BYU Football: New Year Six Bowl will come down to October

Sep 18, 2021; Provo, Utah, USA; BYU Cougars quarterback Jaren Hall (3) is pursued by Arizona State Sun Devils defensive back Evan Fields (4) in the fourth quarter at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

BYU Football is the only team in the nation that is 3-0 against Power Five competition.

While it is still tough to know exactly how good each of BYU Football’s first three opponents were, looking ahead at the Cougar’s schedule, its hard to see any opponents that will individually be much tougher than either Utah or Arizona State.

Barring some serious upsets, it is looking very likely that when BYU faces Boise State that the Cougars will be ranked somewhere in the high teens, as high as even No. 10 along with a 5-0 record.

At that point, the Cougars will enter what I call the “NY6 stretch” that will likely determine whether they make a New Year Six Bowl or not. During this stretch they will play four good, but not great teams in Boise State, Baylor, Virginia and Washington State.

While all four of them have the potential to upset the Cougars, each team looks very winnable for BYU.

  • Boise State – Lost to UCF and Oklahoma State in close games. While the Bronco’s are much better than what their record shows, it’s tough to imagine that they will be as excited for this game as their postseason is already dependent fully on what they do in the Mountain West.
  • Baylor – This is the biggest mystery. Baylor is looking pretty good to this point in the season, but with games against Iowa State, Oklahoma State and West Virginia before and Texas and TCU right after the BYU game, it is understandable that BYU will be their trap game. As someone who has lived most of my life in P5 country, non conference games in the middle of the season are often viewed as recovery weeks, afterall the most important games are conference games. The exception of course would be if the Bears are undefeated and fighting for a NY6 bowl themselves.
  • Washington State – This team is not very good. While they are a P5 team and have P5 athletes, BYU should be favored by a few scores in this game. The biggest risks for BYU here are injuries and back to back travel weeks. Otherwise, expect BYU to win big.
  • Virginia – The Cavaliers are also a bit of a mystery. Virginia showed a lot of poise and almost took down North Carolina last week before fading in the third quarter and ultimately losing by a large margin. Virginia will be travelling for this game and the cold and elevation could be a big factor. BYU’s biggest risk is looking ahead to a bit of a break. Having essentially played seven power five teams in their first nine games, the Cougars will be very ready to have this game to get through so they can take on Idaho State and then finally have a BYE week.

Again, all of these games a winnable. Is it likely? Maybe not, but each time the Cougars win their confidence will grow and if they can make it through this stretch, they will very likely be in a New Year Six Bowl.

Georgia Southern has turned out to really struggle, and let’s be honest, if BYU Football is 11-0 going into the Coliseum against USC, they are likely ranked in the top six or seven in the nation and a loss will not knock them out of a New Year Six Bowl.

So there you have it. If BYU is as good as they are being portrayed at, their New Year Six hopes will come down to what they do in October. Do you agree?