Here is a look at the latest bowl projections around the country for a BYU team that moved to 9-0 against North Alabama and remained No. 8 in the AP poll.
Lending Tree Bowl vs. Coastal Carolina (CBS)
First off, yuck. Did Jerry Palm get food poisoning in Provo once or something? He refuses to buy into BYU’s New Year’s Six chances and not only that, but continually places BYU in less than favorable matchups in yawn-inducing bowls. Coastal Carolina, to their credit, is unbeaten at 8-0 and has their own New Year’s Six aspirations and is currently ranked 16th in the polls. From that point of view, this would be a big matchup. However, the bowl slot and mid-tier Group of 5 pairing would make this a massive disappointment for a BYU team with big goals after their best start in almost 20 years.
Gasparilla Bowl vs. Tulane (Sporting News)
Sporting News maintains their pick of Tulane and BYU here. This is another site that thinks BYU will fade late in the year with one more regular season game over the last month. BYU and Tulane do have some history. The Green Wave have met up with BYU during two of the most solid seasons of this millennium in Provo in 2001 and 2009, both were big blowout wins for BYU. Tulane is 5-5 and coming off of a tough loss on the road to a ranked Tulsa team.
Armed Forces Bowl vs. SMU (247 Sports)
This has been a repeating projection for several weeks by various sites. SMU started off strong at 5-0 and No. 16 in the country but have gone just 2-2 since. The main appeal here is of course, the bowl history between these two programs. Not many bowl games have a nickname but the 1980 Holiday Bowl has been dubbed “The Miracle Bowl” because Jim McMahon and the Cougars mounted a historic comeback at the expense of the Mustangs in San Diego. The two sides have played twice since, in 1996 and 1997, with BYU winning both of those games as well.
Fiesta Bowl vs. Oregon (ESPN, College Football News, Athlon Sports, and my pick)
The most popular pick by far this week is BYU being paired with the Oregon Ducks in the Fiesta Bowl down in Glendale, Arizona. This would be BYU’s biggest bowl game since at least the 1996 Cotton Bowl, maybe bigger. Oregon does not look like a world beater, having struggled to get past the likes of Washington State and UCLA to get to 3-0 in a shortened PAC-12 season. They still remain the favorite in the conference and with the conferences’ chances at a College Football Playoff bid becoming more remote by the week, the champion will very likely head to the Fiesta Bowl. This matchup has all sorts of intrigue, with the two sides playing very close to the hubs of their respective fanbases. Lots of eyeballs will be on this game, on TV and I imagine any sort of allotment of tickets sold for this game would sell out in minutes. The Ducks and Cougars last met in a bowl game in 2006, when BYU won 38-8 in the Las Vegas Bowl.