Realistically, BYU wanted to extend its energy of schedule with the intention to have a prayer on the College Football Playoff. By tacking on what might be their most troublesome recreation of the season — at Coastal Carolina on Saturday — the Cougars did simply that.
May or not it’s sufficient to provide the Cougars an opportunity? Ought to or not it’s? Let’s break it down, utilizing the Allstate Playoff Predictor as our information.
Ought to the Cougars have an opportunity?
Even “ought to” may be cut up up into a number of classes.
Let’s begin with: Ought to the Cougars have an opportunity primarily based on the historic precedent of the choice committee? Sure.
Though no non-Energy 5 faculty has gotten into the playoff, an 11-0 BYU would have a number of metrics in its favor for at the least a shot.
BYU ranks eleventh in ESPN’s College Football Power Index (FPI) and would seemingly rank seventh in energy of document (SOR) if it wins out. On the floor, that does not sound nice (extra on that in a minute), however the Cougars would profit from a few different elements.
First: BYU’s unbiased standing. Previously, the committee has given independents much less credit score than convention champions, all else being equal, but additionally extra credit score than groups that would have gained championships however did not. That provides BYU a bit increase within the occasion that there aren’t 4 clear-cut, conference-champion playoff groups.
Second: the loss column. Whereas SOR encapsulates losses — and subsequently the committee should not want to make use of it if utilizing a résumé metric like SOR — the committee traditionally has overweighted the variety of losses in its decision-making. Thus, if BYU finally ends up 11-0, it will obtain an additional uptick from that.
(A medium-length apart: With its current 11-game schedule, BYU would have the worst energy of document of any undefeated staff within the playoff period apart from 2016 Western Michigan. Then again, evaluating this season to previous seasons is a bit foolish. All that SOR comparability actually tells us is that BYU would not be a contender in a standard season, however this isn’t a standard season, and the bar for the playoff is decrease.)
Thus: The Allstate Playoff Predictor — primarily based on the committee’s previous conduct — offers BYU a 47% probability to succeed in the playoff if it wins out. Fairly robust! It means the Cougars would seemingly need assistance elsewhere — Notre Dame profitable the ACC, for instance, however nothing unreasonable. Caveats incoming, nonetheless.
The primary of these caveats is the opposite strategy to reply “ought to BYU have an opportunity to get in” query. If the committee says it appears for the “greatest” groups and usually closely elements through which are the “most deserving” groups, then BYU in all probability finds itself within the prime 4 of neither class, with potential energy of document and FPI ranks of seven and 11, respectively. It is a straightforward out for the committee to keep away from contemplating the Cougars for the highest 4 if it would not need to.
Finally, that may not be related, and it isn’t the purpose of the Predictor — which operates on the committee’s previous conduct and thus offers BYU a greater shot — however I believe it is worthwhile to notice anyway.
Do the Cougars have an opportunity?
This can be a trickier query. As we have stated all season, we might be naïve to suppose that 2020’s explicit model of mayhem would not add some uncertainty to the playoff.
There’s additionally a reasonably essential piece of knowledge that we all know that the mannequin would not. The committee to this point has thought much less of BYU than what we might count on. The Cougars are thirteenth in this week’s CFP rankings, regardless of present FPI and energy of document ranks of 11 and 9, respectively, plus a zero within the loss column. That is stunning.
Whereas the committee will not be at all times constant, it does imply that BYU in all probability has extra floor to make up than the Playoff Predictor anticipates.
One other issue: The committee at the moment appears to have a better opinion of Coastal Carolina than our metrics do. The Chanticleers rank solely thirty second in FPI — in distinction to their No. 18 CFP rating. That ought to work within the Cougars’ favor; nonetheless, ought to BYU beat Coastal Carolina, there is no assure the latter would stay within the prime 25 anyway.
Whereas an undefeated BYU staff actually has an opportunity, finally my semi-qualitative take primarily based on all these elements is that the Predictor’s 47% probability for BYU if it wins out might be excessive.
What about Coastal Carolina?
Coastal Carolina (9-0) truly is the staff arrange for the higher résumé right here. After growing its personal energy of schedule by bringing within the Cougars on the final minute, the Chanticleers can be projected to complete fifth in energy of document in the event that they win out. So are they all of the sudden a playoff contender?
The Playoff Predictor doesn’t suppose so, giving the Chanticleers only a 3% shot in the event that they win out. What is the distinction? Group high quality. Whereas Coastal Carolina’s résumé can be a bit higher than BYU’s, FPI doesn’t think about the Chanticleers practically pretty much as good of a staff. Our mannequin thinks BYU is about 8 factors higher than Coastal Carolina on a impartial area.
Lauren Poe contributed to this text.