Bowl projections: What experts think of BYU after 3 straight losses

BYU is on a three-game losing streak heading into its Friday night home matchup against East Carolina.

That slide has people questioning whether the Cougars, who at one point were ranked in the top 15, will even make a bowl this season.

While Deseret News writers Jay Drew and Dick Harmon believe BYU will lose a fourth straight game this week to East Carolina, and thus further complicate the Cougars’ postseason picture, BYU remains in the bowl picture with national experts.

Here’s a look at where several national publications predict Utah, BYU and Utah State will play in the postseason following the season’s Week 8.

*-indicates same projection as last week.

Bowl projections for Utah football after Week 8

  • Kyle Bonagura, ESPN: Alamo Bowl vs. Texas
  • Mark Schlabach, ESPN: Holiday Bowl vs. Notre Dame
  • Brett McMurphy, ActionNet: Las Vegas Bowl vs. LSU
  • Jerry Palm, CBS Sports: Holiday Bowl vs. Florida State
  • Erick Smith, USA Today: Holiday Bowl vs. Notre Dame*
  • College Football News: Holiday Bowl vs. Notre Dame
  • Brad Crawford, 247 Sports: Holiday Bowl vs. Duke
  • Kerry Miller, BleacherReport: Alamo Bowl vs. Oklahoma State

no. 14 Utah (5-2) was on a bye last week.

After beating USC prior to the bye, the Utes head into the second half of the season with the chance to win their way into the Pac-12 championship game and the opportunity to defend their conference title.

For now, though, the Utes are outside of the New Year’s Six picture, as the Pac-12 has four teams ranked among the nation’s top 15.

A popular bowl matchup for Utah right now is facing Notre Dame in the Holiday Bowl — that specific matchup was predicted by three different writers.

Outside of the Holiday Bowl, Utah is also being projected for the Alamo Bowl and Las Vegas Bowl.

First up, though, is a Thursday night game at Washington State, the Utes’ final game before the schedule jumps into November.

Bowl projections for BYU football after Week 8

  • Kyle Bonagura, ESPN: LendingTree Bowl vs. Marshall
  • Mark Schlabach, ESPN: LendingTree Bowl vs. Troy
  • Brett McMurphy, ActionNet: Cure Bowl vs. UCF
  • Jerry Palm, CBS Sports: Armed Forces Bowl vs. SMU*
  • Erick Smith, USA Today: New Mexico Bowl vs. San Jose State
  • College Football News: Frisco Football Classic vs. Georgia Southern
  • Brad Crawford, 247 Sports: Armed Forces Bowl vs. Cincinnati
  • Kerry Miller, BleacherReport: Armed Forces Bowl vs. Houston

Things are looking bleak for BYU (4-4) following its 41-14 loss to Liberty last week — the Cougars found themselves on USA Today’s Misery Index after the latest defeat.

Despite this, every national publication used for this weekly roundup still has BYU making the postseason.

If the Cougars can’t pull out a win against East Carolina, though, the odds will get significantly tougher.

BYU still has two road games remaining — at Boise State and Stanford — and the Cougars are now the underdogs in those matchups, per ESPN’s Football Power Index.

Bowl projections for Utah State football after Week 8

Utah State’s bowl hopes took a big hit after the Aggies (3-5) lost at Wyoming — and as a result, after having two national experts move USU into bowl territory last week, now none have the Aggies bowl bound.

That leaves Utah State needing three wins in its final four games to become bowl eligible.

While the Aggies are favored by ESPN’s Football Power Index metric in their next two games — vs. New Mexico, at Hawaii — they are significant underdogs in their final two games — vs. San Jose State, at Boise State.

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