With the college football season starting this week, it’s time to make some predictions.
Will the Cougars win 10+ games again? Will BYU challenge for a NY6 berth? Could an undefeated run push the Cougars into a playoff spot? And most importantly… will BYU repeat as Pac-12 champions again (half kidding)?
While ESPN’s Football Power Index “FPI” has the Cougars going 7-5 this year (see our in-depth FPI analysis here), I believe the Cougars will 10 games this year — this includes a bowl win — to give the program it’s third consecutive 10-win season. When comparing this to past years, a 10-win season this year would give the program a crack at the all time record set from 2006-2009 with four consecutive 10-win seasons.
Below are game-by-game predictions and why I think the Cougars can realistically go 10-3.
BYU 2022 Season Predictions
No. 25 BYU @ USF: Win
No. 25 BYU vs. No. 10 Baylor: Loss
No. 25 BYU @ No. 11 Oregon: Win
No. 25 BYU vs. Wyoming: Win
No. 25 BYU vs. Utah State: Win
No. 25 BYU vs. No. 5 Notre Dame: Loss
No. 25 BYU vs. No. 19 Arkansas: Win
No. 25 BYU @ Liberty: Win
No. 25 BYU vs. East Carolina: Win
No. 25 BYU @ Boise State: Loss
No. 25 BYU vs. Utah Tech: Win
No. 25 BYU @ Stanford: Win
Past performance is never an indicator of future results, but it’s hard to bet against a BYU squad that has won 10+ games over the past two seasons (21-4). The Cougars also return 18 starters and return 88% of its production on offense, ranking second most in the nation.
ESPN’s 7-5 model is quite low in my opinion and only happens if Jaren Hall gest hurt and has to miss several games. If Hall stays healthy, I believe the Cougars will go 10-3 for the programs third consecutive 10+ win season.
Let’s remember, BYU pulls off an upset (USC, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Utah, Michigan State, Mississippi State) every year. That’s just what Kalani Sitake does. Unfortunately for Cougar fans, the team also losses a game every year that it shouldn’t (Toledo, Utah State, UAB, Northern Illinois). I see that trend continuing this year which is why I believe BYU upsets Oregon, but loses to Boise State later in the year.
Most Important Game
No. 10 Baylor. Yes, I know No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 11 Oregon have better brand recognition, however, the game against the 10th-ranked Bears is important for many reasons. Yes, coaches like to take it one game at a time, but with Baylor sitting there in week 2, it’s hard not to look past USF, especially for players and coaches who are looking to get revenge after last season’s loss in Waco.
Second, it’s the first big game of the season and can help set the tone for the rest of the year. An early loss all but likely takes BYU out of the NY6 conversation, but a win puts BYU in the driver’s seat and the team would carry a lot of momentum heading into what would likely be a Top 10 showdown with Oregon.
Lastly, the team wants to make a statement against their soon-to-be conference foe and show everyone that while Oklahoma and Texas may be leaving, there’s plenty of talented teams coming in.