BYU Football Bowl Projections After Strong Start To First Big 12 Season

Sep 19, 2023, 12:49 PM

Follow @kslsports...

PROVO, Utah – BYU football jumping out to a 3-0 start has the Cougars in the thick of the bowl projections conversation in the 2023 season.

Being in the Big 12 Conference gives BYU many more options for postseason play than as an Independent.

Nearly every bowl game with a tie-in to the Big 12 in 2023 would be against a team from a Power Five conference. BYU hasn’t faced a P5 opponent in a bowl game since Utah in the 2015 Las Vegas Bowl.

Order of Big 12 Bowl Tie-ins for the 2023 season

  • College Football Playoff (if selected)
  • New Year’s Six
  • Alamo Bowl
  • Pop-Tarts Bowl
  • Texas Bowl
  • Liberty Bowl
  • Guaranteed Rate Bowl
  • Armed Forces/First Responder Bowls
  • Independence Bowl

My BYU Bowl projection entering week four: Guaranteed Rate Bowl vs. Rutgers

If Texas goes to the College Football Playoff, the Guaranteed Rate Bowl would be the seventh selection for a Big 12 team. That’s a reasonable spot for BYU.

BYU would be an attractive option for the Guaranteed Rate Bowl because the Cougars would sell many tickets. The game is in Arizona, which has a lot of Latter-day Saint BYU fans in the area.

Also, the date is tricky as it lands on December 26th, the day after Christmas. So, having a pool of fans who live in the area might help BYU’s odds of going to Arizona.

The Guaranteed Rate Bowl had a secondary bowl tie-in with BYU, while the Cougars were an Independent.

National Outlets project where BYU football fits in Bowl Season

Action Network: Liberty Bowl vs. Tennessee

College Football News: Liberty Bowl vs. Tennessee

This would be a fun matchup for a variety of reasons. The biggest is that Tennessee bought out of the opener against BYU in Provo to play Virginia in nearby Nashville instead.

Tennessee looked shaky after losing to an underwhelming Florida team last week in The Swamp.

USA Today: Guaranteed Rate Bowl vs. Nebraska

A potential rematch of the 2015 Miracle at Memorial. Getting to a bowl game would be an accomplishment for both the Cougars and Huskers this year.

CBS Sports: Guaranteed Rate Bowl vs. Purdue

I’m not seeing how Purdue gets bowl-eligible with their league schedule after they started 1-2 in non-conference.

ESPN Mark Schlabach: Hawaii Bowl vs. Boise State

Did Schlabach forget BYU football is no longer an Independent?

ESPN Kyle Bonagura: TaxAct Texas Bowl vs. Kentucky

Bleacher Report: Liberty Bowl vs. Kentucky

BYU has never faced Kentucky in football. They’ve also never played an SEC team in a bowl game before.

Athlon Sports: Guaranteed Rate Bowl vs. Maryland

It would be a first-time matchup. The only historical crossover I can think of between these two programs is that former BYU head coach Gary Crowton was once the OC at Maryland for a season.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

Take us with you wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports.

KSL 5 TV Live

KSLSports Feed

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

NFL Animates Alternate London Game Broadcast With Toy Story Theme

The NFL took its use of alternate broadcasts to another level with an animated Toy Story-themed version of the Falcons vs. Jaguars game.

2 hours ago

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

Southern Utah’s Comeback Attempt Falls Short Against Central Arkansas

Southern Utah suffered a heartbreaking loss to Central Arkansas after the Thunderbirds' comeback attempt fell a couple of points short.

11 hours ago

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

Utah Tech Football Drops To Colorado State Following Second-Half Run

The Utah Tech Trailblazers lost to the Colorado State Rams, 41-20, after getting outscored 20-3 in the second half.

12 hours ago

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

Southern Utah’s Football Game Against Central Arkansas Delayed Due To Weather

The Southern Utah Thunderbirds saw their game against the Central Arkansas Bears be grounded during the second half due to a weather delay.

13 hours ago

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

Utah QB Bryson Barnes Traveled Home With Team Following Hospital Visit

After a hit sent him to the hospital, QB Bryson Barnes was able to check out and travel back to Utah with the team.

13 hours ago

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

Raiders Release Chandler Jones, Capping Final Tumultuous Month With Team

The Las Vegas Raiders released defensive end Chandler Jones on Saturday, ending a tumultuous final month with the club.

17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

rodeo contestant on a saddle bronc...


Get Ready for the Days of ‘47 Rodeo!

The Days of '47 Rodeo is a series of events everyone in the family can enjoy, with world-class rodeo contestants vying for the gold medal.

Electric LED Lightbulb Change In Light At Home...

Lighting Design

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Lighting

This guide explores indicators that suggest it’s time for a lighting upgrade with tips to make an informed decision when you’re ready to buy. 

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

BYU Football Bowl Projections After Strong Start To First Big 12 Season