The headline says it, so let's not be coy. No. 1 is Texas. But I will tell you why in another slide. For now, let's look at the situation.
BYU is independent meaning it does not have a built-in rival that it plays each year in-home or home games where fans get all hyped up, travel, say mean things to each other and blow up like pufferfish when they win or lose.
It's fun as anyone who has ever gone to a USC-UCLA game, or Michigan-Ohio State or other big rivalry can tell you. Painted faces, lots of hype, perhaps ESPN Game Day shows up, the bands are playing and trying to out play each other, cars with license plates customized for one team or another, flags streaming from car windows, cops giving out tickets for all sorts of tom-foolery.
A rivalry game is just plain fun.
BYU needs one. It pretended to have one in Utah for over 50 years. They were next door, there was the Mormon school versus the half-Mormon school upstate, red vs. blue, etc.
But really, it just didn't work. For all the hype, it never really was as terrific as Michigan-Ohio State except in a few small minds. The antics of Utah fans painting a red U on the white Y on Y Mountain, dumping red paint on Cosmo's bronze statue in front of the stadium and painting the street red, all were annoying pranks but did nothing to hype the game itself.
Much of the time BYU was either busy running roughshod over a Ute (mostly through the air) or getting run into the ground (literally).
Utah, to their credit, gets the nod in the last 100 years winning 51-31 and 4 ties. But for a 10-year run by BYU, it would have even been worse.
But I have a caveat here as any loyal blue fan would. BYU wasn't playing real college football but more club football for the early years. They were more of a Division II school getting their heads knocked around by a Division I school before growing up.
Nonetheless, the record is what it is. I imagine Idaho State thinks the same thing regarding its record with some schools.
Not the point. The point is, for BYU to be truly successful on a national stage of independence they need a good old fashioned rivalry.
Mormon vs. Methodist, Mormon vs. Catholic, East vs. West. Something we can gloat over and chant before having a good brat and apple beer with our enemy after the game.
I have given this some thought and propose eight candidates to you. I will also include as an added bonus a slide of some teams I think BYU should never play again. EVER!