This weekend marks the start of one of the most anticipated football seasons in BYU history, as the Cougars take on Ole Miss at the Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in their first game independent of a football conference.
Several students provided their predictions on this week’s upcoming competition.
“I know that Ole Miss is usually a good team but I think we can beat them,” said Timothy Smith, a 21-year-old sophomore majoring in math. “I’ll say BYU wins in a close, low-scoring game.”
Although the game will not be in Provo, many BYU students are counting down the hours until kickoff.
“I’m stoked for this upcoming game because we’re playing an SEC team who is quick and athletic,” said Brendan Owens, a 24-year-old junior from Phoenix, Ariz. “But I think BYU will come out with a win, 31-17. To be honest, I’m just excited to sit down and watch BYU play.”
However, not everyone was quick to declare BYU the winner of its first game.
“I’m not sure if BYU will win this week or not,” said Melanie Niland, a 22-year-old majoring in dietetics. “Even though I’m not sure about the outcome, I think this will be a fun game to watch.”
Many students are looking forward to the upcoming season and have high hopes for the Cougars.
“It will be fun to see how the new conference realignments turn out,” said Dave Hall, a senior majoring in Latin American studies. “To be honest, I can’t wait for this season.”
When asked about his excitement level for this upcoming season, Owens said, “On a scale from one to 10, I’m a 10. I’m extremely excited to see what this season brings. I dream of going undefeated but I think we’ll finish 10-2.”
But not all students on campus are eagerly awaiting the return of BYU football.
“I haven’t cared about football in years past because I’ve been so busy working, going to school and volunteering,” said Nick Dueck, a senior from Seattle. “I don’t even know who we are playing this week.”
Those BYU students who are fans are excited about the first season of independence. The Cougars left the Mountain West Conference this summer to become an independent football team, meaning they will not be a part of any conference.
“I think going independent is cool because we get to play some big name teams, such as Texas,” Smith said. “But I am worried that it might play down the Utah-BYU rivalry a bit since we’re not in the same conference anymore.”
Many believe with BYU out of the MWC, the likelihood to play in a BCS bowl will increase.
“BYU is playing some pretty good teams this season,” said Paul Fife, a junior majoring in economics. “I think if they can beat Ole Miss and Texas they will have an incredible chance at going to a BCS game.”
The last time Cougar fans got to watch the team play was in December 2010 — over 255 days ago. And as of lately, all that college football fans around the nation have been hearing about are the crimes and drama with players and within organizations.
“I’m really excited to finally watch some college football,” Hall said. “I’m excited to hear about football games and football teams instead of football scandals.”