7.5
  • Oregon St @ Stanford (11 PM, ESPN) is the 3rd option.  This has almost nothing to do with BYU (we do play Stanford, but not for another 2 months), but it's at least available, showing on ESPN and (with Oregon St favored by only 7) is certainly better than the only other option - 1-4 Hawaii @ 2-3 San Diego St (CBSSN, 10:30 PM) where San Diego St is favored by 20. So if you feel compelled to watch something late, Oregon St/Stanford is the best choice, but honestly, just go to bed or find something else to do. 
This message has been modified
Originally posted on Oct 3, 2022 at 4:03:52pm
Message modified by krindorr on Oct 8, 2022 at 10:53:41am
Message modified by krindorr on Oct 8, 2022 at 10:54:21am
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