BYU Football: Ranking Bronco Mendenhall's 5 Biggest Wins as a Cougar

Samuel Benson@@sambbensonContributor IIIJuly 19, 2013

BYU Football: Ranking Bronco Mendenhall's 5 Biggest Wins as a Cougar

0 of 5

    Bronco Mendenhall is entering his ninth year as head coach at BYU and his second as an Independent. With plenty of big-name teams on this year's schedule, what better time is there than now to look at Mendenhall's biggest wins as a Cougar?

    What defines a "big win" is the quality of the opponent and the importance of the game. For example, BYU could play Idaho when a win could grant them bowl eligibility (as they did last year), but it wouldn't be a significant win because of the weak team they played.

    So, here are the five biggest wins Mendenhall has accounted as a Cougar.

5. Oregon State (2009)

1 of 5

    The 2009 Las Vegas Bowl win over 18th-ranked Oregon State is arguably the best bowl game victory in the Mendenhall era. The final game in a Cougar uniform for Max Hall, Jan Jorgensen, Dennis Pitta and Harvey Unga, among others, ended up as an impressive win over the Pac-12 runner-up.

    Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the 1984 national championship, the Cougs donned royal blue uniforms, similar to the ones worn by the 20th-century BYU teams. Sporting those jerseys, the Cougars beat nationally ranked Utah and OSU.

    Maybe BYU should break out these unis more often.

4. Utah (2006)

2 of 5

    BYU entered its annual rivalry game against Utah with a national ranking and an eight-game winning streak, but a win over the Utes did not come easily. Despite a slow start, Utah scored 24 straight points and took a commanding lead over the Cougs.

    John Beck answered back by throwing two fourth-quarter touchdowns, along with the famed Beck-to-Jonny Harline score as time expired. The win gave BYU its first victory over Utah since 2001.

3. TCU (2006)

3 of 5

    BYU opened its 2006 MWC slate with a road trip to 15th-ranked TCU, and behind John Beck's three touchdowns, they pulled off the upset. The game ended the Horned Frogs' 13-game winning streak and started a nine-game streak for BYU.

    Meanwhile, the victory ended a 13-game losing streak against ranked opponents for BYU and marked the first (of few) wins against top-25 teams for Mendenhall.

2. Utah (2009)

4 of 5

    BYU and Utah both entered the 2009 rivalry game ranked in the top 25 and had identical 9-2 records. Max Hall led the Cougs to a 14-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but the Utes stormed back and sent the game into overtime.

    Utah scored first in the extra period with a field goal, but Hall found Andrew George up the middle for the game-winning touchdown. The '09 victory marks the last time BYU come out on top of the rivalry, and we can hope for that to change this year.

1. Oklahoma (2009)

5 of 5

    The greatest win in the Mendenhall era has to be the season-opening victory over third-ranked Oklahoma at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. BYU shocked the nation with a huge upset and chalked their first victory over a top-three team since Ty Detmer's upset over Miami in 1990.

    There hasn't been a marquee victory quite like the Sooner upset in 2009 for BYU, although a win over Notre Dame last year could have competed with it.