When it comes to the topic of possible College Football Playoff crashers (i.e. a team from outside a Power 5 conference) all the discussion this year have centered on the University of Cincinnati. The Bearcats, after all, returned quarterback Desmond Ridder and the bulk of their starters from a 9-1 season.
UC has done its part so far, climbing to No. 8 in the AP poll and sitting at 3-0 heading into a critical trip to Notre Dame on Oct. 2.
Maybe it’s not the Bearcats who are the most likely interloper. Three weeks into the season and BYU, an independent, has three victories over Pac-12 opponents (Arizona, Utah and Arizona State). Jaren Hall has stepped in nicely for Zach Wilson at quarterback and the defense has been terrific.
Coach Kalani Sitake’s team is now ranked 15th by the AP, which carries no actual weight but does signify national respect. BYU was 23rd last week before its 27-17 victory over ASU on Saturday night.
Going unbeaten is extremely difficult, but BYU has shown to be the kind of team that can at least entertain it. The College Football Playoff committee may not want to include the Cougars in the four-team field, but a 12-0 team would have a very strong argument depending on how the top of the Power 5 leagues shake out.