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BYU Football Bowl Game Outlook For 2022 Season

Jun 25, 2022, 6:07 PM | Updated: 6:13 pm
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The BYU Football bowl setup for the final Independent season in 2022 will be determined by ESPN. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

PROVO, UtahΒ – With less than 10 weeks until kickoff of the 2022 BYU football season, why not look at the bowl outlook.

BYU enters its final year of an FBS Independent this fall. Once this season is completed, BYU will be off to the Big 12 Conference, where the bowl picture isn’t as bleak as the postseason set up as an Independent.

When in the Big 12, BYU will be competing for a chance to play in the Sugar Bowl. For the final Independent tour, the best-case scenario might be the Hawaii Bowl.

Like in 2020, ESPN will slot BYU in one of their ESPN Events bowl games. Assuming the Cougars don’t qualify for a New Year’s Six bowl game.

“It’s gonna be open, [ESPN] has a number of bowls that are open,” said BYU AD Tom Holmoe on BYUtv’s State of the Program on June 22. “Through the season, we’ll have conversations with them and you’ll see, depending on how we’re doing and how the season plays out, they’ll give us feedback, and we’ll start to narrow it down. We’ve got to be ready to take any bowl they give us and hopefully, it’s a great one.”

Which bowls could be possibilities for BYU football in 2022?

ESPN owns 16 FBS postseason bowl games under ESPN Events. Out of those 16 bowl games, six bowl games have “open” bowl tie-ins, which Holmoe referred to in his state of the program address at BYU Media Day. The “Open” tagline refers to three or more conferences or teams that could be possibilities for these games. Those six games are the following:

  • New Mexico Bowl
  • Frisco Bowl
  • Myrtle Beach Bowl
  • Boca Raton Bowl
  • Hawaii Bowl
  • Gasparilla Bowl (Power Five tie-ins involved here: ACC/ND/SEC plus the American from G5 rank)

Guaranteed Rate Bowl in Arizona is also a possibility

With its current TV contract with ESPN, BYU has the option once again to participate in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl in Arizona potentially. For this to be a potential option for BYU, the current conference tie-ins for the game (Big Ten and Big 12) cannot provide an opponent.

What about the New Year’s Six?

The ultimate goal for BYU football in the postseason would be to reach a New Year’s Six bowl game. For that to happen, BYU would need to be selected by the College Football Playoff committee as an at-large bid.

BYU has no automatic access to the NY6 bowl games.

Last season, the NY6 games had two at-large spots available due to the rotation of the national semifinals. This year, the Fiesta and Peach Bowls serve as the National Semifinal games, which isn’t ideal for a team like BYU looking to get in as an at-large.

That leaves only one at-large spot for BYU to potentially earn a place in the NY6 this season. So here’s the NY6 setup for the 2022-23 postseason.

  • Fiesta Bowl: National Semifinal
  • Peach Bowl: National Semifinal
  • Orange: ACC/Notre Dame vs. Big Ten/SEC
  • Sugar: SEC vs. Big 12
  • Rose: Big Ten vs. Pac-12
  • Cotton: Top-Ranked Group of Five team vs. At-Large (BYU does not qualify for automatic Group of Five spot)

Preseason BYU Football Bowl Game Projections

Here’s a look at what some national media outlets are projecting for BYU entering the 2022 season.

College Football News: Myrtle Beach Bowl vs. Appalachian State

BYU returns to the teal field against another Sun Belt team? At least they’d have more than 72 hours this time.

247Sports: Hawaii Bowl vs. Western Kentucky

Cosmo versus Big Red at bowl game festivities in Hawaii? There could be worse bowl setups.

Athlon Sports: Hawaii Bowl vs. San Diego State

I struggle to picture BYU fans wanting to revive this “rivalry.”

Action Network: Hawaii Bowl vs. Western Kentucky

On second thought, July 1, 2023, can’t come soon enough for BYU.

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

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