University of Utah

Where will the Utes be Bowling?

10515713The most frequently asked question of yours truly recently has been, “What Bowl will the Utes be playing in the Year?” The honest answer to this question is that I have no clue at this point in time. However I think I’ve got a pretty good read on where it “might” be and I can break it down into a few different scenarios. These scenarios are all dependent not only on how Utah finishes, but how others finish and the ability or perceived ability of how the schools will travel.

Tier 1-Utah finishes the season at 7-5

This tier is a worst case scenario for Utah Fans. Under this premise Utah has finished the season with back to back losses, most notably to a bad Colorado Team. Zero momentum, fans not likely pleased and better bowls turning their attention elsewhere. That last sentence was almost comical to write considering before the season most Utah fans would have killed for a 7-5 season and any bowl appearance.

1. Royal Purple Vegas Bowl vs. Mountain West Conference Team-December 20th 1:30pm

2. Hyundai Sun Bowl vs. ACC Team-December 27th Noon

Tier 2-Utah finishes the season at 8-4

This is tier will represent a step up from Tier 1 but a little bit of overlap. I see three real possibilities here for Utah. All good bowls. 2 destinations better than the third.

1. Sun Bowl vs. ACC Team-December 27th Noon

2. San Francisco Bowl vs. Big Ten Team-December 30th 8pm

3. Cactus Bowl vs. Big 12 Team-January 2nd 8:15pm

Tie3 3-Utah finishes the season at 9-3

This is a best case scenario tier for the Utes and a tier that I actually see playing out. I think Utah will beat both Arizona and Colorado and head into the Bowl Season with momentum. It also puts them at 6-3 in Pac 12 play with wins over ranked teams: UCLA, USC, Arizona. With Utah’s history of traveling well to bowl games, all of the above will make them very attractive to a couple of higher profile bowls.

1. Holiday Bowl vs. Big 10 Team-December 27th 6pm

2. San Francisco Bowl vs. Big Ten Team-December 30th 8pm

3. Alamo Bowl vs. Big 12 Team-January 2nd 4:45pm

My best guess 2 weeks before bowl invites go out is that Utah will be playing in a California Bowl Game.

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  • Bill Riley is a 24 year Radio and Television Broadcast Veteran, spending the last 15 years in the Salt Lake City Market. Riley is the longest tenured employee of ESPN 700, having joined the station in 2004. In addition to hosting the Bill Riley Show from 11 to 2 Monday-Friday, Riley is the Program Director of ESPN 700. Bill Riley has twice been named the Utah Sports Broadcaster of the Year in 2012 and 2015. Riley has been the Play by Play Voice of the University of Utah for 7 years and is entering his 12th season as the Play by Play Voice of Real Salt Lake. Riley is the co-host of Real Sports Live Sunday Nights on ABC-4 Utah.


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