Non-Power Conference Title Hopefuls – Part One

Updated: July 3, 2014

The 4 team College Football Championship is a step in the right direction for schools and fans alike. While far from perfect (8 teams in my opinion), it’s a good start and gives hope to non-power conference programs that were looking for a better opportunity to turn an undefeated season into a title shot. With the final four teams now in the hands of the voters instead of computers, a non-power conference school can couple a strong schedule with an undefeated season and have a realistic shot at getting in.

Part One of Four of our series takes a look at the Cougars of BYU…

BYU-   ***Pending NCAA Violation Investigations***

What’s Working For Them?

The Cougars are making the most of their Independent scheduling opportunity and have loaded their schedule up with quality teams for the first 3/4 of the season. An opening matchup against UCONN won’t do a great deal for them but it’s better than what a lot of top teams have scheduled in week one so it wont hurt their cause by any means, especially since it’s on the road. Week 2 in Austin is the first make or break game for BYU and a win here should immediately start grabbing some national attention. There are few easy spots on the schedule all the way through Boise St before things start to settle down. If the Cougars can get through Boise St with a clean slate, the “undefeated and playoff” talk will begin in full force. Another major key for the Cougars chances this year will be returning QB Taysom Hill. Hill is a dual threat that can attack from multiple angles. If he shows any significant marked improvement, the Cougars could show up on the map not only for a possible title shot, but for the Heisman Watch as well.

What’s Working Against them?

The same thing that’s working for BYU is also working against them. There just isn’t much of a chance to take a breath between August 29th and the Boise St game and any kind of let up could result the end of the national title hopes. Another issue year in and year out for BYU is the fact that a number of players choose to go on their missions after 1 or 2 seasons, creating an ever changing landscape at a number of positions. While they’ve generally been able to overcome this unique situation, a lot of things have to go right for a team to go undefeated and consistency can only help in that endeavor.


Taysom Hill progresses and becomes a legitimate Heisman candidate while leading the school to an undefeated season.  Because they’re independent and don’t have to overcome a weak conference schedule like some other contenders, the voters reward BYU with a spot in the first championship playoff.

Part Two

Part Three

Fri, Aug 29
@ Connecticut

Sat, Sept 6

Thu, Sept 11
vs Houston

Sat, Sept 20
vs Virginia

Fri, Oct 3
vs Utah State

Thu, Oct 9

Sat, Oct 18
vs Nevada

Fri, Oct 24
@ Boise State

Sat, Nov 1
@ Middle Tennessee

Sat, Nov 15

Sat, Nov 22
vs Savannah State

Sat, Nov 29
@ California

Brandon Gable

Brandon Gable is a founding member of Against The Number. He's a handicapper, data analyst and writer that has been involved in the sports and sports betting industry for the past 13 years. Chris Andrews and Brandon met in Las Vegas to discuss a project Chris was working on with Matt Clark. The rest is history and Against The Number was born.