Utah, BYU, USU bowl updates

            With the season-ending injury to Chuckie Keeton, Utah State’s bowl chances are considerably diminished. But not dead. Utah got to the Sun Bowl and won over Georgia Tech after starting QB Jordan Wynn went down with an injury in the fourth game of 2011.

            I figure the odds of USU playing in the postseason are still OK, considering the state of the lower part of the Mountain West.

            Meanwhile, I would put Utah’s chances of playing in a bowl at about 45 percent and BYU’s at 55 percent.

            Just guesses, like everyone else’s. But here are the pivotal games for all three teams:

            USU key game: Nevada Las Vegas.

            USU won’t beat Boise State and or Wyoming. It should beat Hawaii and New Mexico. But UNLV has shown competence by beating Central Michigan, Western Illinois and New Mexico.  

            Since the USU-UNLV game is in Las Vegas on Nov. 9, and Keeton is out, that game should decide whether USU meets the 6-game minimum. If that fails, there’s a chance of beating CSU at home the next week. But first things first.

            Prediction: Yes on bowl eligibility for the Aggies.

            USU’s program has enough depth to beat the low end of the MWC, even without its star player.

            BYU key game: Nevada.

            The Wolfpack beat BYU last time the Cougars were in Reno, and this year it has defeated Hawaii and Air Force and lost in OT to San Diego State.

            Things could go down to the last game of the year for BYU. Houston is 4-0, Georgia Tech is better than last year and Boise State is still dangerous. Idaho State is a gimme.

            Prediction: Hello Fight Hunger Bowl, but not by much.

            Utah: key game: Arizona.

            Utah got beat at home by the Wildcats last year, but won in Tucson the year before.

            This season the  ‘Cats got drubbed by Washington but beat NAU, UNLV and UTSA. Which tells us pretty much nothing.  

            If Utah beats Arizona, then it probably must beat two of these three: USC, WSU and Colorado. Not a done deal there, either. But a loss at Arizona makes a sweep of the aforementioned games mandatory.

            Prediction: No bowl.  To get to the postseason, the Utes will likely need two road wins. Right now they’re not even winning at home.

[poll id="289"][poll id="290"][poll id="291"]

30 comments

  1. UteInIdaho

    I feel for USU. They should be competing for a conference title, but now it’s being discussed whether or not they will go bowling. There is a BIG drop from Chuckie to the 2nd string guy.

    • Cougardude

      Feel for USU but think they will pull it out and get to a bowl. Hope Utah does too. It is good for our state to have 3 teams in Bowl games.

  2. Dean Stewart

    Apparently, most readers agree with the author’s predictions concerning the chances of our 3 local FBS teams playing in post season games… 2 yes and 1 no. An update in a few more weeks will be interesting.

  3. Steve Bluth

    Not fretting much about whether Utah will get into a bowl or not. At 6-6 the before Christmas Who-Gives-A-Hoot Bowl won’t be any better than the thrilling PAC-12 games they are playing and competing in up to the closing gun right now. I figure one more year in the conference to turn close losses into close wins. I’ve also been a Northwestern fan for many years. Before they started winning, they had to stop losing by 50, then by 20, then by a touchdown and it took many years. Utes are a lot closer to turning the tide than that.

  4. Neil Mitchell

    Brad, you are an idiot. Utah State can easily win out in their season if they can find a competent QB. Is Haris that player? Don’t know, we’ll have to see.

    Also I’ll be surprised if BYU wins less than eight games in the regular season. They will beat Nevada by at least twenty and should win G. Tech, Houston and Boise. Bowling but not by much–give me a break.

    The Utes would have gone bowling if they hadn’t blown the last two league games. As usual, they put everything into the BYU game and didn’t have anything left in the tank afterward. No wonder they haven’t scheduled BYU the next two years.

    • Uteology

      BYU is only 7 plays from being 18-0.

      Virginia and Utah stopped BYU from playing in the National Championship game but no one else will stop them from making a BCS Bowl.

      • Tators

        Perchance, are you and Ernest T. Bass the same person… or at least brothers? Your overblown sarcasm is almost identical.

    • Tators

      It’s hard to argue with your assessment. That seems to be the pattern over the past several years. Things seem to go downhill for the Utes after the BYU game each year, and as such, remains the only thing left for ardent Ute fans to brag about.

    • cougardude

      So true about Utah and BYU. Always a huge letdown after the game is over. BYU is constantly improving each week which makes me think they may have a shot at running the table. The Wisconsin game will be the if in the discussion. USU… So sad about Keeton. He just landed wrong on that little hop he took. Bummer. Good kid and really good Athlete.

  5. Perceptive

    I agree. For some time now, I’ve been following the back and forth comments of excitable fans regarding these teams. The most humorous is one by a Ute fan who often says to non-Ute fans “if we’re bad, then you’re worse” which to me seems mostly out of place and somewhat juvenile. But fans will be fans from whatever their perspective seems to be.

  6. Chris B

    I’m finally forced to come clean. After watching the results of local games this past few weekends, I’m forced to admit that maybe BYU is better than I’ve been admitting. And maybe the Utes beating BYU several times in a row by close scores has been somewhat lucky. Sometimes the truth hurts.
    Mark it down.

    USU has now become a big question mark in my mind.

  7. WisCoug

    Honestly, I don’t really understand the idea that Georgia Tech is better than last year. On paper they are worse offensively (despite a 70-0 win against Elon) and their best win is against 3-2 Duke. Their defense is porous, allowing 6.2 yards per play and opponent QBs to complete 63% of their passes.

    Not to mention that I don’t think nearly as highly of Nevada (who’s 3 wins came against UC-Davis, Hawaii, and AFA… a combined 3-14) or Houston (who has only played high school level competition all year). 7-5 at worst and bowl bound for the 9th straight season.

    • Kralon

      Georgia Tech’s Sagarin ranking is 35 (Utah is 34) which is higher than last year by about 15 places (at the time we played them if I remember correctly). Using Sagarin’s predictor BYU is almost a five point favorite which means it is a toss-up. Of course, USU was favored over BYU last week by six points.

  8. Wookie

    Truly, in the end these bowls don’t mean much other than you get some $ and an extra game. In the end, the only bowl that matters is the bowl for the NC. Some of the other bowls have some credibility, but if you are in a BCS bowl, or the new system for those type bowls, its just another game.

    Go UTES!!

    • Trey

      Well they do also mean extra practice time with the coaches, which is significantly more with the BCS bowls and other later played bowls, but we get your point.

  9. souptwins

    Chris B— Finally you put up a post worth something. I think I’ll “mark it down” for future reference.

  10. Trey

    The Chris B in this thread is an imposter. Not even BYU fans are trying to claim BYU is great all of a sudden after the single USU win.

    Here is how I see it:
    USU will probably go bowling, because they have a great defense and their backup QB Harrison is not too shabby. He just played against the toughest defense he will have to face all year. I like their chances against a below standard BSU team. I think they probably will lose to WY. After that, they have pretty good chances the rest of the season. I don’t think they take the conference.

    BYU’s pivotal game is not Nevada for crying out loud. The Nevada team we lost to had one very proficient offense with a guy named Colin Kaepernick. Remember that guy, who is now the starter for the 49ers. This year the Wolfpack isn’t half that team was. Our pivotal game is Wisconsin. Wisconsin and Notre Dame are our toughest teams left, but every one of our opponents has already suffered at least 2 losses at this point, so we can’t call this the toughest schedule in BYU history any more. There is still a chance to run the table with the remaining schedule IF BYU keeps improving.

    Utah will go bowling this year. Say what you want, but they have been close in their losses, and they have very winable games against AZ, USC, WSU, and CU. I predict they go 7-5 with an invite to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, then they lose to BYU (I’m still a homer).

    Good luck to all, with best wishes to Keaton.

  11. Darrel R. Thompson

    All three teams have star players who will likely find success in the NFL. All three are competitive, and work at developing student-athletes far better than most of the top 10 rated programs. We should be proud of our teams and continue to support them as they represent Utah.

  12. Horrible Stumper

    I think Trey is right on. We can hope USU wins out, but a loss to either Boise or Wyoming is probable. And even though I am an avid BYU hater, I do have to give them props, their defense is amazing and Taysom is a player. I think they will go a bowling, probably not a great bowl, but a bowl is a bowl. Utah is the best team in the state, but going 6 and 6 is going to be a challenge for them. I wish them luck.

  13. Tajemnica

    I’m not a fan of any of these schools but as a southern cal native and current WVC resident I follow the local teams pretty closely. I absolutely dislike the fans of utah and as such place them at the bottom for my preferences of local teams – especially with so called ‘fans’ pulling stunts like the spencer hadley rat out. However, I must say that the u is probably going to be the best non bowl losing record team in the nation at the end of the season. They have as good of a team as you can get for (potentially) finishing the season with a losing record

  14. The Grave Digger

    >If Utah beats Arizona

    Not gonna happen. Kadeem’s going to run roughshod over the Utah defense. If he doesn’t rack up 180 yards and at least 3 touchdowns, I’ll be shocked.

    But since I’m not worried in the least, I’ll be relaxing at the game in a BYU t-shirt and a UofA baseball cap.

  15. Samwise

    My bowl eligibility prediction for BYU: with wins over Georgia Tech (who is much better than last year and will make it a close game), Houston (who has 4 cupcake wins), and Boise State (who is a shell of its former self), BYU will be bowl eligible by the end of October. I also think BYU will easily beat Nevada and (of course) stomp all over Idaho State with Olsen playing half the game. I think 8 regular season wins is going to happen for BYU this year. I also think BYU has a slim chance at Wisconsin and slightly less slim chance at Notre Dame. 10 wins is not out of the realm of possibility, however I don’t think it will happen. Just for fun, I also think USU will fairly easily go bowling but Utah will be just barely on one side of the fence or the other. I honestly hope all three go to a bowl game this year. Go BYU! Go teams from the state of Utah!

  16. Tom Duffy

    Rock you jinxed the Cougs. It’ll come down to the Idaho State game and it will snow and they’ll tip us over just because of what you said. Thanx a lot.

Leave a comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.

*