For the first time since the 1996 season, BYU finished the season ranked among the nation's top-15 programs. The Cougars went 11-2 on the season, including a 10-game win streak, to finish the year ranked 15th in the USA Today Coaches Poll. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- With the 2006 bowl season in the books, BYU finished the season ranked 15th in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 16th in the Associated Press Top-25. The Cougars climbed from No. 19 after a 38-8 victory over Oregon in the Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl to finish the season with an 11-2 record.
After starting 2-2, BYU went on a 10-game win streak--the second longest active winning streak in the country behind Boise State--to close out the season, starting with a 31-17 victory over 15th ranked TCU on September 28 in Forth Worth, Texas.
"I'm not satisfied, but this is a good place to work from," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said.
The 2006 season marks the first time since 2001 BYU has finished the year ranked in the top-25; however, it is the highest final ranking since the Cougars finished the 1996 season ranked fifth after defeating Kansas State, 19-15, in the Cotton Bowl.
The Cougars finished the season ranked fourth nationally in passing offense (323.54 y/game) and total offense (465.46 y/game). The BYU offense also ranked fifth in scoring offense, posting 36.8 points per game. Additionally, the Cougars had a 167.08 passing efficiency on the season to rank second nationally.
Defensively, the Cougars finished the season ranked 10th in scoring defense, allowing just 14.7 points per game. BYU ranked 16th in passing efficiency defense and ranked 38th in total defense, improving from 91st last season.
TCU, the only other nationally ranked team from the Mountain West Conference, finished 22nd in the AP Top-25 and 21st in the Coaches Poll. The Mountain West Conference finished the bowl season with a 3-1 record.