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BYU Football Win Probabilities Continue To Climb In ESPN FPI Ratings

Brigham Young quarterback Jaren Hall, right, passes the ball to defensive back Talan Alfrey (25) during an NCAA college football game against Arizona State at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. (Shafkat Anowar, Deseret News)

PROVO, UtahΒ – Could it be time to start dreaming of a special season for BYU football in 2021?

BYU has opened this season with a 3-0 record. All three of the victories have come against Power 5 teams. Those three wins have launched BYU quickly up the national polls. The AP Top 25 has BYU at No. 15 and the Coaches rank Kalani Sitake’s squad at No. 16.

ESPN FPI’s ratings are bullish on this tough, rugged BYU squad right now.

With nine games remaining, BYU is favored in ESPN FPI’s win probability projections in seven of the remaining nine games. The only two games where BYU will be an underdog by the FPI are an October 16 tilt against future Big 12 foe Baylor and the regular season finale at USC on November 27 in Los Angeles.

If these projections played out according to what ESPN’s computers are saying, BYU would finish the regular season with a 10-win season. That would be a remarkable accomplishment for a team that was projected by many nationally to take a step back to mediocrity after the losses of five NFL draft picks, which included generational talent Zach Wilson at quarterback.

Despite being favored in seven of the remaining nine games, BYU only checks in at No. 47 in the week four FPI ratings, seven spots behind rival Utah, which BYU defeated in week two.

What’s coming up over the next three weeks

BYU takes a three-week break from Power Five competition, but there are some interesting games in this stretch before making the trek to Big 12 country to see Baylor. USF comes to Provo this weekend, on September 25. Revenge will be on the minds of BYU players who were part of the 2019 loss to the Bulls in Tampa. That was Jaren Hall’s first career start at quarterback in his BYU career.

Then BYU travels up to Logan in a Battle for the Old Wagon Wheel against Utah State on Friday, October 1. Utah State has been one of the biggest surprises in college football this season, starting 3-0, which includes wins at Washington State and Air Force.

BYU returns to Provo on October 9 to host another rival in Boise State. The Cougars have won the last two games over Boise State. So the Broncos will likely come into Provo with a chip on their shoulder to get back on the winning side of things in a rivalry that is suddenly tilting in BYU’s favor.

Here is the full rundown of ESPN FPI win probabilities for BYU football entering week four of the 2021 college football season.

ESPN FPI projections for BYU football in 2021

*Entering Week 4

Sept. 4 – Arizona (Win, 24-16)

Sept. 11 – No. 21 Utah (Win, 26-17)

Sept. 18 – No. 19 Arizona State (Win, 27-17)

Sept. 25 – South Florida – 93.1% win probability

Oct. 1 – at Utah State – 73.9%

Oct. 9 – Boise State – 63.4%

Oct. 16 – at Baylor – 30.1%

Oct. 23 – at Washington State – 75.7%

Oct. 30 – Virginia – 52.0%

Nov. 6 – Idaho State – 99.2%

Nov. 20 – at Georgia Southern – 88.1%

Nov. 27 – at USC – 27.8%

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BYU’s game against South Florida will kick off this Saturday at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN2 and KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM).

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:Β @Mitch_Harper.

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