SALT LAKE CITY — A pair of college football teams could potentially be on the opposite end of top 25 caliber upsets this year.
ESPN determined potential trap games for every team in its post-spring power rankings, and the article included BYU and Utah.
The Cougars are listed as a potential trap game for Washington, which is No. 15 in the power rankings. BYU hosts the Huskies on Sept. 21, after losing 35-7 to Washington in Seattle last season.
"When you're in rebuilding mode on defense, road games can always be tricky. So if you're the Huskies, don't sleep on the Sept. 21 trip to BYU. It comes a week before the USC game, and the Cougars will be playing with a major sense of urgency after last year's 7-6 season. BYU also returns 14 starters, including eight on offense," ESPN's Edward Aschoff wrote.
Pac-12 North opponent California, meanwhile, could be a trip-up game for the Utes, ESPN wrote, when the Golden Bears travel to Salt Lake City on Oct. 26.
"It can be tough to label conference opponents as trap opponents, but that Cal game on Oct. 26 could be a tricky one for the Utes. Utah will challenge for the top spot in the Pac-12 (South) and will have a tough game against Arizona State the week before Cal and an even tougher game at Washington the week after. Cal isn't a top team in the league, and it would be natural for the Utes to overlook the Bears," Aschoff wrote.
A look at the next round of bowl lineups
With 2019 the final year of the current six-year bowl cycle, Stadium national college football insider Brett McMurphy broke down what he's confirmed about the Power 5 bowl tie-ins for the 2020-25 bowl cycle, with notes on Group of 5 conferences as well.
McMurphy reported the Pac-12 lineup as:
- Rose vs. Big Ten
- Alamo vs. Big 12
- Las Vegas vs. SEC/Big Ten
- Los Angeles vs. Mountain West
- Holiday vs. ACC
- Redbox vs. Big Ten
- Sun vs. ACC
- Independence vs. ACC
"The NCAA granted the Pac-12 an additional bowl bid in the new cycle and the Pac-12 is expected to add the Los Angeles Bowl vs. the Mountain West and the Independence Bowl against the ACC," McMurphy wrote of the Pac-12's changes. "The Pac-12 also will play against either the SEC or the Big Ten in the new Las Vegas Bowl. By adding two bowls, the Pac-12 had to drop one — it’s expected to be the Cheez-It Bowl. The Pac-12 will now have Power 5 opponents in seven of its eight bowls, including three from the ACC and at least two from the Big Ten."
Two other notes of local interest McMurphy reported:108 comments on this story
- The Mountain West Conference lost its long-time tie-in with the Las Vegas Bowl, but will play the Pac-12 in the new Los Angeles-based bowl.
- ESPN will place independents BYU and Army in bowls in the new cycle.
- Former Utah safety Jason Thompson signed with the Atlanta Falcons
- 247 Sports has the Utes with the No. 5 most favorable schedule in 2019
And finally ...
Former BYU basketball big man Brandon Davies showed appreciation for a tribute video made of his two years with Zalgiris Kaunas of the Lithuanian Basketball League. He is joining FC Barcelona of Spain’s acclaimed ACB League next season.