Kirk Herbstreit Can’t Wait To See Where CFB Playoff Committee Ranks BYU

Oct 27, 2020, 7:20 PM | Updated: 7:21 pm
Kirk Herbstreit...
ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit is impressed with BYU football in 2020 and views them as a "legit" team. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – ESPN College Football analyst Kirk Herbstreit has been an early believer in the 2020 BYU football team. Herbstreit called BYU’s season-opener at Navy in Annapolis last month and has been impressed with the Cougars ever since.

On Tuesday, BYU was discussed during ESPN’s College Football Top 25 program, and “Herbie” continued to pile on the praise for the undefeated Cougars. Herbstreit was asked by Rece Davis if there is one Playoff spot open, what would BYU’s chances of making the Playoffs look like?

Kirk Herbstreit calls BYU “legit”

“We keep talking about the outside teams, whose going to be fighting to get to that fourth spot if the front three (Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State) do win out; I think they should have their hat in the ring and into the discussion. Of all the teams that I can not wait for four weeks from now, it’s BYU. Assuming they keep winning,” Herbstreit said.

Herbstreit continued, “You know they’ve won by an average of 45 to 14. What I loved in doing a lot of research for our game against Navy, they had so many injuries last year. All those guys are healthy and back, and the guys that had to replace them are also back. So it’s a veteran team —a physical team on both sides— a lot better skill than you might realize at running back and receiver. As David [Pollack] points out, you need a difference-maker at quarterback; this guy [Zach Wilson] is playing as well as anybody in the country. I like them. I like them a lot. I just wish they had a bigger and better test. More opportunities with their original schedule, we could really see how good they are. But this team is legit.”

There are still four weeks till the College Football Playoff releases its first Top 25 poll of the 2020 season on November 24th. So a lot of football left to be played. But it’s notable that a prominent, national voice is calling BYU legit.

According to ESPN’s Playoff Predictor, the 6-0 Cougars have a 13.3-percent chance of making the Playoff. That is better odds than Oklahoma State who currently leads the Big 12 with an undefeated 4-0 record.

Since the College Football Playoff began in 2014, BYU has never appeared in the Top 25 rankings. There is no precedent for how the Playoff Committee will view an Independent BYU. The Cougars aren’t a Power 5 team, but they also aren’t a Group of 5 either. It will be fascinating to see how the Committee views BYU if they are still undefeated when November 24th rolls around.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for 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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