BYU Football Bowl projections go into selection on Sunday
PROVO, Utah – Where will BYU football be playing in its bowl game in the 2021 season? We will officially find out today on Selection Sunday.
Remember, BYU has a contract to play at the Independence Bowl unless they are given a general bid to play a New Years Six Bowl game. BYU also has a second association with the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.
We’ll cover all of that in this article.
Here are some pointers about BYU’s potential bowl goals to be aware of on Pick Sunday.
Will BYU Football get a New Year’s Six bid?
The short answer is that BYU is doubtful that it will end up in the New Year’s Six. Two things made BYU fall short: Michigan State defeated Penn State in the final week of the regular season, and Oklahoma State lost to Baylor in the Big 12 championship game.
BYU entered Championship Week at # 12 on the College Football Playoff rankings. You’ll have to skip either Michigan State or Oklahoma State to find your way to a big NY6 spot. Future Big 12 enemy Oklahoma State does not drop from 5th to BYU after a narrow loss in the Big 12 championship to Baylor. So I’ll save you the time there.
With Michigan State, the Spartans are one of only three teams in the country to say they have a win against a scheduled playoff team (Michigan). The Big Ten are also respected by this year’s committee. What gives the Cougars a jump after a week that both BYU and Sparty haven’t played?
You can produce a lot of statistics and data that make a compelling case for BYU. Some BYU fans went out of their way to do that. But basically the Spartans have a better profit than the BYU and they played ten power fives against the Cougars seven.
BYU is mathematically in the mix for a possible New Year’s Six Bowl going into Selection Sunday, the reason you didn’t hear a typical “We accepted our bowl invitation to this game”. Two years ago when BYU was a 6-4 team, they didn’t stand a chance at NY6; You knew it was the Hawaii Bowl or the Bust, so why not announce the occasion in front of the fans? This year is obviously different.
Here are my NY6 projections.
Playoff: (1) Alabama vs. (4) Cincinnati
Playoff: (2) Michigan vs. (3) Georgia
Sugar: Ole Miss (SEC) vs. Baylor (Big 12)
Rose: Ohio State (Big Ten) vs. Utah (Pac-12)
Fiesta: Michigan State (At-Large) vs. Oklahoma State (At-Large)
Peach: Notre Dame (At-Large) vs. Pitt (ACC)
What about the Arizona Guaranteed Rate Bowl?
The Arizona Guaranteed Rate Bowl features BYU football as a secondary link when one of the main playing fields for its bowl is not full. This year, those primary connections come from the Big 12 and the Big Ten.
According to the BYU press release in 2020 when they announced their current TV deal with ESPN, “The Cougars also have the option of possibly participating in the [Guaranteed Rate Bowl] in Arizona, in case his conference tie-ins (Big Ten and Big 12) can’t offer an opponent. “
The Big 12 have seven bowl tie-ins in their conference. Baylor will go to the Sugar Bowl as the Big 12 Conference Champion and it is anticipated that the state of Oklahoma will secure a seat and possibly leave a seat from the future BYU league home.
The problem is that the SEC has teams like LSU or Florida that don’t have a bowling place. One of these programs could solicit an offer. SEC has 10 bowl tie-ins and 13 teams in that league are bowl-eligible (assuming two for CFP, Ole Miss for Sugar, nine tie-ins to fill, and one team with no tie-in left) .
Big Ten has eight bowl tie-ins and nine bowl-eligible teams. Assuming Michigan to the playoffs and MSU to NY6 At-Large, there would be a bowl tie-in from the Big Ten that could potentially be open. However, many national projections tend to mean the Big Ten won’t fill Detroit’s Quick Lane Bowl.
Then there is the Independence Bowl
To make everything easy, BYU can slide into the Independence Bowl against a Conference USA opponent on the first Saturday of the bowl season. The Cougars are already under contract for the game.
BYU media representatives received an email on Friday, December 3, to apply for the bowl game. But that wasn’t the Indy Bowl’s unofficial way of saying BYU is officially in their game. BYU football beat writers have been on the Independence Bowl email list since August. Trust me; I’ve seen the weekly email newsletters. I already feel like a Shreveport expert and have never taken a trip to town. Looks like a beautiful city.
BYU Bowl projections on Selection Sunday
My projection: Independence vs. UTSA
CBS Sports: Independence vs. UAB
247 Sports: Independence vs. UAB
College football news: Independence vs. UTSA
Brett McMurphy: Independence vs. UTSA
Bleacher Report: Independence vs. UTSA
On 3: Independence vs. UAB
Stewart Almond: Independence vs. UTSA
ESPN (Kyle Bonagura): Independence vs. UTSA
ESPN (Mark Schlabach): Independence vs. LSU
Mitch Harper is BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and moderator of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday 12pm – 3pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.