Kalani Sitake and BYU football probably expected to contend for a New Year’s Six bowl in 2022, but the Cougars faced a tough schedule and that just wasn’t in the cards.
Jaren Hall had himself a heck of a season, passing for over 3,000 yards and 31 touchdowns, completing 66 percent of his passes. He looked like one of the best quarterbacks in the country but because BYU finished the season just 8-5, he was often overlooked.
Replacing Hall will be Kedon Slovis who was once one of the best quarterbacks in the Pac-12 at USC before fighting injuries throughout his career and then transferring to Pitt last season. He didn’t have a ton of success and decided to hit the portal again and now he’ll call Provo home.
Also coming in is Audan Robbins who was one of the best transfer running backs in the portal out of UNLV.
There’s some talent coming in, but facing actual conference play against Power Five foes, what are the expectations for BYU in 2023?
Realistic expectations for BYU football in 2023
Because the Cougars are replacing Hall with a veteran quarterback like Slovis who can lead a Power Five offense, I think the expectations for BYU rise a little bit.
Do I think they’ll surpass their eight wins from a year ago in year one in the Big 12? Not necessarily, but I don’t think this team will be a pushover, by any means.
If the transfers have a big impact like I’m expecting, I could see BYU bowling in 2023.
Looking at the schedule, I can see BYU starting the season 2-0 before going to Arkansas and picking up its first loss. After that, it’ll take another lump at Kansas before hosting Cincinnati and picking up a nice win before an Oct. 7 bye. After that bye, I could see BYU losing three of its next four games, beating either Texas Tech or West Virginia and losing at TCU and at Texas. The Cougars will beat Iowa State at home, lose to Oklahoma, and put up a fight at Oklahoma State.
If I were to guess, I’d say that BYU wins 5-6 games in year one in the Big 12, but 7-8 wins are very possible. I don’t think they win more than eight games next season.