FBO: BYU topping the mid-major logjam

Fast start has Cougars in strong position for unbeaten season

Updated: September 16, 2009, 5:30 PM ET
By Brian Fremeau | Football Outsiders

The year probably couldn't have gotten off to a better start for the mightiest of the non-BCS conferences. Four so-called "mid-major" teams claimed spots in the preseason polls, and two of them -- the Boise State Broncos and Brigham Young Cougars -- toppled their biggest obstacle to an undefeated season in the opening weekend.

Then, on the second Saturday of action, the Houston Cougars ratcheted up non-BCS expectations even further by running wild in a 45-35 victory over then-No. 5 Oklahoma State in the Cowboys' own stadium.

Central Michigan knocked off a solid Michigan State team in East Lansing. TCU, Colorado State, Toledo, Hawaii and Louisiana-Lafayette have each picked off low-hanging BCS conference fruit this year. Navy, Wyoming and Fresno State gave big-time programs big-time scares.

Getty ImagesMax Hall and the Cougars may be in the non-BCS driver's seat already.

After offseason proposals -- spearheaded by the Mountain West Conference -- for BCS bowl berth reform fizzled, are we now witnessing a revolution on the field?

To break down the non-BCS elites with the best chance of running the table and playing in January bowls, you must be an ESPN Insider. Insider

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Brian Fremeau

ESPN Insider
• Has been a contributor to ESPN Insider and ESPN The Magazine since 2009
• Creator of the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI), a measure of college football team efficiency
• Contributor to Football Outsiders and his own site,