Despite Layoff, Cougars Continue to Climb National Polls

PROVO -- Despite not playing a game since Sept. 8 (at California), BYU climbed to No. 20 in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls. The Cougars, ranked 24th in the Sept. 9 Associated Press poll, climbed five spots to No. 20, while the Cougars jumped from No. 25 to No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.

Several key games, including Michigan State's win over Notre Dame, UCLA's victory over Ohio State, South Carolina's win over Mississippi State and Virginia's win over Clemson, propelled the Cougars by as many as five spots in one poll. Dating back to last season, BYU has won five straight games, marking the fifth longest Division I-A active winning streak in the nation.

BYU has now been ranked in the top-20 or top-25 polls in 22 of the last 26 years. The only years in which BYU has never been ranked during the season since 1976 were 1976, 1978,1987, and 2000.

This week BYU will prepare for MWC foe UNLV (0-3), ending a 20-day layoff for the Cougars. BYU last played on Sept. 8, defeating Cal, 44-16, in Berkeley, Calif. The Cougars' game at Mississippi State, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15 in Starkville, Miss., was postponed after the terrorist attacks on the United States, marking the first time since World War II (1943-1945) BYU has not been able to play due to national concern. Saturday's game will mark the league-opener for both teams. (UNLV's MWC-opener against Colorado State was also postponed.) The game will be broadcast in Salt Lake City on KTVX, Ch. 4 (ABC) and along the West Coast on ABC. Game time is slated for 4 p.m. (PDT).