I thought this sign (held up by a BYU fan at an Air Force game in a previous year) was hilarious.
On paper, this game looks like it will be a tough close game. Air Force has one of the best defenses in the country, and one of the best rushing offense.
They may be 7-4, but those four losses have come by a combined 20 points, three were on the road (at Minnesota, at Navy, and at Utah), and the other was to TCU. Air Force is a very good football team this year. They are much better than their 6-4 record would indicate. They've been extremely competitive and have had a good chance to win in every single game they've played this year; they could be 10-0 right now.
And BYU certainly looked completely underwhelming last week, at winless New Mexico. BYU was favored by 28; they ended up escaping with a five point win.
BYU has not looked very impressive at home. They've won comfortably against Colorado State and Utah State, and they looked downright awful in blowout losses against Florida State and TCU.
BYU lost to TCU 38-7. Air Force almost won, before falling 20-17.
The experts at Las Vegas Sporting Consultants opened with a line of 7.5 in favor of BYU. But a lot of money has come in for BYU, and the line now stands at BYU (-10).
Everything points to a close battle with Air Force that could go either way.
But I think BYU will win convincingly. Here's why:
Bronco has never lost to Air Force, and none of the games have been particularly close.
BYU vs. Air Force (during the Bronco Mendenhall era)
BYU won all four games by an average margin of 41-21.
Now, that was in previous years. We are talking about 2009, not 05-08.
Last year, Air Force was 8-2 heading into their contest with the Cougars, and they still fell by two touchdowns in Colorado Springs.. That team also had only close losses up to that point, having lost two games by a total of 10 points.
BYU has had Air Forces number the last four years. And while this year's Air Force team is different, their record (7-4) is comparable, or worse compared to previous years. Harvey Unga should be able to run it easily against the Air Force defense, and I like Max Hall's chances to be successful as well.
As far as BYU's defense is concerned, I think they will do an adequate enough job, and hold Air Force to around 21 points. I think the offense will take care of the rest, and I think BYU wins by two touchdowns or more, 38-21.