No. 18 Coastal Carolina's home game on Saturday vs. Liberty has been canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the Flames program. The Chanticleers will now host No. 13 BYU on Saturday at Brooks Stadium in Conway, South Carolina, in a game between two teams in need of signature wins to impress the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.
"We're grateful that this game between our two teams could be put together in such a timely fashion." said BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe.
Coastal Carolina 9-0 (7-0 Sun Belt) has wrapped up a spot in the Sun Belt Championship Game. Coach Jamey Chadwell's crew, led by star quarterback Grayson McCall, need a signature win in order to impress the committee enough to secure the Group of Five's spot in a New Year's Six bowl game.
Speaking of signature wins, the 9-0 Cougars could use one in a big way. Their schedule was decimated by COVID-19 schedule reshuffling, and yet, they found a way to get Boise State, Houston, Troy and other traditionally strong Group of Five teams on the docket. Despite that, BYU's schedule is being held against it by the committee.
Plus, being an independent, it is not guaranteed a spot in a New Year's Six bowl game even if it winds up as the top-ranked non-Power Five team.
"When you look at the schedule, look at the teams, as I mentioned earlier tonight, right now BYU's best win is over Boise State, and in that game I think they got down to their third string quarterback," said committee chair Gary Barta. "BYU has played three teams against .500 or better opponents."
CBS Sports bowls expert Jerry Palm believes this game will give BYU exactly what it needs to get selected for a New Year's Six bowl -- if the Cougars pull off a victory.
"BYU came into some good fortune by being able to schedule a late season game against an opponent that is also undefeated and ranked," Palm said. "The Cougars desperately need a game like this to make a case to get into a New Year's Six game. A win at Coastal Carolina would easily be the best win of the season for BYU and should give the Cougars enough of a boost to position them for a New Year's Six game.
However, let's not get carried away and think this makes a case for BYU as a College Football Playoff team. A schedule with mostly mid-level teams from non-power leagues is not going to get that level of respect."
Kickoff between Coastal Carolina and BYU is set for 5:30 p.m. ET.