Landscape Reset: What Happens to BYU if the PAC-12 & Mountain West Playing Football?
After the Big Ten reversed their decision to postpone a fall football season, the PAC-12 and Mountain West began scrambling to put a plan together that would allow them to play football as well. As Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports said, "As the Big Ten’s decision unfolded this week, it revealed that peer pressure is another indelible factor that’s reshaping the way conferences, schools and athletic departments are now approaching football in 2020."
If the Mountain West and PAC-12 play football this fall, how does that impact BYU?
Anything can happen in 2020. However, it likely won't impact BYU's schedule in November. Neither conference will have time to play non-conference games this fall - the very earliest the Mountain West and PAC-12 would start is October 24th and October 31st respectively. If a game was postponed by COVID-19, maybe BYU could find a game with one of these teams. It's important to note that both conferences need to overcome hurdles before returning to play. Pete Thamel did a great job explaining those hurdles, you can read them here.
In my opinion, this is where the return of these conferences could hurt BYU the most. If they are able to play enough games to become bowl eligible, it would limit BYU's bowl opportunities. What is the requirement for bowl eligibility in 2020? That remains to be seen, but BYU was a candidate to fill PAC-12 bowl slots.
In general, the return of most FBS conferences would also reduce BYU's opportunity to play in a NY6 bowl game. BYU would have to go undefeated and impress a lot of people along the way to receive an at-large bid.