Preseason BYU Football Bowl Projections For 2021 Season
PROVO, Utah – Who’s ready for some bowl projections for BYU football in August?
Yeah, that’s right. BYU’s preseason practices are almost done; the start of the regular season is now less than two weeks away. So let’s get a preseason look at what the nation is projecting for BYU in the postseason.
This year, unlike last, is a little bit easier to forecast where BYU will play in the postseason.
If BYU doesn’t qualify for the New Year’s Six, the Cougars are likely headed to the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Saturday, December 18. BYU is contracted to play in the Independence Bowl in 2021, 2023, and 2025 as part of its new six-year ESPN contract.
The Independence Bowl is the 11th oldest bowl game in the country. Tie-ins for the game in 2021 include BYU and a Conference-USA.
A postseason appearance in Arizona is another possibility
BYU could potentially participate in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl (formerly known as the Cheez-It Bowl) in Arizona if one of the tie-ins from that game (Big Ten and Big 12) cannot provide an opponent.
Another thing to keep in mind with the postseason in 2021 is that the traditional six-win requirement is back in place. Last season, due to uneven schedules from COVID-19, the NCAA passed a one-year waiver to allow anyone to fill a bowl bid, regardless of win totals. That rule is out for this season.
With all that said, here are the preseason bowl projections for BYU football in 2021.
Preseason Bowl Projections for BYU Football in 2021
CBS Sports: Independence Bowl vs. UAB
Jerry Palm has BYU locking up with UAB; a team BYU has never faced on the gridiron.
College Football News: Independence Bowl vs. UAB
Does this matchup get you fired up, BYU fans? The Blazers are the projected favorites to win the C-USA West division in 2021.
Athlon: Independence Bowl vs. LA Tech
Here’s a different projection. Last year, BYU gave the Bulldogs a money game to Provo on two weeks’ notice. It was the first meeting ever between the two schools. BYU, led by Zach Wilson, won that game 45-14.
Sporting News: Independence Bowl vs. UTSA
BYU faced UTSA last year for the first meeting all-time. Like the LA Tech game, it was a guaranteed money spot for the Roadrunners to come out to Provo. Instead of getting thumped by five touchdowns, as many of the wise guys projected, UTSA hung around in the second half, making BYU work for a full four quarters. BYU won 27-20.
The Roadrunners bring back many of their key pieces from last year’s seven-win team, including running back Sincere McCormick.
247Sports: Independence Bowl vs. LA Tech
If Louisiana Tech is bowl eligible, I imagine the Independence Bowl would like to pick up the Bulldogs in their game. Ruston, Louisiana, is only an hour west of Shreveport.
My prediction: Independence Bowl vs. UTSA
It would be great if BYU puts themselves in the conversation for the New Year’s Six again, but Shreveport is the likely destination with seven Power Five teams on this year’s schedule for the Cougars. UTSA brings back 21 starters this year, and I’ll call for them to win the C-USA West Division.
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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