Second-half outlook: BYU

October, 21, 2009
10/21/09
11:50
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson

BRIGHAM YOUNG COUGARS (6-1, 3-0 MWC)

BYU started the season with a huge win over Oklahoma, but that win hasn’t looked quite so spectacular as the Sooners have struggled to beat good teams without starting quarterback Sam Bradford. Couple that with a loss to a lowly Florida State team and BYU has an uphill battle to a BCS bowl berth. However, there are still good teams remaining on their schedule, which gives the Cougars an outside chance.

Best case scenario: BYU might be able to profit from both a Boise State and TCU loss and land in the top 12 of the BCS standings should it finish the season 11-1. It’s a longshot possibility, but BYU has played well and it’s early fame might be enough to rekindle the voters love affair. And even if a BCS bowl doesn’t happen, winning out would still net the Cougars their third Mountain West title in four seasons.

Worst case scenario: BYU loses to TCU and the Horned Frogs go on to not only be the Mountain West champion, but also claim the BCS bowl berth that was the Cougars for the taking earlier in the season. There are still dangerous games remaining on the schedule and this week’s showdown with TCU is one of them. All of the Cougars championship and postseason goals could easily go down the drain this weekend.

Prediction: BYU probably isn’t going to a BCS bowl. That loss to Florida State still haunts the Cougars and Oklahoma continues to hurt them as well. Not to mention that both Boise State and TCU have been tough competition this year and aren't going to yield their spots in the BCS standings. BYU will end up in the Poinsettia Bowl as a change of pace from Las Vegas.

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