No. 8 BYU proved it was worthy of its Top 10 ranking with a blowout win over then-No. 21 Boise State on the road. The dominating performance has many college football analysts expecting the Cougars to play in a New Year’s Six Bowl, with several others saying that BYU deserves a College Football Playoff spot.

Here’s a look nationally of what college football analysts and writers across the country are saying and ranking BYU after its 8-0 start.

ESPN SP+ rankings 

ESPN’s Bill Connelly has been big believer in BYU since the start of the season and his metrics back him up. The Cougars check in at No. 6 with 19.8 rating, ahead of both No. 7 Oregon (19.6) and No. 8 Notre Dame (19.2). The Cougars made a big jump this week thanks In part to its win over Boise State. Last week, BYU was No. 12 with a 17.2 rating.

According to Connelly, the SP+ rankings is a tempo- and opponent-adjusted measure of college football efficiency. It’s intended to be predictive and forward-facing and not a résumé ranking that gives credit for big wins or particularly brave scheduling. If a team is lucky or unimpressive in a win, the rating will probably fall. If a team looks good but is unlucky in a loss, the ranking will probably rise.

Lastly, while BYU’s schedule is down this year due to pandemic and teams playing conference-only games, most people are wanting to see what BYU would do against a P5 opponent. Well time to look no further. According to SP+, and when looking at BYU’s previous schedule — which included six teams from Power 5 conferences — the Cougars would be favored in every game by at least five points. Impressively, is that in nine of those games, the Cougars would be favored by double digits.

ESPN Power Rankings

BYU comes in at No. 6 in ESPN’s latest power rankings — jumping Cincinnati. The Cougars were No. 7 the week before and behind Cincinnati, however the blowout win over Boise State gave the Cougars the edge this week. Here’s what ESPN senior writer Chris Low has to say about BYU:

“The Cougars took their biggest step yet toward an unbeaten regular season Friday with a 51-17 demolition of Boise State on the road. BYU is 8-0 for the first time since 2001 and making a more convincing argument each week that it should at least be considered for a College Football Playoff spot, especially if teams in the Power 5 conferences beat up on one another.”

BYU Football: Every Bowl Projection for No. 8 BYU

CBS Sports

For the second week in a row, BYU remained steady at No. 7 in CBS’ latest ranking. The Cougars are ahead of Cincinnati (No. 8), but are also behind Clemson (No. 4), Florida (No. 5) and Texas A&M (No. 6), despite each of those teams having a loss already this year.


In his annual re-ranking article each week, USA TODAY’s Paul Myerberg moved BYU up three spots to No. 9. The Cougars were ranked No. 15 just two weeks ago, and it appears that Myerberg is now convinced the Cougars are for real after the big win over Boise State.


BYU jumped up two spots to No. 7 in 247Sports’ power rankings, which factor the rankings from CBS Sports, the Coaches Poll and ESPN’s College Football Power Index. The Cougars were No. 9 the previous week and continue to get a lot of love from writers and analysts across the country.

Computer Rankings (Sagarin, Colley, Billingsley)

Jeff Sagarin (Sagarin rankings), Wes Colley (Colley Matrix) and Richard Billingsley’s college football rankings were part of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) formula (aka the computer rankings). Their rankings helped determine who the top two teams in the country were and which teams were allowed to play for a national championship.

Sagarin Rankings: Despite blowing out Boise State last week, BYU remained steady at No. 6 in Jeff Sagarin’s rankings. The Cougars have a rating of 91.17, and are right behind Wisconsin (91.67) and Notre Dame (92.97). Last week BYU had a rating of 90.46.

Colley Matrix: In his latest ranking, BYU checks in at No. 2, which is the highest ranking the Cougars have received from any national writer/analyst. Colley moved BYU moved up two spots after the blowout victory over Boise State on the road. Colley grades BYU’s strength of schedule as 88th in the country, up from 99 the prior week.

Billingsley Report: This week, BYU moved up two spots to check in at No. 6 this week. ranked 6th this week, just behind Cincinnati at 5th. Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State make up their top four. BYU improved from being ranked 8th last week, passing Georgia and Marshall.

ESPN Power Index

BYU made a big jump in ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) this week, moving up five spots to No. 12. According to FPI, BYU has an 88.6% chance of going undefeated and a 22.2% shot at making the College Football Playoff. These probabilities are up from last week as the FPI gave BYU just a 41.8% chance at going unbeaten and a 14% chance at making the College Football Playoff. BYU’s chances at making the national championship game also increased from 1.9% last week, to 5.2% this week.

Cougar fans will also be happy to know that the Allstate Playoff Predictor, which simulated the season 20,000 times to see what would happen, had one scenario where BYU was playing Alabama in the College Football Playoff semifinal. With so much talk about BYU-Alabama playing a season-opening game this year after USC dropped out, it would only be fitting for these programs to play each other in a College Football semifinal game.

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BYU Football: Every Bowl Projection for No. 8 BYU