2021 PAC12 FB Bowls

Where do you think Utah will end up (obv. hopefully the Rose, but let’s see week to week)?

Here’s the current list of PAC12 bowl tie-ins. We still control our own destiny (as does UCLA, Oregon, and Oregon St.). Obviously, things can change week to week. I think for Utah to make the Rose Bowl, we would need to win out (duh) or at least beat UCLA (own tiebreaker), lose no more than 1 more game, and ASU has to lose (own tiebreaker) to make the championship game which we’d have to win.

I’ve seen current projections from Alamo to LV to Holiday to Sun to LA. Here seems to be an aggregation of projections: Pac-12 Bowl Projections: Oregon to Rose, Everyone Else to Alamo - Sports Illustrated Cal Bears News, Analysis and More

1. Rose Bowl: Jan. 1, 2 p.m. Pacific time, Pasadena, Calif. (Rose Bowl Stadium), ESPN – Pac-12 vs. Big Ten.

  • Pac-12 champ unless in CFP, then Rose bowl picks from the remaining bowl eligible Pac-12 teams

2. Alamo Bowl: Dec. 29, 6:15 p.m. Pacific time, San Antonio (Alamodome), ESPN – Pac-12 vs. Big 12.

  • Pac-12 teams are listed by Pac-12 record (no divisions - that’s just to select the 2 teams for the Pac-12 Championship). Bowls select from among teams with best record AND within one loss of those teams (on downward) - is this still right? Overall record helps make a team more attractive, but it’s the conference record that counts. Other factors are if the team was in that bowl the prior year (sometimes ok, sometimes not) and any repeat regular season matchups (usually avoided). I think at some level, the bowls HAVE to take the next best team? Not sure if this is still the case. Or how much the conference intervenes in the bowl placements like the SEC does.

3. Las Vegas Bowl: Dec. 30, 7:30 p.m. Pacific time, Las Vegas (Allegiant Stadium), ESPN – Pac-12 s. Big Ten

4. Holiday Bowl: Dec. 28, 5:30 p.m. Pacific time, San Diego (Petco Park), FOX/FS1 – Pac-12 vs. ACC

5. Sun Bowl: Dec. 31, 9:30 a.m. Pacific time, El Paso, Texas (Sun Bowl Stadium), CBS – Pac-12 vs. ACC

6. LA Bowl: Dec. 18, 4:30 p.m. Pacific time, Inglewood, Calif. (SoFi Stadium), ABC – Pac-12 vs. Mountain West.

First Responder Bowl – The Pac-12 might occupy a spot in this bowl against a team from the ACC, American Athletic or Big 12.

Gasparilla Bowl – The Pac-12 might fill an opening in this bowl against a team from the Big 12, ACC or SEC.

Armed Forces Bowl – The Pac-12 could get a berth in this bowl

The Redbox Bowl (also known as the San Francisco Bowl) would have been No. 7 in the pecking order of Pac-12 bowls and was to match a Pac-12 team against a Big Ten team, but it has been canceled for the second straight year.

Current FPI projections (2021 Pac-12 Conference Football Power Index | ESPN):

Oregon 6-1 10.1-2.6 11.9 100 68.7 40.9
Utah 4-3 7.8-4.7 8.3 98.2 58.7 28.9
ASU 5-2 8.7-3.6 8.4 100 33.1 15.2
UCLA 5-3 7.5-4.5 8.6 99.2 7.1 3.3
USC 3-4 6.1-5.9 6.3 72.2 1 0.4
Oregon St. 5-2 7.7-4.5 1.1 98.2 18.9 7.2
UW 3-4 5.7-6.4 1.8 55.5 7.6 2.9
Stanford 3-4 5.3-6.7 1.2 41.4 1.7 0.6
Cal 2-5 4.1-7.9 0.9 9 0 0
Washington St. 4-4 5.4-6.6 0.1 39.4 3.1 0.7
CU 2-5 2.9-9.1 0 0.3 0 0
UA 0-7 0.6-11.4 0 0 0 0

“Gasparilla Bowl”!? OMG. What is that? Sounds awful.


It’s a festival held in Tampa, Florida every year.


1,3,4 & 6

I’d go to 3,4 & 6 before Alamo.

The Sun Bowl was actually a nice experience, just a little tough to get to El Paso. Fly into Albuquerque, drive down. How many people in our great nation have been to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico? Not many.

  • Vegas Bowl got a massive venue upgrade
  • Holiday Bowl in Petco Park - we’ve played in baseball parks before, and hey… you’re in San Diego
  • LA Bowl in SoFi? Yeah, I’d go.

Royce Olney was from Truth of Consequences. He was a thug.


You go to NM to see the world’s largest collection of El Camino’s and to get some shiny rocks. :wink:


Been forever since I’ve been to T or C. It was always a good waypoint to gauge progress when heading to El Paso to visit my grandparents. Can’t say I remember much of it, just fond memories surrounding T or C. I could get behind the Sun Bowl, while there’s no way in Hell that I’d want to live in El Paso again, I wouldn’t mind visiting.

Similar - might go to some of them. Vegas is certainly appealing with the new venue (but hoping they are there at the beginning of Dec).

My dad went to HS in El Paso and one of my sons was born there, but haven’t been there in 12 years. Grew up in ABQ so have been through TorC and others in between, but not much there. White Sands and Carlsbad Caverns are ok. We called it Land of Entrapment (Enchantment is on the license plate). In a given year, there might be 1 Div 1 football player, maybe a 3*. But the flag is good.

One of my teachers drove one. Yep.

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Perfect bowl for Mike Leach


That’s why they’re called the Tampa Bay Buccaneers actually


Whenever I think of the Sun Bowl I think of a conversation with a work friend of mine, who grew up there and went to UTEP, the first time Utah went there.

Me: Tell me why I’d like to spend my New Years in El Paso.

[10 seconds of silence]

Him: What the hell would you want to do that for? We’re not going and I’ve got family there.

We didn’t go, but I kind of think that smaller town bowl experience has some appeal as they’re so happy you’re there they treat you nice.


I had a great time at the Sun Bowl . Only a 6 hour drive from my house : ) Drove over the night before. Went to the game and drove home right after it was over. They put on a good show . B. J. Thomas was the halftime entertainment then just walked up intot he stands after he was done.

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My boss, when I was in college and working in the computer center at Westminster College, grew up in a suburb of Dallas, and went to UTEP (It was actually Texas Western then). He never really had anything to say good or bad about El Paso, except some really wild/raunchy stories about the sorts of things that went on in the bars across the river in Juárez where they occasionally went on the weekends. But, if he doesn’t want to go to the Sun Bowl, I’m not sure I ever will.

True story about him - he was on the freshman basketball team during 1966, which was the year Texas Western beat a Jerry Chambers led Utah team in the NCAA semi-finals, and went on to defeat Kentucky in the finals.


One interesting and unique thing about the Sun Bowl is it really is a local bowl - they want to bring in two teams for the exhibition and locals go to support it. Much less like the espn owned ones that are all about tue broadcast and hope for schools to sell their allotment. Kind of cool in my opinion.

One year we visited my parents in ABQ for Christmas and went down to El Paso to visit my son’s birth grandparents. We stayed in a hotel that happened to be the OU hotel for the Sun Bowl. I went to use the hotel computer and there was Sam Bradford (IIRC he was injured and months away from being the #1 draft pick). I actually was in my Texas shirt (pure coincidence) and didn’t talk to him. Another player came in and said something like, “Sam, you know the coaches said no media or computers!” To which he replied, “whatever”.


More pundits are putting Utah in the Alamo bowl (with Oregon in the Rose bowl) meaning they believe we will be #2 (win South, lose championship). A few have us in lower bowls, so they must be predicting some losses/chaos and ASU winning the South (and Alamo picking #2 North). I can see us beating Oregon at home but losing on a neutral field. Would love to win in Vegas and go to the Rose, but we just don’t have a good record for some reason in our last 2 attempts to win the conference. Maybe this year becomes inspired and we win 22-something (assuming our defense gels and can hold Oregon to under that).

Oregon is the only chance for CFP. If Oregon sneaks into the CFP (I don’t know why Ohio St. is getting more love - I guess harder Big10-East), that bumps teams up a spot. No guarantee a 2nd place Utah goes to the Rose in this case (they could pick North #2), but you would hope so.

My guesses:

  • Rose: Oregon (11-2)
  • Alamo: Utah (9-4) - note, Pac12 wins might be within 1 of ASU and some from the North when all is said and done, so they could choose someone else for a different matchup. We were there in 2019 and laid an egg against Texas. But we still are probably a better choice than alternatives based on how the team has played better in the conference
  • Las Vegas: ASU (7-5) (sans Herm, who will be fired)
  • Holiday: UCLA (7-5)
  • Sun: Ore St. (7-5)
  • LA: USC (6-6) (if they get to 6 wins, picked over WSU)
  • WSU and UW could get bids to other ones

With the win over UCLA, Utah’s magic number is 3 to win the South (any combination of wins and ASU losses). FPI has us at 95% probability of winning the South and 53% winning the conference (somewhat related to an easier path than Oregon over the last 4 games of the season - they have to play @UW, @Utah [underdogs but fairly even], and vs. Ore St.). BTW, ASU is underdog in 2 away games @UW and @Ore St.

I don’t totally agree with FPI for rankings (has Mich St. 15 and Mich still 5 and Clemson at 10 and as much as I route for UT - they are not 11), but here are the current probability stats for Pac-12:

Oregon 7-1 20 10.0-2.6 10% 100% 62% 34%
Utah 5-3 24 8.6-4.4 18% 100% 95% 53%
ASU 5-3 41 7.5-4.5 11% 99% 4% 2%
UCLA 5-4 43 7.1-5.0 28% 98% 0% 0%
USC 4-4 47 6.1-5.9 6% 71% 0% 0%
UW 4-4 51 6.4-5.8 4% 81% 18% 6%
Ore St. 5-3 58 7.1-5.0 2% 96% 8% 3%
Stanford 3-5 65 4.5-7.5 2% 16% 0% 0%
Cal 3-5 70 4.9-7.1 4% 25% 0% 0%
WSU 5-4 73 6.4-5.8 1% 92% 13% 3%
CU 2-6 91 2.9-9.1 0% 0% 0% 0%
UA 0-8 108 0.5-11.5 0% 0% 0% 0%

BTW, Sagarin has Oregon 15, Utah 22, ASU 34, UCLA 40, UW 45, Oregon St. 49, WSU 53, USC 55, Cal 63, Stanford 64, CU 102, and UA 125. North is 6th best Conf/Div and South is 9th (SEC-West best, then Big10-East, Big 12, Big10-West, ACC-Atlantic, Pac12-North, SEC-East, ACC-Coastal, Pac12-South, MWC …)


Utah’s standing in Sagarin’s Computer Rankings is likely a product of their difficult schedule (21st most difficult).

21st most difficult… but the PAC 12 sucks.


Couple scenarios and implications for Utah. Assuming Utah either wins out or goes 3-1 with most likely loss being to Oregon or some road game. Either way, Utah wins the South and goes to the championship game. Remember that for bowl slots, the regular season conference record is what counts (team not penalized for losing the championship game).

A little to early to make a decision tree, but here are a couple cases:

Utah wins South but loses championship game: If Oregon goes to CFP, we likely go to the Rose Bowl. If Oregon goes to the Rose (e.g. loses to Utah regular season, wins PAC12), Utah likely goes to Alamo bowl. Outside chance we drop to Vegas (see below ASU wins out scenario) FPI chance of happening - ??? 95% of winning division but 47% chance of not winning conference?

Utah wins out: We go to the Rose bowl FPI probability - 18% chance of happening

ASU wins out: In these scenarios where Utah wins the South, ASU would be sitting 7-2 in conference (9-3 overall). They could be picked over Utah for the Rose and/or Alamo if we lose another regular season game and the conference championship to whomever. They would likely be higher ranked at 9-3 than we would at 8-5. If all these occur, we could very likely go to the Alamo, Vegas, or even Holiday Bowl. If we lose to a non-Oregon team, Oregon would also be in play to push us down. E.g. PAC12 champ to Rose, Oregon to Alamo, ASU to Vegas, Utah to Holiday. 11% chance

Oregon wins out: obviously would beat Utah twice (7-2 conf., 8-5 overall). Oregon would likely go to CFP. Utah would likely be next ranked team, but another 2 loss team could get it which could only be ASU at this point (Ore St., WSU, UW would have lost to Oregon). I see 2 more losses for ASU anyway. Utah would go to the Rose. FPI chance - 10%

Oregon St. wins out: they would win the North. We could avenge our loss. Utah would go to the Rose. If we lose, Ore St. goes to the Rose. Oregon likely goes to Alamo. We likely go to Vegas (ASU handed another loss by OSU)** 2% chance

Washington St. wins out: they would win the North. We could beat them again. Utah would go to the Rose. If we lose, Washington St. goes to the Rose. Oregon likely goes to Alamo. We likely go to Vegas (ASU handed another loss by WSU) 1% chance

Other scenarios mean chaos and further cannibalization. Of course, we need to go 3-1 to guarantee the South (or ASU losing 1 allows us to go 2-2 but sets up other teams to be potentially picked above us in the pecking order if we lose the championship game).

Lots of football to play. Obviously, we need to beat Stanford this week on the road and every week is important. Other critical games:

  • ASU @ UW (week 11) - loser guaranteed 3rd conference loss (lower on bowl pecking order)
  • WSU @ Oregon (week 11) - loser potentially knocked out of North contention
  • Oregon @ Utah (week 12) - important to potential bowl placement for both teams with CFP, Rose, etc. on the line, but likely doesn’t change PAC12 championship unless Oregon loses this AND another game
  • ASU @ Ore St. (week 12) - loser guaranteed 3rd conference loss
  • Oregon St @ Oregon (week 13) - winner could win North
  • Washington St. @ UW (week 13) - loser guaranteed 3rd conference loss (likely to have it by now though)

Thought his was an excellent response by the Alamo bowl social Media manager


Considering I wondered if we would be bowl eligible this year after the San Diego State game, I am thrilled that the Rose, the Alamo or the Las Vegas bowl are our likely destinations.