BYU Football’s Fast Start Leads To Exciting Bowl Projections
PROVO, Utah – The undefeated and nationally-ranked BYU football team has caught the attention of many in the college football landscape. BYU’s dominance has led to analysts wondering if the Cougars could have a case for the College Football Playoff.
— BYU FOOTBALL (@BYUfootball) October 3, 2020
That seems unrealistic, but what about the New Year’s Six? An undefeated BYU at season’s end with a 10-0 or 11-0 record might be enough to impress the selection committee to include the Cougars in the NY6. It’s possible, especially with so many at-large bids up for grabs this year with the Rose and Sugar Bowls playing host to the National Semifinals of the Playoff this season.
BYU Bowl Projections: Week 6
With no specific bowl tie-in this year, the projections are all across the board for BYU right now. For Cougar fans reading this, I would think that if any of these bowl scenarios came to fruition, you would be as happy as can be with these matchups.
ESPN: Cotton Bowl or First Responder Bowl
Two different bowl projections from ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura and Mark Schlabach. We will start with Bonagura’s projection, which has BYU playing in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma State.
BYU in the Cotton Bowl against a projected Big 12 champ? The storylines write themselves for a matchup like that.
Schlabach has a less juicy matchup, but it would still produce a quality test in the postseason for BYU. How about the Cougars taking on Tulsa in the First Responder Bowl in Dallas? Someone call Riley Nelson for some “red alert” action if this game happened.
With 12 seconds left in the 2011 Armed Forces Bowl, #BYU quarterback @RileyNelson_ faked a clock-stopping spike and threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Cody Hoffman. The Cougars beat Tulsa 24-21. #KSLSportsArchive @BYUfootball @gregwrubell @Mitch_Harper pic.twitter.com/JehoVaRrDQ
— Jeremiah Jensen (@JJSportsBeat) April 1, 2020
Tulsa knocked off UCF last weekend and probably should have won in their opener against Oklahoma State in Stillwater, but a costly turnover negated a touchdown.
Sporting News: Gasparilla Bowl
The Gasparilla Bowl, located in Tampa Bay, is an ESPN Event. Two years ago, some BYU players started a #BYUtoTampa movement hoping to land in the new home of Tom Brady. Well, Sporting News has the undefeated Cougars landing in Tampa this year against Dave Aranda’s Baylor Bears.
BYU and Baylor begin a two-game series starting next year in 2021. An early appetizer to fire up a matchup that hasn’t been played since BYU’s National Championship season in 1984.
College Football News: Cotton Bowl
Just like Bonagura from ESPN, CFN has BYU playing in the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma State. The last time BYU played in the Cotton Bowl was in 1996 when the Cougars defeated Kansas State.
5th ranked @BYUfootball overcame a halftime hail mary to beat Kansas State 19-15 in the 1997 @CottonBowlGame. Down 15-5 Steve Sarkisian led a rally completing touchdowns to James Dye and K.O. Kealaluhi and Omarr Morgan's interception clinched victory #BYU https://t.co/WH914lxviL pic.twitter.com/FLQpSbLoHY
— Jeremiah Jensen (@JJSportsBeat) March 16, 2020
CBS Sports: Armed Forces Bowl
The Armed Forces Bowl is an ESPN Events property. Jerry Palm from CBS has the Cougars making a return trip to the Armed Forces Bowl for the first time since 2011 to take on Cincinnati. I know the goal is to get a Power 5 opponent in the postseason, but a Luke Fickell-coached Cincinnati team would create a quality bowl matchup. Bearcats have their eyes set on the automatic G5 bid to the New Year’s Six right now, but if neither the Bearcats nor Cougars play in one of the big bowls, these two squaring off would be a good game.
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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