Monday, November 27, 2006

Hey, Utah Fans...

No, I'm not going to taunt you. Your team played well. In fact, the Utes aren't a bad team this year: look at how they've played against really good teams: sure, they were solidly defeated by Boise State and UCLA, but they beat TCU and they were more than competitive against BYU. The team shouldn't have lost to New Mexico and just came out flat against Wyoming--perhaps the TCU game left them emotionally drained or vulnerable to an upset the next week.

This team should be 8-4, but they lost two games they should have won, but only won one that they should have lost. They'll play in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, and probably do quite well there against a Conference USA team, probably Rice or SMU. Utah is better than any C-USA team, and this game cannot be against either of the top two teams in the conference, who are committed to other bowls. Thus, this game will be quite winnable. Go buy tickets and enjoy a trip to DFW. It's a great place.

In other Mountain West Conference news, TCU has officially accepted an invitation to the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego against an at-large team, which will probably mean one of the weakest teams eligible from the MAC or Sun Belt. The Frogs should win handily. New Mexico will be invited to stay in town for the imaginatively named New Mexico Bowl and play either Nevada or San Jose State, as Hawaii is going to the Hula Bowl and Boise State to the Fiesta. (The other team will play in the MPC Computer Bowl in Boise.) This will be relatively difficult compared to what TCU or Utah face, but the Lobos can win--especially since it is essentially a home game, and they are likely to be facing San Jose State, the weaker of the two possible WAC opponents.

It is clear that the most difficult match-up for the Mountain West will be the Las Vegas Bowl, where BYU will play Oregon (unless UCLA beats USC, then UCLA will be there). Whatever the opponent, though, BYU will be favored, in part because they will effectively be the home team.


At 11:32 AM, November 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I look for Utah to play Tulsa in th Armed Forces Bowl.


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