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BYU To Cotton Bowl? Intriguing Bowl Projections For Undefeated Cougs

BYU Football players carry out flags onto the field at LaVell Edwards prior to game against Troy Trojans. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – BYU has piqued the interest of college football talking heads around the country. How good is this BYU team? Are they simply a byproduct of a weak schedule that was put together with a month before kickoff?

Pull any argument you want to try and discredit the 2-0 BYU Cougars, but the facts don’t lie, BYU has looked impressive in their first two games. If they keep this level of play up, could the New Year’s Six be in their sights?

BYU is favored in every game that’s currently on its 2020 schedule according to the ESPN FPI. An 8-0 BYU that blows out its competition every week might have an intriguing case for an at-large spot in College Football’s top bowl games.

BYU in the New Year’s Six?

CollegeFootballNews.com explored that possible case for BYU in the NY6 with their latest bowl projections. CFN has BYU slotted in the Cotton Bowl as an at-large team facing the Oklahoma Sooners.

BYU and Oklahoma in Jerry’s World that worked out well for the Cougars the first time.

The only way BYU would get into a New Year’s Six bowl is via an at-large selection. BYU has no access to the automatic Group of Five big designated for the highest-ranked team from a league outside the power conferences. CFN gave that nod to UCF in their latest projections. The Knights, like BYU, have started the season 2-0 and have put up 100 points through their first two contests.

BYU fans would love to see Kalani Sitake’s team have a shot in a New Year’s Six bowl. But with no guaranteed access to the Playoff or NY6, it’s anyone’s guess how the selection committee would view a team like BYU. Especially one that will likely have a weak strength of schedule ranking if they run the table.

More BYU Bowl Projections

The alternative to not going to the New Year’s Six would likely be far less glamorous for BYU. That’s highlighted in another set of bowl projections from CBS’ Jerry Palm.

Palm has BYU slated to play in the Frisco Bowl against UAB in his latest bowl projections. The Frisco Bowl is an ESPN-owned bowl game.

Not all bowl games in the state of Texas are created equal.

A few weeks ago, the possibilities seemed endless for BYU to land in a good bowl game both in terms of quality matchup and economically. With only 76 FBS teams planning on fall football to open the season, it seemed logical to think BYU could fill some tie-ins for bowl games from the regional Pac-12 Conference. Las Vegas Bowl was tossed around or even the new Los Angeles Bowl.

But with all 10 FBS conferences returning to the gridiron at some point this fall and the NCAA looking to waive the usual requirements to qualify for bowl games, it might be NY6 or bust for BYU if they hope to play a Power 5 team in the postseason.

With every team already qualified for the postseason this season, according to the NCAA’s requested waiver, one would assume that bowls with Power-5 tie-ins are already locked in. Leaving BYU to likely land in an ESPN-owned bowl game that the Worldwide Leader promises to find for them on an annual basis as part of its new TV deal.

Then there’s a projection out this week that meets a happy medium between the NY6 and an underwhelming trip to Frisco, the First Responders Bowl against West Virginia. BYU against the Big 12? Sign these Cougars up for the best competition they can get in this unprecedented season.

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

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