Image via USU Statesman
Tic Tac Toe, three bowl eligible schools in a row! Utah, Utah State and BYU all won at least as many games as they lost and that means they all more than likely will be featured in one of the many bowl games in college football’s money centered version of the postseason.
Nobody is playing for a championship though there are several big money bowls that could help out the program a lot. It’s time to find out in the upcoming week whether each team will roll a strike, spare, gutter ball or somewhere in between in their respective bowl bids.
Utah State Aggie Football (10-2):
Best Case Scenario: The Las Vegas Bowl
The Aggies will be watching the Mountain West championship game from home but there is still hope for the “Dairy Utes”. If Utah State gets a little help from a few teams they could somehow find themselves in the Vegas Bowl. Here is how:
1. UCF loses the American Championship: After star quarterback McKenzie Milton went down, UCF looks like it could be upset by four loss Memphis in the championship. After all, UCF just squeaked past Memphis 31 to 30 back in October when Milton was healthy and schooling everybody. A loss here is said to guarantee a 2 loss Mountain West champion gets in. Utah State was the last one loss Group of Five school to go down not counting UCF. The other two loss schools are in significantly weaker conferences such as Buffalo (MAC) and Appalachian State (Sun Belt).
2. Boise creams Fresno State: If Boise can cream Fresno then the committee could argue that by simple math the Aggies who lost a close one are more deserving of a bid than Fresno. If you look at the entirety of the season the Aggies has more impressive offensive statistics and had a ten game win streak which was matched by few other schools in the nation. Being ranked in the Top 25 for several weeks shows Utah State is ready to play with the big dogs. It’s very critical that Boise wins because if they lose then the head to head win over the Aggies would make them the obvious choice for the Vegas Bowl.
3. The Utes lose the PAC-12 title game: Traditionally the winner of this game earns the right to play the Big Ten champion or the next best team if the winner makes the playoff. Here if the Utes lose they could be a candidate for the Vegas Bowl. This would be a chance for the bowl to sell out in a day if they choose Utah State.
As Star point guard Chris Paul once said “Utah fans are a bunch of homers.” Whether BYU, Utah or Utah State fans they will support their team in big groups especially in a rivalry game that the teams are forced to play regardless of their hatred for each other. The 2015 Las Vegas Bowl sold out in a few hours. This is the committee’s chance to bring the money to Vegas and I don’t mean gambling money. This would be the best case scenario if all these things work out.
Worst Case Scenario: Rub salt, sour cream and a baked potato in the wound at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
It wouldn’t be the ideal spot for the Aggies who saw their possible NY6 and Vegas hopes dashed on the Smurf Turf last weekend. However, a bowl is a bowl even if the payout is only $325,000. That’s enough for a doctor to pay off student loans. Maybe.
The one positive about that worst case scenario is that this year the Aggies would have a terrific shot to win. This game traditionally features the MAC and the Mountain West. In the MAC vs WAC days the Aggies lost a close one to Ohio in 2011 before creaming Toledo in their 11 win season in 2012. This season certainly feels like 2012 and with only two close losses the Aggies have a chance to show everyone in the state how to put away a MAC team like Northern Illinois.
Most likely scenario: There is none
Sports Illustrated says: Frisco Bowl vs a team that children love to sing about at church in Utah.
CBS Sports says: See our worst case scenario above.
ESPN says: We could either go to war in the Armed Forces Bowl or make a trip to the same bowl we went to last year.
Mountain West Wire says: We will play another team that has been an offensive powerhouse at least in past years.
Bottom Line: It was a historic season for Utah State and it will get even more historic if they can get a good bowl matchup and play well.