It was a wild week in college football which saw eight ranked teams fall, including No. 7 Auburn, No. 9 Texas, No. 11 UCF and No. 13 Texas A&M. Six of the eight losses this week came against unranked opponents.
This helped pave the way for BYU’s big jump in the polls as the Cougars check in at No. 15 in both the AP Poll and Coaches Poll. BYU received seven Top 10 votes, with just one voter, Soren Petro, not ranking the Cougars at all.
The Cougars cruised to a 45-14 blowout victory over Louisiana Tech (2-1) and have now outscored their opponents 148-24 so far this season. The margin of victory (+124 points) is the largest through the first three games of a season since 1977 (+133 points).
Lead by Zach Wilson, who completed 24 of 26 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns — along with three rushing touchdowns — the Cougars have become America’s team and even turned into GIFs with their sideline dancing during the blowout wins.
With a number of games between ranked opponents this week, there’s going to be another big shakeup in the polls next Sunday.
Love this team. pic.twitter.com/9ELiz6M0F2
— The ROC (@byuROC) October 3, 2020
Here’s the entire AP Top 25 poll:
1) Clemson (52 first-place votes)
2) Alabama (8)
5) Notre Dame
6) Ohio State (2)
8) North Carolina
9) Penn State
10) Oklahoma State
19) Virginia Tech
21) Texas A&M
24) Iowa State
Dropped from the rankings: No. 11 UCF, No. 16 Mississippi State, No. 18 Oklahoma, No. 24 Pitt, No. 25 Memphis
Others receiving votes: Kansas State 142, USC 115, Mississippi State 112, UCF 112, TCU 97, Marshall 49, Tulsa 46, Utah 30, Iowa 26, Coastal Carolina 25, Oklahoma 20, North Carolina State 18, Ole Miss 18, UAB 15, Army 14, West Virginia 13, Memphis 12, Arkansas 11, Pittsburgh 7, Virginia 5, Arizona State 5, Washington 4, Air Force 4, Indiana 1
Playing in primetime on Labor Day as well as Friday’s game against Louisiana Tech, the Cougars have been taken advantage of the spotlight by playing near-perfect games against Navy, Troy and Louisiana Tech.
From Kirk Herbstreit and Scott Van Pelt, to national writers across the country, the nation has taken notice.
Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde has BYU 7th in his rankings. Here’s what he had to say:
“The Cougars recorded their third straight dominant victory, following blowouts of Navy and Troy with a beatdown of previously undefeated Louisiana Tech. Quarterback Zach Wilson keeps adding to his early Heisman Trophy resume, completing 24 of 26 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 43 yards and three more scores. Wilson is completing 84.5 percent of his passes through three games, which is a pretty outrageous number. But give some credit as well to the BYU defense, which thus far is allowing just 2.4 yards per rush and eight points per game.”
The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman also gave the Cougars a spot in his weekly top 10 rankings. Here’s what he had to say about BYU’s performance so far this season:
“I realize the Cougars’ slate hasn’t been daunting, especially with Navy off to a shaky start because of the unusual circumstances this offseason amid the pandemic, but credit to BYU. This team has been dominant and was especially so Friday in thumping what was a 2-0 Louisiana Tech team. Jeff Grimes’ offense has been very potent with QB Zach Wilson healthier than he was last year and playing superbly. Through three games Wilson has 11 incompletions to match the number of total TDs he’s accounted for (six passing and five rushing).”
BYU Gets College Football Playoff Vote
With a bunch of upsets Saturday night, arguably the biggest and most surprising news came when the Cougars picked up a College Football Playoff vote.
ESPN.com’s panel of college football writers and analysts shared their picks for the College Football Playoff with BYU being just one of seven teams to receive a vote.
Bill Connelly, who created the S&P+ rating, has BYU ranked in his top four teams. The Cougars’ third consecutive and dominating victory has Connelly fully aboard the Cougar playoff train and outspoken regarding BYU’s chances of making the College Football Playoff.
BYU’s really, really good.
— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) October 3, 2020
Hear me out: let Kansas and BYU switch schedules from here on out so the Big 12 can maybe still get a team in the CFP…
— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) October 3, 2020
Here’s what the ESPN article had to say about the Cougars:
“In the shock of the week, the BYU Cougars land in the picks for the first time this campaign,” the group wrote. “The Cougars have put up 148 points during a 3-0 start and — now that they filled out a 10-game schedule — might have the résumé by the end of the season to crack into the playoff picture.”