BYU was idle last weekend and still sits at 8-0 and No. 8 in the AP Top 25. Here is a look at the bowl projections that remained mostly the same from the previous week. BYU is still getting a lot of New Year’s Six hype but not everyone is on board.
Gasparilla Bowl vs. Tulane (Sporting News)
Sporting News is not buying into the BYU hype. Much of that might be due to the fact that BYU plays only one FBS opponent in the next month in SDSU on December 12. It seems like BYU might lose some steam if they do not schedule another (winnable) game. Tulane is 5-4 and has been a respectable team out of the AAC. However, this bowl game and opponent would be a massive disappointment after all the buildup this year. BYU and Tulane last locked horns in 2009 when the Cougars won 54-3.
Armed Forces Bowl vs. SMU (CBS and 247 Sports)
CBS’ Jerry Palm has not won over any friends in Provo as he is yet to put BYU anywhere close to a New Year’s Six bowl. His argument remains that BYU will fall far enough in the rankings to be left out of an at-large bid. There are six at-large slots and BYU just needs to be among the six highest ranked at-large possibilities. Among possible Group of 5 opponents, the Mustangs would be exciting. They are 7-2, with one of those losses coming to undefeated Cincinnati and they got ranked as high as 16 this year. Of course, then there is all that 1980 Miracle Bowl craziness for matchup intrigue.
Fiesta Bowl vs. Oregon (ESPN, College Football News and my pick)
The most popular pick of the week is pitting the Cougars against the Oregon Ducks. No one in the PAC-12 looks like they are going to the College Football Playoff without some serious help. The Ducks have started 2-0 after wins against Stanford and Washington State. They still remain the favorite to win the conference but are far from perfect. Since the Rose Bowl is a College Football Playoff semifinal this year, the PAC-12 champ would likely be slotted into the Fiesta Bowl if they are not selected to the final four. Geographically, this would be a good matchup since both fanbases would draw a large crowd in a normal year. However, it’s likely attendance would be extremely limited. Either way, this game would command a lot of eyeballs and be BYU’s biggest bowl game since the 1996 Cotton Bowl. Oregon and BYU have not played since the 2006 Las Vegas Bowl, when the Cougars prevailed 38-8. These two squads will face off in Eugene in 2022. This is my current pick as well, since BYU is on a New Year’s Six trajectory and this seems like the most logical bowl slot and opponent until Oregon slips.