10 Teams BYU Football Has Surprisingly Never Defeated

May 11, 2021, 10:54 AM | Updated: 11:38 am
BYU Football - Florida State...
O'Neill Chambers of the BYU Cougars bobbles a pass in the air and eventually brings it in for a completion under pressure from Ochuko Jenije of Florida State during the first half of play in Provo Saturday, September 19, 2009. (Brian Nicholson, Deseret News)
(Brian Nicholson, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – BYU football is one of the winningest programs in the country over the past 50 years. When you have that type of track record, you’re hard-pressed to find a team that BYU has never beat.

Some can hold that distinction over BYU. Here are 10 of them. And no, Utah is not one of those 10 teams. Even though BYU fans would probably tell you the current 12-year drought has felt like a lifetime.

BYU has defeated Utah 31 times all-time. This is a list of 10 programs the Cougars have never defeated.

Teams BYU football has never beat

Programs listed in alphabetical order

Which program are you most surprised to see on this list?

Alabama Crimson Tide

All-Time Series Record: (0-1)

Most Recent Meeting: September 5th, 1998

There’s no shame in not having a victory against the Alabama Crimson Tide. But BYU’s lone matchup against Alabama was against Mike DuBose, not Nick Saban. NFL MVP Shaun Alexander carried the Tide to a historic five touchdown night.

Alabama was supposed to travel to Provo in 1996, but the Tide backed out due to “SEC Commitments.”

The two programs were in talks to play in Jerry’s World to open the COVID-impacted 2020 season. That didn’t materialize after the SEC decided to go to a Conference-Only schedule.

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

All-Time Series Record: (0-1)

Most Recent Meeting: December 5th, 2020

2020 was so bizarre that the game of the year in college football was BYU-Coastal Carolina. The Cougars were looking to get a chance at a New Year’s Six bowl stepped in on the fly for Liberty, who experienced issues with COVID-19.

BYU was a double-digit favorite, but the mullet-sporting Chanticleers came away with the surprising upset. Leaving BYU one yard short. A Wikipedia page was then created for the historic game.

It’s going to be interesting to see when the Chanticleers make the return visit to BYU. At the time the game was scheduled on the fly in December, no contracts were drawn up. But Coastal Carolina AD Matt Hogue gave Tom Holmoe a verbal commitment that Coastal would come back to Provo.

Florida State Seminoles

All-Time Series Record: (0-4-0)

Most Recent Meeting: September 18th, 2010

BYU football took on some great Florida State teams in 1991 and 2000. Each one of those matchups was in the Pigskin Classic, and both times BYU took lopsided losses at the hands of No. 1 ranked Seminole teams.

The most gut-wrenching defeat to Florida State for BYU was in 2009. BYU was the talk of college football as a potential BCS National Title contender, fresh off an impressive win over Oklahoma to open the season. Florida State stumbled into the game, barely beating Jacksonville State. That didn’t matter as Christian Ponder, and the Noles torched BYU 54-28 in Provo. Leading to Bobby Bowden and his team pulling up chunks of grass at LaVell Edwards Stadium after the upset victory.

Indiana Hoosiers

All-Time Series Record: (0-1-0)

Most Recent Meeting: December 21st, 1979

BYU entered the 1979 Holiday Bowl with an undefeated 11-0 record. The Cougars were taking on a solid Indiana team. The Hoosiers were competitive in the Big Ten Conference under head coach Lee Corso. But no one saw the Hoosiers upsetting BYU.

The unthinkable happened.

BYU kicker Brent Johnson attempted a 27-yard field goal with seven seconds left in the game and missed it to the left. Corso and Indiana secured their first-ever bowl victory. Since 1979, Indiana has only won two more bowl games.

Iowa State Cyclones

All-Time Series Record: (0-4-0)

Most Recent Meeting: September 28th, 1974

BYU never could breakthrough against Iowa State. The two programs had a four-game series in the tail end of the Tommy Hudspeth era. Then it carried over for a pair of games in the early years under LaVell Edwards.

Iowa State was coached by former Ohio State Buckeyes coach Earle Bruce during the two games in 1973 and 1974.

Kansas Jayhawks

All-Time Series Record: (0-1-0)

Most Recent Meeting: December 25th, 1992

Kansas football?! Yes, BYU lost their only meeting against the Kansas Jayhawks on the gridiron. The scene was the 1992 Aloha Bowl on Christmas Day. This was not the inept Kansas football team we’ve all grown to expect over the past decade.

Glen Mason’s Jayhawks boasted the Big 8’s best defense led by NFL star Dana Stubblefield.

For the first time in BYU’s history, a quarterback got his first career start in a bowl game. Steve Young’s younger brother Tom Young got the nod. He played well in his debut, but a late interception set up Kansas to win the game late with a field goal.

Ohio State Buckeyes

All-Time Series Record: (0-3-0)

Most Recent Meeting: December 30th, 1993

Like with Alabama, there’s no shame in coming up winless against the Buckeyes. Ohio State and BYU have only met in bowl games, with the Buckeyes winning all three. The first meeting in the 1982 Holiday Bowl was a blowout in favor of Ohio State, 47-17.

Both programs met again when BYU was the defending National Champions in 1985 at the Citrus Bowl. And then finally, in the 1993 Holiday Bowl.

Tom Holmoe asked BYU fans about trying to get a game with the Buckeyes in 2017. A trip to Horseshoe is a bucket list type of visit for any college football fan.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

All-Time Series Record: (0-2-0)

Most Recent Meeting: December 18th, 1976

BYU’s first two bowl games were against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. A loss in the 1974 Fiesta Bowl and then in the 1976 Tangerine Bowl.

The loss in the 1974 Fiesta Bowl saw star quarterback Gary Sheide suffer a separated shoulder in a game that saw the Cowboys scored 16 unanswered. Two years later, down in Orlando, a large contingent of BYU fans and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including President Spencer W. Kimball, showed up to see BYU try and get revenge on the Pokes. That didn’t happen as Oklahoma State rolled to a 49-21 victory.

South Florida Bulls

All-Time Series Record: (0-1)

Most Recent Meeting: October 12th, 2019

Jaren Hall’s first career start at quarterback took place two years in Tampa against South Florida. Hall had to leave the game early due to concussion protocol. It was a difficult day for the BYU offense, which allowed USF to have 13 tackles for loss. The Bulls pulled off the 27-23 upset, sending BYU to a rocky 2-4 record at the midway point of the 2019 season.

Unlike some of these other programs, BYU has a known shot at revenge against USF. And it’s coming up this year. BYU hosts USF in Provo on September 25th. In fact, BYU and USF will get very familiar with one another in the coming years.

Both programs are scheduled to play in each of the next three seasons.

Stanford Cardinal

All-Time Series Record (0-2)

Most Recent Meeting: September 11th, 2004

It’s strange to think that BYU and Stanford have only met twice all-time. Those two meetings took place in 2003 and 2004. BYU lost 18-14 in 2003 in Provo. One year later, BYU traveled to The Farm for the first-ever game on CSTV. I’m not sure which was worse, BYU’s performance or that brutal CSTV broadcast.

BYU was going to have a chance at getting their first win against Stanford last year. But COVID-19 interrupted those plans. Stanford appears on BYU’s future schedules a total of seven times between 2022-2035.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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