Loyal Cougars

Charting BYU’s course to bowl eligibility and beyond

Since opening the season 1-2, some Cougar fans are wondering where the team goes from here. The advanced stats team at Football Outsiders released their latest 1-125 ranking which gives an insight into what BYU will be facing the rest of the year.

BYU is ranked 33rd according to their statistical analysis. Its opponents are ranked are below:

at Virginia (L) 73
Texas (W) 54
Utah (L) 35
Middle Tennessee 99
at Utah State 25
Georgia Tech 22
Boise State 41
at Houston 76
Idaho State FCS
at Wisconsin 23
at Notre Dame 24
Nevada 84

Looking at the remaining games, there are two pretty clear groups. At Houston (76), at Nevada (84), and Middle Tennessee (99) all need to be wins for BYU to punch its ticket to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco this December. Those three games, along with the Idaho State game, which is not included in these rankings because the Bengals play in the FCS subdivision, would get BYU to five wins.

Any additional wins would need to come from the other tier of games: Georgia Tech (22), at Wisconsin (23), at Notre Dame (24), at Utah State (25), and Boise (41). BYU needs to win one of these games to get to six wins.

The odd cluster of teams ranked 22-25 with Football Outsider’s statistics looks like it will be a challenge for BYU. With BYU currently ranked just below them at 33, I expect them to be close and hard fought games. With three of those higher-tier games coming on the road, BYU’s best chance for wins may be Georgia Tech and Boise State.

From the looks of these rankings, BYU should still be favored to at least make a bowl. Also, while BYU hasn’t had great luck recently with close games, it look like they will play a lot of similarly-ranked teams and will have plenty of opportunities.

Finally, obviously picking off as many upsets as possible would be fun for the Cougars and help build the program. The schedule does set up well from a pacing standpoint, only playing at Utah State (25) and Georgia Tech (22) back-to-back. Every other game of the five remaining seemingly higher-ranked teams is between a bye and one of the lower ranked teams.

There are still plenty of opportunities for good wins and fun football. The past slow starts are certainly frustrating, but so far, Bronco has shown great skill in rallying his teams to finish the year strong. The opportunity is there for his team to do it again.


  1. Larson

    September 26, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    What chance does Utah have at 6th place in the Pac 12?

    • Free Male

      September 26, 2013 at 10:53 pm


  2. Sanpete

    September 26, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Definitely. There’s still a lot of opportunity left in this season. A bowl is still likely, and more, such as ending up ranked, is still a realistic possibility.