Utah Makes Bowl Eligibility, Where Could They Be Going?
PULLMAN, Wash.- Utah is now 6-2 which means they have reached bowl eligibility for the ninth year in a row in the Pac-12 era. While the feeling early in the season was that Utah and USC would most likely be heading to the Conference Championship Game, the race for the top dogs in the conference has become tighter than anticipated. That is not to say that the Utes aren’t still in the mix, because they are, but more to say the Pac-12 appears to be better than anticipated in 2022.
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The Pac-12 currently has four teams ranked in the AP Top 25 and that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon. With the race for the championship currently being so tight, where everyone finishes will go a long way to determining where the Utes end up going bowling, but there are several possibilities based off of the Pac-12’s bowl tie-ins.
Utah Bowl Eligibility: The Best Possibility, Obviously
Ideally Utah wins out, repeats as Pac-12 Champs and goes back to Pasadena for the “Granddaddy of them All” on January 2, 2023, however, in the here and now it feels like a really big ask. It’s not that Utes aren’t good enough or don’t deserve the honor of being back in the Rose Bowl, but they have competition. No. 8 Oregon, No. 10 USC and No. 12 UCLA all have a say in this matter and will have to have some mistakes of their own in the homestretch of this season. Utah has used every mulligan they have with losses to Florida and UCLA. The others still have some wiggle room that they will need to blow.
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Making the task a little harder still, is the fact Utah appears to be a bit beat up. Several players sat out against Washington State and while the Utes got the win in Pullman, it wasn’t terribly convincing. It isn’t known how long or extensive some of these injuries will be for Utah. They should be able to handle Arizona and Stanford at home regardless of who is available in the next two weeks. However, a matchup with Oregon at Autzen looms large and the Utes will really need all hands-on deck. That same weekend USC will pay UCLA a visit which should provide a lot of clarity as to where everyone will most likely end up.
The Pac-12’s Other Bowl Tie-Ins
- Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas- December 30, 2022
- Alamo Bowl, San Antonio, Texas, December 29, 2022
- Holiday Bowl, San Diego, California, December 28, 2022
- Las Vegas Bowl, Las Vegas, Nevada, December 17, 2022
- Jimmy Kimmel L.A. Bowl, Los Angeles, California, December 17, 2022
The top four in the Pac-12 need to sort themselves out in the coming weeks before any real determination of how these other bowl game will play out, but it does give fans an idea of where Utah could end up if it’s not the Rose Bowl, and when they could be playing.
Overall, the Pac-12 has some nice destinations they send their teams to with fun potential matchups with the SEC (Las Vegas Bowl), the Big 10 (Rose Bowl and Holiday Bowl) as well as the Mountain West Conference (L.A. Bowl).
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