BYU Football Falls To Middle Of Pack In Preseason ESPN FPI Rankings

Apr 13, 2021, 3:08 PM
BYU Football - Kalani Sitake...
Brigham Young Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake cheers on his team as BYU and Boise State play a college football game at Albertsons Stadium in Boise on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. BYU won 51-17. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
(Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – Outside of the BYU football program, expectations are low for the Cougars in 2021, especially from the ESPN FPI.

In 2020, BYU climbed to No. 13 in the final FPI rankings with an 11-1 record. Heading into 2021, BYU is in the middle of the pack.

ESPN FPI has BYU at No. 63 in their 2021 preseason ratings with a projected record of 7.3-4.7. How they get the decimals on a record, I’ll never know. Inject that advanced data into your veins.

Five teams on BYU’s 2021 schedule are ranked higher than the Cougars in the FPI ratings. Here’s the full list of ratings for BYU’s upcoming opponents.

Where BYU Football opponents land in ESPN FPI preseason ratings for 2021

* = Ranked higher than BYU (No. 63)

Arizona – 102

Utah – 57*

Arizona State – 31*

South Florida – 105

Utah State – 120

Boise State – 78

Baylor – 47*

Washington State – 90

Virginia – 32*

Idaho State – N/A (FCS)

Georgia Southern – 88

USC – 26*

The FPI gives BYU an 88.2 percent chance of reaching six wins, the minimum win threshold to qualify for a bowl game.

Last year, BYU faced four teams that finished with at 63 or above in the FPI. BYU was 3-1 in those games. The lone loss came against Coastal Carolina after a whirlwind cross-country game on 48 hours notice.

One of the big questions for BYU this year will be at quarterback. Who replaces Zach Wilson as the starting signal-caller? Offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick will have the autonomy to decide and has four quarterbacks to decide from in Jaren Hall, Baylor Romney, Jacob Conover, and Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters.

BYU opens the 2021 season on Saturday, September 4th, against the Arizona Wildcats at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

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

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