If No. 9 BYU had been 8-Zero with its unique 2020 schedule, then the Cougars would have a reputable argument for being the No. four seed on this yr’s School Soccer Playoff. COVID-19 destroyed that slate, nonetheless, and the alternative lineup makes their good begin quite a bit much less intriguing.

As a substitute of taking up two Pac-12 opponents, two Massive Ten colleges and an SEC staff within the first eight video games, they’ve confronted an all-Group of 5 slate. The hardest foe has been No. 21 Boise State, which BYU crushed 51-17 on Friday evening in Boise to stay unbeaten.

WEEK 10: Bowl projections | Playoff image

Earlier than this week, the highest opponents on the Cougars’ revised schedule had been AAC colleges Navy (55-3 in Week 1) and Houston (43-26 in Week 7). The opposite victims: Troy, Louisiana Tech, UTSA, Texas State and Western Kentucky, by a mixed 213-65. All that stands between BYU and an ideal common season now are FCS staff North Alabama on Nov. 21, San Diego State on Dec. 12 and Military if the groups’ postponed sport is rescheduled.

The schedule swap is not BYU’s fault, naturally: The Pac-12, Massive Ten and SEC all went to conference-only schedules as they scrambled to save lots of their seasons amid the coronavirus outbreak. That took away early-season matchups vs. Utah, Michigan State, Arizona State, Minnesota and Missouri and a season-ending sport vs. Stanford. 

Unbiased BYU, in flip, needed to scramble to fill these spots. Boise State was one in every of 4 holdovers from its unique 12-game schedule. 

The Cougars dominated their former Mountain West Convention rival Friday. They outgained the Broncos 573-249. Tyler Allgeier rushed for 2 touchdowns, together with an 86-yarder that opened the scoring within the first quarter. Quarterback Zach Wilson threw for 359 yards and two scores on 21-of-27 passing. Gunner Romney caught six passes for 133 yards. BYU was plus-2 within the turnover battle.

Doing all that towards a ranked opponent on the highway is spectacular, and BYU wanted that kind of efficiency as a result of the sport would be the Cougars’ final likelihood at including a lot to their physique of labor if they do not ultimately face Military (6-1).

A whole lot of school soccer followers can be rooting for BYU to go 11-Zero and pressure the playoff committee to noticeably think about it, however the panel can have too many higher choices subsequent month. A rundown of what the Cougars are up towards simply this weekend:

Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame occupy the primary 4 locations within the Related Press Prime 25. Even when Clemson loses at Notre Dame, an ACC college for this yr, on Saturday evening, it is doubtless that each colleges will stay within the high 4 when the brand new polls come out Sunday. The Crimson Tide are off and the Buckeyes face Rutgers. 

No. 5 Georgia can have a robust case if it beats No. Eight Florida on Saturday afternoon and goes to 5-1. No. 6 Cincinnati (Houston this week) and No. 7 Texas A&M (South Carolina) are favored to carry serve. No. 10 Wisconsin is in limbo due to COVID-19. No. 11 Miami (Fla.) received Friday at N.C. State to maneuver to 6-1 general and 5-1 within the ACC. The Hurricanes’ solely loss was to Clemson. No. 12 Oregon will look to impress voters because it opens vs. Stanford.

All of these colleges will make reaching the highest 4, and even the New 12 months’s Day Six, troublesome for the Cougars, regardless of how dominating they’ve appeared. They only cannot match the resumes. That is not their fault, however that is the truth.