BYU Football Players Aspire To Finish Higher Than Preseason Ranking

Jul 12, 2023, 11:42 PM | Updated: 11:47 pm

ARLINGTON, Texas – The BYU football team checked in at number 11 in the 2023 preseason media poll.

UCF was the highest-ranked team out of the four newcomers checking in at number eight.

It wasn’t a surprise to see the Cougars near the bottom of the poll considering all the new faces in the program.

They’ll have a new starting quarterback, running back, and a new defensive staff when they take the field against Sam Houston.

Time will tell whether or not the Cougar’s efforts on the recruiting trail can help them exceed expectations, but being ranked near the bottom of the conference is providing extra motivation.

Linebacker Ben Bywater understands the ranking

“Every July, I’ve seen it my whole career, as players you see it. You can’t throw us at one, I understand that,” told Bywater to Mitch Harper and Matt Baiamonte during an interview.

“Obviously 11th, we want to beat that. When the smoke has cleared in December you want us to be up there with the top dogs. For us, it’s control game to game, what you are doing day in and day out, that’s what you can control and let the results see for themselves.”

Higher aspirations than 11 for Tyler Batty

“It’s whatever. We want to do a lot better than that,” said Tyler Batty to KSL sports.

“We’re excited to be in the Big 12. We’re excited to go and play these teams in this new conference and see what we can make happen. Everyone is aware of it (preseason ranking) whether we talk about it or not. We’re all competitors at the end of the day. We want to compete to be the best.”

BYU football knows it’s a tough challenge in year one

While speaking with the media during one of Kalani Sitake’s interviews, he noted that BYU knows how difficult this first season will be in the Big 12.

The Cougars play four of the five highest-rated teams in the Big 12 preseason poll, which includes a road trip to play the preseason favorite Texas Longhorns.

With media day now in the rearview mirror, the first major event of the season has concluded. We are that much closer to football being back each and every week.

You can hear Matt Baiamonte every Saturday on KSL Newsradio for Cougar Sports Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. or you can find him on Twitter here.

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BYU Football Players Aspire To Finish Higher Than Preseason Ranking