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Morning links: Utes, Cougars and Aggies do more with less on the gridiron

Neil Paine of FiveThirtyEight looked at which college football teams do the most on the field with the least amount of talent, and BYU, Utah and Utah State were ranked in the top 30.

Before giving his team-by-team rankings of 128 Division I schools, Paine explained how he came up with the numbers.

"To get a sense of which teams have gotten the most — and the least — out of their talent, I took ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) ratings for each FBS program over the past two seasons, and plotted them against 247Sports.com’s Team Talent Composite scores," Paine wrote.

In more simple terms, he looks at a team's success compared with how well it did in recruiting.

Using the formula explained earlier, he had BYU ranked at No. 17, followed by Utah at No. 23 and Utah State at No. 29.

Air Force came in at No. 1 in the ranking, with Western Kentucky at No. 2 and Navy at No. 3.

Is BYU a 10-win team?

Athlon Sports polled five writers who did game-by-game predictions of how the BYU Cougars would do during the 2017 football season.

Speaking of the Cougars' schedule, Mitch Harper wrote, "BYU typically puts together one of the most interesting and challenging schedules in the country and this season is no different."

He then talked about how the schedule looks strengthwise, from beginning to end, before his opinion about how the Cougars will do.

"Double-digit wins needs to be the expectation for BYU to show progress this season in year two under head coach Kalani Sitake," wrote Harper, who predicted the Cougars would secure a 10-3 record with their only three losses coming to LSU, Wisconsin and Mississippi State.

John Coon and J.P. Scott also predicted the Cougars would go 10-3.

"A 10-win season is within reach," Coon wrote. "BYU's schedule is very forgiving. An upset or two early on top of that could be enough to boost the Cougars toward a Top 25 finish — something they haven't accomplished since leaving the Mountain West Conference."

The other two writers, Steven Lassan and Bryan Fischer, predicted BYU to win nine and eight games, respectively.

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