If BYU defeats Utah on Saturday, the Cougars still have a chance to qualify for a BCS bowl game. However, if Utah wins, it has no chance, no matter what happens in the rest of the games.
It sounds crazy, but that's the BCS for you.
According to a press release issued by the Bowl Championship Series committee Monday afternoon, BYU is one of 20 teams remaining "under consideration" to participate in the five BCS bowl games. Utah is not.
It seems a bit odd, considering that BYU and Utah have the same records and that BYU is barely ahead of Utah in the latest BCS standings, at No. 19 to Utah's 21, just weeks after Utah was ahead of BYU in the standings. BYU's BCS average is .2623 compared to Utah's .2353. No. 1 Florida is .9664.
When contacted Monday afternoon, BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said that the committee decided the cutoff point would be No. 20 between USC and Utah. Also included is Nebraska, which is not in the BCS Top 25, but can still get into a BCS bowl with a win over Texas in the Big 12 Championship game. Ohio State is the only school that has clinched a BCS bowl berth.
Hancock did acknowledge that even though BYU is still technically alive, its chances are quite slim.
"Several teams in the top 14 would have to lose in the next two weekends to create any openings," Hancock said. "The group decided to cut at 20, plus Nebraska."
So don't get your hopes up, BYU fans. But if there are enough upsets, such as Nevada over Boise State, New Mexico over TCU, Virginia over Virginia Tech, Texas A&M over Texas, Oklahoma over Oklahoma State and South Florida over Miami, perhaps your team can get a BCS bowl berth with a win over Utah on Saturday.
However, Ute fans, don't plan on your third BCS bowl game in six seasons if you win Saturday, no matter what happens in the other games. According to the BCS, you're already toast.