Now that the presidential election is over, we can focus on more important matters such as BYU chances at securing their own mandate vs. the Aztecs of San Diego. The season is heading into the holiday season and there is still a lot of football left to play.

So many distractions, however, make it difficult for Cougar fans to focus on the one game at a time mantra that has become all the rage amongst the Cougar players.

Ron Zook's canning at Florida has caused many to stop focusing on just how good BYU is becoming and pay more attention to the possibility of Utah head coach Urban Meyer leaving Salt Lake City for warmer climes.

If that wasn't enough, the return of the golden son Ben Olson has Cougar fandom in an uproar. The "will he or won't he" dogma just will not go away. It is sticking around like a gang of acorn reps who don't yet realize the election is over.

Hello folks! Yeah, I am talking to you… that's right, you. BYU has a game today and it is against a pretty solid team regardless of what their record is. Forget Urban and Ben for now. As far as they are concerned, what will happen will happen. Right now, BYU has to host a team itching to beat the Cougars; a banged up team looking to reverse a trend of losing to BYU.

One thing I hate about statistics is the propensity for things to even out over time. It is also why I cringe when I see stats like 19-3-1. That is BYU's record vs. SDSU since joining the same conference. The more a team wins, the more likely they are to lose down the road. With a week off, the Cougars could handle the Aztecs the way the Falcons handled the Cougars after their week off prior to meeting the Cougars in a home game.

Personally, I am encouraged by BYU coach Gary Crowton's attitude going into this game. He takes the Aztecs' seriously and I am convinced that the players do as well.

John Beck was clear this was going to be a physical game and he is prepared to get knocked around like a pinball. Hopefully, he will be tough enough to stick around for the rest of the game and still show up healthy next week vs. New Mexico.

In the event the unthinkable happens, Matt Berry's short series at the end of the Air Force game was encouraging. It would be prudent for Crowton to rest Beck if BYU comes out of the gate firing to a large lead in the first half. San Diego State is the worst team in the Mountain West in penalty yard per penalty average. This speaks volumes in the number of personal fouls they have incurred. The Aztecs, as Beck stated, will hit him regardless of whether he has the ball or not.

This will be a physical game and both defenses will seek to dominate. The big difference in this game, however, will be (I can't believe I am actually going to say this) BYU's superior and more experienced offensive line as well as a more veteran quarterback in true sophomore Beck.

The offensive line is playing like they believe. Fullback Moa Peaua will probably spend more time in the backfield to cover blitzes, so look for a lot of swing passes to the outside for Curtis Brown and Naufahu Tahi.

This game will be close for all of about 1.5 quarters, but the Cougars rip the Aztecs in Provo: BYU 33, SDSU 17

ROSS' PICKS: Last week: 15-5 (.750); Season 34-13 (.723)

Colorado State @ Utah:
How fortunate can the Utes be? The stars have really aligned in their favor. Just when the Rams looked like they were going to pull out of their slump and finish strong, they choke against a New Mexico team whose offensive production is more anemic than a Vogue Super Model. The Utes will not stop CSU from scoring. The problem for the Rams, however, is they won't stop Utah from scoring more. Utah 40, CSU 26

Air Force @ Army:
Any time the military academies get together to play it might as well be chalked up as a conference game. They know each other just as well. Given that all three programs are diehard option teams, they are even more aware of one another. This year, Air Force is looking quite vulnerable and Army has won a couple games to break a long losing streak. The Black Knights are far from turning their program around although they will provide enough sparks against the rival Falcons. Falcons will fly high enough in this offensive fest to win. Air Force 41, Army 34

Wyoming @ UNLV:
The Cowboys are scrambling for anything to get that all important sixth win, but things are not working in their favor. Yes, they beat Air Force last week, but it was at home. They have not won a single road game this year. The fact they have scored a total of 20 points in those three road contests combined doesn't bode well for Wyoming. UNLV actually has enough weapons to kick the Cowboys out of contention. They have already played the two toughest defenses and came away with a .500 record. UNLV is looking for another Nevada like performance and they will get it this weekend. UNLV 38, Wyoming 21


18 Virginia Tech at UNC (28-37)
13 Florida State at Duke (39-15)
8 Georgia at Kentucky (26-19)
Temple at 15 West Virginia (18-37)
Cincinnati at 21 Southern Mississippi (23-36)
Rutgers at 24 Boston College (18-33)
Maryland at 12 Virginia (24-30)
2 Oklahoma at 22 Texas A&M (26-32)
Minnesota at 5 Wisconsin (18-27)
Oregon at 4 California (18-39)
Notre Dame at 9 Tennessee (25-32)
Purdue at 20 Iowa (18-28)
Stanford at 23 Arizona St (19-33)
19 Oklahoma State at 6 Texas (22-31)
Clemson at 11 Miami (FL) (16-34)
Colorado State at 7 Utah (26-40)
1 USC at Oregon State (30-21)


URBAN MEYER – Head Coach Utah - Stock Rising
Those whispers of Urban to Gainsville are getting louder now that Steve Spurrier made it crystal clear his time at Florida is done. Will he stay? Who knows? What we do know is that Utah is quickly becoming a monster. If Utah can keep him, they will.

FISHER DEBERRY – Air Force – Stock Dipping
Thanks goodness for Army this weekend. It's even a road game. If the Falcons blow this one, the clock will start to tick. Could the last of the old MWC guard be on his way out?

GARY CROWTON - Brigham Young - Stock Dipping Well, this is one of two that will convince fans that Crowton's seat is safe in Provo. Only the bluest-eyed fans expect BYU to beat Utah in two weeks, but with home games against SDSU and New Mexico, BYU could go bowling this year. If they beat SDSU this weekend, you might want to consider stocking up on Gary Crowton stock.

JOE GLENN – Wyoming – Stock Dipping
The road is a killer for the Cowboys and they have to go into Vegas to play an enigmatic Rebel squad. Expectations were pretty high when Wyoming was winning. Now that they risk missing the postseason, Glenn might be put on a short leash for the next season.

SONNY LUBICK – Colorado State – Stock dipping
Just when you think Sonny has started to put things together, bam! They lost badly. Sonny will most definitely get a mulligan for this season, but if he cannot turn it around next year, CSU's administration will be preparing a short list, if you know what I mean.

ROCKY LONG – New Mexico – Stock beginning to dip
Rocky isn't out of the woods yet. A bowl game is what the Lobos expect and missing that will set the clock ticking in Albuquerque. New Mexico has upped their schedule and they are determined to raise the bar. A program can only accept so many 6-5 seasons.

JOHN ROBINSON – UNLV – Stock has been bought out
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! Oh, sorry, dozed off there. Still waiting for the short list. Some of the names floating around are pretty ridiculous, but hey, even Reb's can dream, can't they?

TOM CRAFT – SDSU – Stock Falling
If SDSU loses in Provo this weekend, the yammering will start. This is getting bad and, considering the situation, will get much worse before it gets better.


Well, the Ben-not-returning whispers have finally become yells. The case being that Ben wants to take it easy before he decides where he will enroll next year. Sure would be nice to have the kind of talent to be able to "take it easy."


This week's "fandumb" goes out to UNLV fan RebelRobert. For familiar with his work, let us just say it was only a matter of time. The dream of Viva Las Vegas lives on:

"UNLV and Chow are perfect fit....The Washington Huskies are expected to hire someone with head-coaching experience, sources say that San Francisco 49ers coach Dennis Erickson is interested in the position. You also have other names like Jeff Tedford, Urban Meyer, Dan Hawkins, Bobby Petrino (Not Baby Petrino), Gary Pinkel, Les Miles, Joe Glenn, Randy Edsall and Pat Hill chasing after that position.

The Washington job is probably a little too ambitious for Chow at this time but UNLV is a perfect fit. Chow wants to stay in the West and he wants to coach in either the PAC-10 or Mountain West. Chow wanted both the Utah and Arizona job and I consider the UNLV job to be closely related to both those positions. UNLV is perfect for Chow and I have believed this since day one.

You have to believe that Hamrick has been in touch with Chow. Lets hope it doesn't turn out to be a situation like what happened to SDSU. The Aztecs had Jeff Tedford all lined up to be their next head coach, the contract was all but signed when the Cal Bears came in at the last minute and stole Tedford away from them.

Hamrick should get this done immediately."

Yeah, heaven forbid another program like Cal should come in and take Chow out of Vegas at the last minute.

Clue 1: Chow is the highest paid offensive coordinator in the nation. He is paid more than about 80 percent of all Div. 1 head coaches.

Clue 2 – He coaches for the No. 1 team in the nation.

Clue 3 - He has already made it clear he likes being an offensive coordinator. Could it be he will retire as an OC considering his age? Nah, the idea of coaching for a program like UNLV would make anyone catch the first Greyhound to Vegas.


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