I've been reading what the expectations are down in Provo and came across this article about their game against Oklahoma from KSL.
What drew my attention was the premise - or how BYU has just utterly failed at getting a decent win over an elite team in over a decade. The article had to go all the way back to 1998 and their win over Arizona State at home to find the Cougars last victory over a top-25 out of conference opponent.
Yes, BYU has yet to beat a ranked team in its out of conference schedule this century.
Think about that for a second, because the numbers listed in that article are staggering.
They've lost 12 consecutive games against ranked non-conference opponents. Ouch!
They haven't defeated a ranked non-conference opponent away from home since January 1997 (a victory over K-State in the Cotton Bowl).
They've only managed two victories over top-25 teams since and both were from the MWC: CSU & TCU.
TCU was their last, which happened in 2006. BYU hasn't defeated a ranked opponent since.
Since 1999, BYU is 2-15 versus ranked teams. There are only three conference teams with a worse record than that: New Mexico, Air Force and SDSU.
Bronco is only 1-6 versus ranked teams. That victory, as mentioned, came against TCU in his second season (a team Utah beat, as well).
Now compare that with Utah's numbers and you see the difference.
Since 1999, the year the Mountain West was formed, the Utes are 9-6 versus ranked opponents. Utah is also 6-3 against ranked opponents in non-conference games over that same span.
To sum it all up, the Cougars just don't get it done against ranked opponents. Sure, they've played more ranked teams over the last ten years than Utah, but that also means they've had more opportunities to win. Like their bowl record, there are a lot of games against known teams and a lot of losses.
Which all points to one thing this season: a loss to Oklahoma.