Months following the win over San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl, BYU's football squad has turned their thoughts to the upcoming season. With brutal streaks in the schedule, but a strong defense and improved offense, it's worth asking, "What is a fair prediction for a postseason record?"
There are the blue-goggled fans out there that expect an undefeated season and a trip to a BCS bowl, and then there are the ones that expect the loss of several defensive playmakers and a struggling kicking game to lead to a barely bowl-eligible year.
Looking at the schedule with a deeper view, I see five games as "cupcake" wins for the Cougars—Middle Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Houston, Idaho State and Nevada. The meetings with the Yellow Jackets and the Wolf Pack may be a little tougher than the others, but they are still probable wins.
A step up from those are the games for BYU that are very winnable, but at the same time, could be tougher. Virginia, Utah, Utah State and Boise State will all bring a challenge to the Cougs, but not an unbearable amount. The in-state rivalries between USU and Utah will be heated, as usual, and the Boise game should be a good one in Provo. The opener at UVA could be just as appealing.
Beyond those, there are three games that I view as toss-ups. Texas, Notre Dame and Wisconsin will all be tough games, and with the latter two on the road in November, it will be even more difficult.
How many games will BYU win in 2013?
If BYU wins the five "easy wins", and splits the two moderately-hard games, that would put them at a 7-2 record. When we factor in the toss-ups, in which one win is likely, they finish with an 8-4 record.
A 9-3 mark could be possible, also, as could 10-2. If they sweep the four games versus Utah, USU, Boise and UVA, they could sit pretty with only two losses. On top of that, winning at Wisconsin or UND couldn't be too far out of the picture, and while 11-1 may be a stretch, that isn't impossible either.
In all, I think 8-4 is most likely. What do you think? Let me hear below.