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BYU a College Football Playoff hopeful? A top-10 team? National pundits weigh in

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BYU running back Tyler Allgeier (25) carries the ball as Louisiana Tech defensive back Cedric Woods (30) pursues during the second half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, in Provo, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool)


SALT LAKE CITY — If it hadn’t already, the BYU football hype train has officially left the station.

Ahead of the weekly release of the top-25 polls Sunday, multiple national pundits on Saturday gave high, high praise to the Cougars after they beat Louisiana Tech 45-14 on Friday to move to 3-0 on the season, with all three victories coming in very convincing fashion.

How high was the praise? Fourteen ESPN personalities were asked to list the four teams they think should, at this point, go to the College Football Playoff, and writer Bill Connelly gave BYU his vote for the fourth spot (all 14 had Alabama and Clemson as the top two teams, and 13 had Ohio State as the third team. All except Connelly had either Florida or Georgia as their fourth team).

“In the shock of the week, the BYU Cougars land in the picks for the first time this campaign,” the group wrote. “The Cougars have put up 148 points during a 3-0 start and — now that they filled out a 10-game schedule — might have the résumé by the end of the season to crack into the playoff picture.”

Connelly tweeted on Saturday afternoon, “Hear me out: let Kansas and BYU switch schedules from here on out so the Big 12 can maybe still get a team in the CFP...”

Elsewhere, The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman gave BYU the nod at No. 10 in his weekly top-10 rankings (Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Florida, Miami, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Oklahoma State and SMU are the other nine on his list).

“I realize the Cougars’ slate hasn’t been daunting, especially with Navy off to a shaky start because of the unusual circumstances this offseason amid the pandemic, but credit to BYU,” Feldman wrote. “This team has been dominant and was especially so Friday in thumping what was a 2-0 Louisiana Tech team. Jeff Grimes’ offense has been very potent with QB Zach Wilson healthier than he was last year and playing superbly. Through three games Wilson has 11 incompletions to match the number of total TDs he’s accounted for (six passing and five rushing).”