BYU Football fans like to claim the Cougars are a Power Five team, but do they stack up with the current P5 teams?
Ever since... well forever, BYU Football has tried to claim that it is in the top tier of college football. Although most conferences do recognize BYU as a P5 opponent, nobody in the college football world considers BYU to be a Power Five team. At the same time, they also aren't really viewed as a Group of Five team. They are kind of in an awkward spot alongside Army.
Is BYU Football good enough to be in a P5 conference? Are they too good to be in a G5 conference?
Based off of this year's results, here is where I have BYU ranked.
American Athletic Conference (AAC)
Below: SMU, Cincinnati, and Memphis
Equal: Tulane, UCF, Temple, and Navy
Above: South Florida, East Carolina, UConn, Houston and Tulsa
The AAC is really good this year. BYU would be on the upper end of the middle of the pack with an outside shot of winning a division and later a conference championship.
Atlantic Athletic Conference (ACC)
Below: Clemson, Virginia, Wake Forest
Equal: Pittsburgh, Miami, Florida State, Virginia Tech
Above: Lousiville, Boston College, North Carolina, Duke, NC State, Syracuse, and Georgia Tech
BYU would actually be one of the better teams in the AAC fighting for a second place finish in each division, however far behind the leading team of each division.
Big 12 Conference
Below: Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma State
Equal: Kansas State, Iowa State. TCU
Above: Kansas, Texas Tech, West Virginia
In the Big 12, BYU Football would be right in the middle of the pack, but who knows with how BYU has done against Texas and Oklahoma?
Big 10 Conference
Below: Ohio State, Penn State, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin
Equal: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State
Above: Maryland, Rutgers, Purdue, Nebraska, Northwestern
As far as the Big 12 goes, BYU Football would be likely on the lower end of the middle of the pack. They would certainly get a few easy wins, however they would also be handed quite a few near automatic losses.
Equal: Louisiana Tech
Above: Everyone else
The Cougars would most definitely be in a two way race for the Conference Championship with only Louisiana Tech. While there are some other good teams, none of them would be able to match up well with the Cougars.
Mid-American Conference (MAC)
Yes, I know that BYU lost to Toledo, but I honestly can't see BYU losing to any MAC team more than once in 10 games, that was the just one (and NIU last year). Looking at this conference, the best two teams are Western Michigan and Miami Ohio, both with four losses. BYU would likely win this league easily.
Mountain West Conference (MWC)
Equal: Boise State, San Diego State, Air Force
Above: Utah State, Fresno State, San Jose State, Nevada, Colorado State, Wyoming, UNLV, New Mexico, and Hawaii
BYU would likely win the MWC this year, or at least play in the conference championship considering they have already knocked off Boise State and Utah State. Air Force always makes things interesting and San Diego State can beat anyone with their defense if given a few good breaks.
Pac 12 Conference
Below: Oregon, Utah
Equal: USC, Washington
Above: Stanford, Oregon State, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, Colorado, Washington State, California
The Cougars could easily be a middle of the pack Pac 12 team, however they could also be in second place in their division depending on their draw of games. If they were in the South, they would very likely finish second in the division only behind the Utes, considering they Cougars own the tie breaker over USC and they wouldn't likely play Washington, Oregon and Utah in the same season.
Southeastern Conference (SEC)
Below: Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Florida, Texas A&M
Equal: Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Miss State
Above: Missouri, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Arkansas
The SEC is the best conference in college football and with them being as top heavy as they are, BYU would be handed AT LEAST two automatic losses in each division. They would also have two easy wins in each division, the other four games are anybody's pick. The Cougars would struggle to be bowl eligible in this conference, however with a few easy non conference games, it would be doable.
Equal: Appellation State, Louisiana
Above: Everyone else
The Cougars would be fighting for a divisional championship on either side with App State or UL in this conference. Outside of that however, it would probably be an easy breeze through the other conference games.
Bringing It All Together
Group of Five Teams
If all the G5 teams played each other, BYU would likely come out in the 5th-8th range. Considering that there are 60 of these teams, that is not bad at all.
Power Five Teams:
BYU would be a solid Power Five team that would likely find themselves consistently flirting with the Top 25, but ranging in the 20-35 ranking. Being better than half the teams, the Cougars would be the kind of team that teams can never overlook, however at the same time, they would rarely make real runs at the conference championship.
Regardless, BYU absolutley should be considered a Power Five team. They are better than most of the G5 teams and are at worst average among the P5 teams. But it may take until the new TV contracts come out for the Cougars to have a real shot at that.