BYU COUGARS

BYU Football Appears On Preseason Top 25 Ranking For 2021

May 25, 2021, 11:21 AM
Baylor Romney BYU...
Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Baylor Romney hands off to Brigham Young Cougars running back Sione Finau near the end of the game against the Boise State Broncos during NCAA football in Provo on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. (Ravell Call, Deseret News)
(Ravell Call, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – Many prognosticators look at BYU football taking a step back in 2021 after losing so much talent from last year’s 11-win team.

One media outlet is taking a different look at the Cougars.

Pro Football Focus has BYU ranked No. 22 in their preseason Top 25 rankings. PFF had this to say about the Cougars.

After losing the second-best quarterback in college football, not many expect the Cougars to live up to a top-25 ranking. Still, they have playmakers at skill positions and could be returning one of the best offensive lines in the country. Baylor Romney settling into a quarterback-friendly system could allow BYU to surprise again in 2021.

The advanced analytics football site was bullish on BYU football last season. Zach Wilson was one of the highest-rated QBs in the country, while offensive tackle Brady Christensen was the highest-graded offensive lineman since 2014 on their site.

PFF is assuming that Baylor Romney is going to be the starter as he is the highest-graded returning QB for BYU, but he will have to beat out Jaren Hall and Jacob Conover in fall camp to win the job.

PFF is right on the fact that BYU has the playmakers at skill positions to give the new quarterback success. Running back Tyler Allgeier is graded as the ninth best running back in all of college football this season by Pro Football Focus.

The Cougars also bring back wide receiver Gunner Romney and tight end Dax Milne. They also added transfers Puka Nacua from Washington and older brother Samson Nacua from rival Utah.

Could BYU Football be a Top 25 team in 2021?

Many in the college football world look at BYU’s success last year as a byproduct of a weak schedule. It’s not debatable, BYU will have a tougher schedule this season with seven Power Five programs along with rivals Boise State and Utah State on the schedule.

USC is the only team on BYU’s 2021 schedule that has a higher preseason ranking according to PFF. The Trojans check in at No. 16. But BYU doesn’t play USC until the regular season finale on Thanksgiving weekend.

Utah checks in at No. 26 while Arizona State appears at No. 33. The lowest rated team BYU will face in 2021 according to PFF is Utah State, who checks in at No. 120.

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 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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