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Could BYU Football Play An SEC Team During The Bowl Season?

Aug 22, 2022, 10:56 AM
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LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 04: Defensive back Mitchell Price #26 and wide receiver Puka Nacua #12 of the Brigham Young Cougars lead the team onto the field before the Good Sam Vegas Kickoff Classic against the Arizona Wildcats at Allegiant Stadium on September 4, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Cougars defeated the Wildcats 24-16. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

PROVO, Utah – It’s hard to believe another BYU football season is upon us. But it’s even harder to believe college football bowl projections are already rolling out.

Like most years in Independence, BYU’s bowl situation isn’t great. The Cougars are contracted to play in an ESPN Events bowl game. So ESPN will slide BYU into one of their games.

The safe bets would be for the bowl games that don’t have specific tie-ins. But if BYU has a special year that many believe they could produce this season, you would think that ESPN would try to line up the best possible opponent for BYU.

College Football Insider Brett McMurphy put out his initial bowl projections for the 2022 season and had an interesting forecast for BYU.

McMurphy tabbed BYU to go to the Birmingham Bowl to face SEC opponent South Carolina.

BYU has never played South Carolina and they’ve never played an SEC team in the bowl season. They faced Texas A&M and Missouri when they were members of the Southwest and Big 8 Conferences, respectively.

South Carolina has one of the big names at quarterback nationally in college football in Oklahoma transfer Spencer Rattler. The Gamecocks aren’t projected to be a significant factor in the SEC this season, but playing them would be an upgrade over facing a Conference-USA team as BYU did last year.

BYU football has never faced an SEC team in the postseason

The dream for BYU is to reach the College Football Playoff or secure the at-large bid to the Cotton Bowl in the New Year’s Six. After that, the next best thing is facing a Power Five opponent in the postseason. BYU hasn’t faced a P5 team in a bowl game during the Kalani Sitake era, and they’ve only gone up against a P5 twice during their Independence run.

ESPN Events has ownership over 16 FBS postseason games.

Those 16 games include the Bahamas, Cure, Fenway, New Mexico, Las Vegas, Frisco, Myrtle Beach, Idaho Potato, Boca Raton, Armed Forces, Gasparilla, Hawaii, Camellia, First Responder, Birmingham, and Texas bowl games.

BYU football opens the 2022 season on Saturday, September 3, against the USF Bulls in Tampa.

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: @Mitch_Harper.

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