18. BYU (13-3)
Eight straight wins got BYU’s season off to a stellar start before a tough road loss at Utah. Frankly, the Cougars didn’t accomplish a ton in the nonconference but they won a lot of games and certainly exceeded expectations. Year one in the Big 12 began with difficulty last week and it certainly won’t be easy for any team this season.
The Cougars fell for a second straight game on Tuesday, falling 81-72 at Baylor in a tough environment. Spencer Johnson and Trevin Knell both had 15 points and the Cougars shot decently; they just didn’t do enough on the road in a tough matchup. BYU fared better in their second game this week, hanging on for a 63-58 win at UCF, getting 17 points from Aly Khalifa in a fantastic bounce back effort.
This 1-2 start to Big 12 play isn’t exactly ideal but this is a really strong league. Every road game can easily be lost. Every home game brings its challenges. Also remember that this is BYU’s first regular looks at all of these teams. We’ll have to see if this strong offense can keep churning out nice performances. Iowa State comes to town next week before another toughie on the road at Texas Tech.