Orange You Glad BYU Football Is Undefeated? Bowl Projections Like Cougs In NY6
PROVO, Utah – According to the latest bowl projections, BYU football finds itself in the conversation for some big postseason games.
At 8-0 With two games remaining that will see BYU as a heavy favorite, the Cougars are a trendy pick to play in the New Year’s Six this season. The College Football Playoff committee ultimately decides the New Year’s Six (NY6) matchups, but BYU is putting together a resume that warrants inclusion into the sport’s biggest bowl games.
Here’s a look at BYU’s bowl projections around the college football landscape heading into their bye week.
Orange Bowl vs. Miami
Bleacher Report tabs BYU in the Orange Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes. The nostalgia would be off the charts for this matchup. Thirty years ago this season, BYU knocked off the No. 1 Hurricanes in Provo. That was the last time these two programs have squared off on the gridiron.
Miami has lost only one game this season, and that was to the Clemson Tigers. The Canes finally have a quarterback in Houston transfer D’Eriq King who has positioned Miami to be squarely in the NY6 conversation out of the ACC.
The Gators are on the rise after a big Top 🔟 win over Georgia 📈 pic.twitter.com/cvzA5diukE
— Capital One Orange Bowl (@OrangeBowl) November 9, 2020
The Orange Bowl has an automatic tie-in with the ACC, and the league’s third-place team could slide in this slot if both Notre Dame and Clemson make it to the Playoff.
Fiesta Bowl vs. Oregon
ESPN, Athlon, and USA Today all have BYU taking on Pac-12 favorite Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl. This matchup would be welcomed with open arms by BYU fans. Having a crack at the Pac-12 champion in the New Year’s Six would have BYU fans gobbling up any tickets allotted to them. Oregon is the Pac-12’s top school on both the field and in recruiting. This would be a great matchup.
ESPN projections for BYU: Fiesta Bowl (x2) https://t.co/p2ucrhrhi9
— Greg Wrubell (@gregwrubell) November 9, 2020
Fiesta Bowl vs. USC
Getting a shot at USC is always a welcomed opportunity for a program like BYU. Revenge would likely be on the mind of the Trojans who faced BYU last year in Provo and came away with a loss in overtime. This year’s BYU team is far better than the one that beat the Trojans last year. The jury is still out on what USC becomes this season. Both College Football News and 247Sports pick BYU to face the Trojans in the desert.
Peach Bowl vs. Cincinnati
I think everyone would love to see BYU and Cincinnati square off during the regular season for a chance to have a seat at the College Football Playoff. But a game in the New Year’s Six? I can’t imagine that either fan base would be thrilled not to get a crack at a power conference team. Brett McMurphy from Stadium made this projection, and there’s a previous precedent for this. We saw undefeated Boise State and TCU square off in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl to the delight of no one from outside the power structure.
— Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (@CFAPeachBowl) October 30, 2020
Armed Forces vs. SMU
From CBS, Jerry Palm is not sold just yet on BYU making it to the New Year’s Six. BYU needs to be in the Top 12 of the Playoff Committee’s rankings that begin on November 24th. The only thing that could make BYU and SMU in bowl game fun this year is that it would come on the 40th anniversary of the “Miracle Bowl.”
Gasparilla Bowl vs. Tulane
This would be a huge letdown. Back in 1998, BYU played an undefeated Green Wave program in the Liberty Bowl. That’s about the only interesting angle I can think of for a matchup like this one that Sporting News projected.
My Projection: BYU vs. Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl
Geography is going to play a large role in determining bowl matchups this year. The New Year’s Six might be the one exception. But BYU and Oregon in the Fiesta Bowl would determine who runs the west in 2020. It would be a great matchup.
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 and the KSL Sports app.
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