A Look at BYU Football's Climb in the AP Top-25 Poll

Casey Lundquist

On Sunday, BYU jumped up to #12 in the AP poll - the Cougars' highest ranking since 2009. Today, let's take a closer look at BYU's climb up the AP poll during the early parts of the 2020 college football season.

USATSI_14891404_168390393_lowres

After a dominant victory over Navy on Labor Day, BYU found itself in the AP top-25 at #21. The next weekend, BYU's game against Army was postponed. Despite the postponement, BYU moved up three spots in the AP poll to #18. Here is a breakdown of how the Cougars improved three spots in the rankings despite not playing that weekend:

Teams that BYU leapfrogged:

BYU leapfrogged #18 Louisiana-Lafayette after the Ragin' Cajuns struggled in an overtime victory over Georgia State - the Ragin's Cajuns were bumped to #19.

The Cougars also surpassed Virginia Tech. The Hokies didn't play that weekend after their rivalry game against Virginia was postponed by COVID-19. Both teams sat out but voters moved the Cougars in front of the Hokies. Why? Probably because Navy beat Tulane that weekend.

Rankings impact: +2

Teams that leapfrogged BYU:

No teams leapfrogged BYU in week three.

Rankings impact: 0

Teams that lost and fell below BYU:

#18 Louisville lost to Miami and dropped below BYU in the rankings

Rankings impact: +1

Net ranking movement in week three: +3 (#18 in AP Poll)

USATSI_14989715_168390393_lowres

After two weeks off, #18 BYU finally took the field and dominated Troy. BYU's performance proved that the Cougars' victory over Navy was not a fluke and voters noticed. However, voters were also allowed to vote for Big Ten and PAC-12 teams once those conferences announced their plans to play this fall and BYU subsequently dropped in the polls.

Teams that BYU leapfrogged:

BYU leapfrogged Memphis after their convincing victory over Troy.

Rankings impact: +1

Teams that leapfrogged BYU:

Ohio State, Penn State, Oregon, and Wisconsin surpassed BYU in the top 25 once voters were allowed to vote for them.

Mississippi State leapfrogged BYU after their impressive victory over the defending national champions.

Rankings impact: -5

Teams that lost and fell below BYU:

#3 Oklahoma and #6 LSU lost this weekend but they didn't fall below BYU in the rankings.

Rankings impact: 0

Net ranking movement in week four: -4 (#22 in AP Poll)

USATSI_15015535_168390393_lowres

#22 BYU moved to 3-0 after a third dominant victory, this time over Louisiana Tech. After three games, BYU ranked first in the country in both total offense and total defense.

Teams that BYU leapfrogged:

BYU's consistent dominance convinced voters to put BYU in front of Wisconsin and LSU.

Rankings impact: +2

Teams that leapfrogged BYU:

None.

Rankings impact: 0

Teams that lost and fell below BYU:

#13 Texas A&M, #9 Texas, #16 Mississippi State, #11 UCF, and #18 Oklahoma lost this weekend and fell below BYU in the rankings.

Rankings impact: +5

Net ranking movement in week four: +7 (#15 in AP Poll)

USATSI_15050028_168390393_lowres

#15 BYU looked sluggish for the first time in 2020 against UTSA - the Cougars slept walked their way to a 27-20 victory in an empty Lavell Edwards Stadium.

Teams that BYU leapfrogged:

Auburn beat Arkansas thanks to a suspect call in the fourth quarter. Voters moved BYU in front of Auburn after the War Eagle needed some luck to beat 1-1 Arkansas.

Rankings impact: +1

Teams that leapfrogged BYU:

Texas A&M jumped into the top 12 after upsetting #4 Florida.

Rankings impact: -1

Teams that lost and fell below BYU:

#14 Tennessee lost their first game of the season against Georgia and dropped to #18.

Rankings impact: +1

Net ranking movement in week four: +1 (#14 in AP Poll)

USATSI_15078364_168390393_lowres

#14 BYU faced the greatest challenge to date against Houston - the Cougars overcame a double-digit deficit in the second half to beat Houston 43 to 26. 

Teams that BYU leapfrogged:

BYU leapfrogged reigning PAC-12 champion Oregon - the Ducks kick off their 2020 season in November.

Rankings impact: +1

Teams that leapfrogged BYU:

None.

Rankings impact: 0

Teams that lost and fell below BYU:

#5 North Carolina lost to Florida State who was 1-3 heading into their matchup against the Tarheels. North Carolina dropped to #14 after the loss.

Rankings impact: +1

Net ranking movement in week four: +2 (#12 in AP Poll)

THANKS FOR READING COUGS DAILY
Register today for free or log in to access this premium article.
Comments

News

FEATURED
COMMUNITY