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Texas A&M Football

Around CFB: BYU's soft schedule lands them at No. 14 in initial CFP ranking

November 25, 2020

All college football teams want to win that crystal football that goes to the national champion. One program, in particular, should get a gold brick instead.

Goldbricking isn’t a new concept. Seemingly every office has a shirker who does the bare minimum of work but expects to share in rewards.

In college football, that is BYU. The Cougars have played a ridiculously soft schedule yet are pouting about being listed 14th in the initial College Football Playoff rankings.

Sitake voiced his displeasure with the committee’s ranking on Tuesday night.

“I am trying not to get too frustrated with the playoff ranking,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake told the Salt Lake City Deseret News after the rankings were released on Tuesday night. “I just love our boys so much, and I just want to see them get the respect they deserve. That is something that drives me.”

The problem is that BYU is largely coasting downhill. True, the Cougars are 9-0, but their opponents are a combined 30-38.

That fact was not lost on the CFB Committee, Chairman Gary Barta said.

“Right now, BYU's best win is over Boise State, and in that game, I think (Boise) got down to their third-string quarterback,” Barta said. “BYU has played three teams against .500 or better opponents.”

Sitake did not accept that explanation. He pointed out that BYU defeated Boise State, 51-17.

“Last I checked, I didn’t know the quarterbacks for Boise State played defense,” he said. “So, I think if they are really going to look at it, they should probably look at all the different things.”

OK. Let’s look at different things:

BYU opened with a 55-3 win over Navy. Navy (3-4) has also lost to Air Force (2-2) by 33 points.
BYU defeated Troy, 48-7. Troy (4-4) has also lost to Georgia State (4-4) and Middle Tennessee (3-6).
BYU defeated Louisiana Tech, 45-14. Louisiana Tech (4-3) also lost to Marshall, 35-17.
BYU defeated UTSA, 27-20. UTSA (6-4) most recently lost to Florida Atlantic, 24-3.
BYU defeated Houston, 43-26. Houston (3-3) lost to UCF, 44-21, and Cincinnati, 38-10.
BYU defeated Texas State, 52-14. Texas State (2-9) also lost to Troy, 37-17.
BYU defeated Western Kentucky, 41-10. Western Kentucky (4-6) also lost to Marshall by 24 points and UAB by 23.
BYU defeated North Alabama, 66-14. FCS North Alabama (0-4) has also lost to Jacksonville State.

The Cougars might be 9-0, but they haven’t played a Power 5 opponent in 2020.

The point is that BYU’s 9-0 record is deceiving.

Every team ranked ahead of BYU — and probably most ranked after the Cougars — would probably be unbeaten against the same schedule and with the same circumstances.

BYU desperately needs to play a legitimate opponent to validate its gaudy record. The problem is that most Power 5 programs are playing conference-only schedules.

Except that the Pac-12 — which barely passes as a Power 5 conference — recently changed its policy to allow its members to schedule non-conference opponents.

Consequently, Washington contacted BYU about playing this weekend as a replacement for Washington State, which has had a COVID-19 outbreak.

The game wasn’t scheduled. There were reports that BYU wanted to wait until seeing where it was in the CFP rankings before scheduling a strong opponent.

Other reports surfaced that BYU wanted the game scheduled immediately, but Washington had to wait. Under Pac-12 protocol, member teams are required to reschedule another Pac-12 team if one is available.

Washington faces Utah on Saturday.

“There is this narrative out there that we were hiding, or ducking, or waiting, and that’s just not true,” Sitake told the Deseret News. “It is a false narrative. I want to make sure everybody understands we are not afraid of anybody.”

That may indeed be the case. However, that still doesn’t change the fact BYU has had it easy while most other teams seeking that crystal football have done the heavy lifting.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA
Trask did not throw for four scores for the first time in 2020.

Heisman watch (If my ballot was due today)

1. Kyle Trask, Florida, QB: For the first time this season, Trask did not throw four touchdown passes on Saturday. He threw three in a 38-17 victory over Vanderbilt. He also threw for 383 yards. Overall, through seven games, he has passed for 2,554 yards and 31 touchdowns with three interceptions. That’s the most touchdown passes through seven games in Southeastern Conference history.

2. Mac Jones, Alabama, QB: Although he had a rather pedestrian showing in a 63-3 blowout victory over Kentucky, Jones remains a strong contender. He passed for just 230 yards and two touchdowns with one interception against Kentucky, but overall, Jones has accumulated 2,624 passing yards with 18 touchdowns and three interceptions.

3. Justin Fields, Ohio State, QB: Fields endured his first “off” game of the season, but it did not hurt the Buckeyes in a 42-35 victory over Indiana. Although he passed of 300 yards and two touchdowns, Fields threw three interceptions. He also rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown. Overall, Fields has passed for 1,208 yards and 13 touchdowns in four games. He has also rushed for 135 yards and three scores.

4. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson, QB: Though no fault of his own, Lawrence’s candidacy is waning because he hasn’t played in a month. He missed two games with COVID-19, and last week, Florida State opted not to play. Overall, Lawrence has 1,833 yards and 17 touchdowns with two interceptions in six games.

5. Breece Hall, Iowa State, RB: Hall leads the nation with 1,169 rushing yards. He averages 6.5 yards per carry and has 15 rushing touchdowns. That’s one less than the national leader — Najee Harris of Alabama. Last week, Hall rushed for 135 yards and scored two touchdowns on just 15 carries in a 45-0 blowout of Kansas State. He’s exceeded 100 rushing yards and has scored at least one touchdown in every game. He’s had six multiple touchdown games. Breece has also caught 15 passes for 88 yards and one touchdown.

Predicted Playoff Participants

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Top-ranked Alabama must face Auburn without Nick Saban, who has tested positive for COVID-19.

1. Alabama: The unbeaten Crimson Tide has won each of its seven games by at least 15 points.

2. Clemson: The Tigers are unbeaten with Trevor Lawrence in the lineup.

3. Ohio State: Sure, the Buckeyes only beat Indiana by a touchdown, but they led 35-7 in the third quarter before losing interest.

4. Notre Dame: Undefeated with a win over Clemson makes Notre Dame an unquestioned No. 2. Winning at North Carolina this week won’t be easy.

This week’s games to watch

No. 2 Notre Dame at No. 25 North Carolina: Mack Brown’s Tar Heels are the biggest remaining challenge to Notre Dame’s quest for an unbeaten regular season.

No. 22 Auburn at No 1 Alabama: It’s the Iron Bowl. ‘Nuff said.

No. 15 Iowa State at No. 20 Texas: A victory all but propels Iowa State to the Big 12 Championship game. A loss might all but propel Texas coach Tom Herman to the unemployment line.

No. 11 Northwestern at Michigan State: Northwestern is riding high after knocking off Wisconsin last week. The Wildcats cannot afford a hangover when they go to East Lansing.

Colorado at No. 19 USC: A clash of unbeaten teams in the Pac-12 South. It could already be a de facto division championship game.

Call or text Chad at Covert Ford in Hutto at 512-633-4819 For new Fords, Chevys, and over 900 pre-owned vehicles. Thanks and Gig 'em.

Discussion from...

Around CFB: BYU's soft schedule lands them at No. 14 in initial CFP ranking

2,454 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 1 yr ago by Shoefly!
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In college football, that is BYU. The Cougars have played a ridiculously soft schedule yet are pouting about being listed 14th in the initial College Football Playoff rankings.
The last time I saw BYU pouting about "respect" and their Heisman winning QB deserving a stronger bowl game & opponent they lost by 51 points. Their QB was just glad he didn't have a 3rd shoulder that the Wrecking Crew could separate for him.

LOL at BYU & "respect"...
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Yes it was a total beat down and it was beautiful when they would pan the camera at Coach Lavelle during the game.
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