BYU vs Texas: Is This BYU’s Most Important Game In 2014 and 2015?


Later today when the Cougars take the field at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, it will signify the most important game on BYU’s schedule this season. Yes, it’s true; BYU gets the most important game of the year out of the way on the first weekend in September. That’s not to say there aren’t other games that are important later this year, but unless BYU beats the Longhorns, those games won’t really matter. Of course, you already know this as the importance of this game for the BYU football team has been very well documented.

BYU vs Texas, however, isn’t just the most important game of the 2014 season. I think this game may be the most important game for the 2015 season as well. How is that possible?

Sep 7, 2013; Provo, UT, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill (4) drags Texas Longhorns linebacker Steve Edmond (33) during the second quarter at Lavell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Bowl Game Implications

As long as BYU is not in a Power-5 conference, they are going to be on the outside looking in. If BYU wants to have any hope of seeing the college football playoff, or at least a New Year’s Day bowl, the Cougars have to go undefeated. But it goes beyond the record, BYU needs to go undefeated and look good while they do it. They need to win games on national TV during primetime and they need to win games against the biggest names they can possibly get on their schedule. The Texas Longhorns are about as big of a name as you will find in college football.

In 2014, however, BYU’s schedule lacks the big names. They play some good teams this season and the schedule will be more challenging than many are expecting, but teams like Houston and Central Florida aren’t sexy and won’t give BYU the national attention that a New Year’s Day bowl would require. They are really good teams, but they’re not Texas. That burnt orange is sexy.

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I don’t know whether a 12-0 season in 2014 is enough to avoid the Miami Beach Bowl or not this year. But I do know that beating up on a Texas team (shorthanded and all) in Austin is going to put BYU in the center of the national media. People will talk about Taysom Hill and Bronco Mendenhall. People may start to bring up more rumors about BYU getting into the Big 12. Truly, this game helps put BYU on the map.

So what does that mean for 2015? It gives BYU hype. Even if the Cougars only win 9 games this year, as long as of them is Texas, there will be hype as the Cougars head into 2015. Next year BYU’s schedule has all the sexy that this year’s schedule lacks. Texas in 2014 could help set BYU up nicely in 2015.

Roster Implications

In addition the hype for next year, a win over the Longhorns in the heart of Texas may open up the Texas-to-Provo pipeline that any coaching staff would love to have. Beating the ‘Horns in front of all the Texans in Texas will help make BYU a bigger name in the Lone Star State. When BYU coaches call a high school player, they will know who is calling without explanation.

Currently, BYU has 10 players on their roster that are from the state of Texas. Trey Dye, Tejan Koroma, Ross Apo, Teu Kautai, Harvey Jackson, Garrett and Mitchell Juergens, Jordan Leslie, Michael Yeck and Isaac Robledo all call Texas homes. Most of the players from Texas on BYU’s rosters are contributors and have big roles on the team.

As of today, BYU has six offers out to players that are from Texas. Assuming the ratio of “current Texan players on BYU’s roster to current Texan players that see significant minutes” stands true, four or five of the recruits BYU is trying to land would have a role on the team next year. Imagine that. BYU goes into Texas and steal six recruits from the Lone Star state. You want to start a Texas pipeline? That’s an incredible start. A win against Texas on their home turf would go a long ways in helping BYU land their current recruits in Texas.

Tonight’s game is paramount for BYU. It is without question the most important game in 2014 and the ramifications that it could play on BYU’s season and roster next year are huge. If the Cougs show well tonight, get your blue kool-aid ready, because you’ll need it.