This might be a surprise for some people, but those that have been watching college football in 2020 know that BYU is a serious team. Sure, they have played a weak schedule, but they have taken care of business and beaten every team they have faced. Save for the game against UTSA they have also beaten their opponents HANDILY.
Setting aside the 7-point victory over UTSA (which shouldn’t be ignored) they have beaten their other eight opponents by an average of 37 points. The teams they are beating aren’t perennial powerhouses by any means, but they aren’t scrubs either. Navy, Houston, and Boise State aren’t exactly great teams, but they are still quality opponents that BYU has blown out.
BYU only has one more game on the schedule, against San Diego State in three weeks. There has been discussion about BYU trying to add another game the week of December 19th against the PAC-12 in order to help bolster their schedule, but nothing is concrete as of now.
Couple all of this with their Heisman candidate QB Zach Wilson and they have a puncher’s chance of making the field. They will need some help. A second loss by Clemson would be a big help but they might also need losses from other teams on this list. Namely, the next team in our rankings.
Much like the BYU Cougars, Cincinnati is benefitting from a seriously weakened schedule. However, just like BYU, they have been taking care of business in a mostly very convincing fashion. Their schedule is arguably stronger than BYU’s and I think that is why the Bama Hammer staff has them just a tad above BYU.
While BYU has only faced one ranked opponent Cincinnati has played two with a third upcoming. They also have only one close game on the season against UCF. Excluding the UCF game, they have blown their opponents off the field with an average margin of victory of over 29 points per game.
Unlike BYU Cincinnati plays in a conference with a championship game where they should face another quality opponent. Just like BYU, they will need some help in the form of losses by the other top teams, but if they run the table they have a chance to sneak into the field.
The Gators are playing absolutely lights out since their loss to Texas A&M. Since then, they are 4-0 and averaging 46.5 points per game with an average margin of victory of 22.25 points. The offense is obviously championship caliber, but the defense is still suspect, proven by the 300+ passing yards given up to a bad Vanderbilt team. However, LSU proved in 2019 that you don’t have to have a stifling defense anymore to win a championship.
The one thing Florida is missing that LSU had in 2019 is a consistent performer at RB. They have had no RB go over 100 yards rushing in 2020 and that could be a problem if Florida plays a top-tier pass defense. They took down Georgia’s pass defense, but that comes with a small asterisk because the UGA defense was missing a lot of their best defenders in the secondary. I do not mean to undermine what they accomplished against UGA, I only want to provide context.
They are a top team in the country and Kyle Trask is the odds-on Heisman favorite right now and rightfully so. Their only loss of the season came against another one-loss SEC team who (Spoiler Alert) also made this list. Florida controls its own destiny. If they win out and beat Alabama football in the SEC title game, they are in. One more loss and they are out.