BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall is looking for his 81st win at the helm of the Cougars as he leads his team into Camp Randall Stadium today to face No. 21 Wisconsin.
This will be Mendenhall’s 112th game overseeing the BYU program. Now in his ninth season, he has won over 72 percent of BYU’s games under his leadership while achieving an 80-31 record.
Interestingly, Mendenhall matched legendary Cougar coach LaVell Edwards by winning his 80th contest in his 111th game. Coach Edwards also won his 80th game in his 111th outing during his 10th season to boast a nearly identical 80-30-1 record at that point of his career.
There are several other similarities when looking back at the first 111 games of BYU’s two most successful coaches.
Edwards’ teams boasted four winning streaks of at least six games (17, 11, 7, 6). Mendenhall’s teams have also had four such streaks (16, 11, 6, 6) and could add to that total if able to improve upon the current five game-streak entering today’s game at Wisconsin.
The longest losing streak for Edwards was four games, something his teams endured twice. Mendenhall, likewise, has suffered no more than four losses at a time, with one such skid back in 2010.
The opponents BYU played have changed a bit from the beginning of the Edwards era to the program’s current status of football independence.
Edwards’ teams faced teams that currently hail from an automatic-qualifying BCS conference 16 times, earning an 8-8 record with wins over Kansas State (2), Oregon State (2), Oregon, Texas A&M, Wisconsin and SMU. Mendenhall’s teams have faced teams from BCS leagues 31 times, achieving a 15-16 record with wins over UCLA (2), Washington (2), Oregon State (2), Georgia Tech (2), Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas, Ole Miss, Arizona, Washington State and Houston. Overall, BYU has played 17 different programs from an automatic-qualifying BCS league in those 31 games while Edwards’ teams played nine programs over the 16 games.
When it comes to postseason, Edwards’ teams went to five bowls over that 111-game span with a 1-4 record while beginning what would become a great BYU bowl legacy. Mendenhall has built upon the legacy by taking the Cougars to a bowl each year while winning a program-record four straight bowls to boast a 6-2 postseason record.