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Tag:Utah
Posted on: January 6, 2011 1:19 pm
 

Fox to broadcast Pac-12 title game

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Pac-10 may still have a game left to play this season with Oregon getting ready to take on Auburn in the title game, but the conference is already moving forward with plans for next season when it will become the Pac-12 and add Colorado and Utah to the conference.  Which means that the conference will now have a championship game, and now the conference has a place to broadcast that game.

It was announced on Thursday that the Pac-12 and Fox had reached a broadcast agreement for the game.
Fox has secured the rights to the Pac-12’s football championship game in '11, giving the network a doubleheader of championship games on Dec. 3. Fox also has the Big Ten’s title game that day. Industry sources said Fox is paying the Pac-12 $25M for the championship game and other game inventory that is the result of the conference’s expansion from 10 teams to 12. The Pac-12’s championship game is valued at around $14.5M, sources said; the other $10.5M is part of a prior contractual obligation. An announcement on the deal is expected later today.
Which means that Fox will now be broadcasting the Pac-10 and Big Ten title games next season, as the network has looked for more opportunities to broadcast college football games since losing the BCS to ESPN.  It also means ESPN will now only have one conference championship to broadcast for the foreseeable future, the ACC Championship.  CBS obviously holds the rights to the SEC Championship.
Posted on: December 23, 2010 1:53 am
 

Bowl Grades: MAACO Bowl Las Vegas

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Boise State overcame a sluggish first half to shut down the Utah Utes, 26-3.

Boise State

Offense: The Broncos committed an uncharacteristic four turnovers tonight, and that doesn't count the blocked field goal or the dropped pass on a fake punt. And yet, Kellen Moore still threw for well over 300 yards and got over 200 yards on the ground from his running backs. Moore and Austin Pettis combined for 11 completions, 145 yards, and a score -- all of which were bigger numbers than the Utah passing game accomplished altogether (Pettis also threw a two-yard completion to himself, which was as silly as it sounds). And while Boise didn't convert 10 of its 18 3rd downs, only one resulted in a punt, and that was a masterful 47-yard directional punt out of bounds. Still, the low point total could have been disastrous. Grade: B-

Defense: Utah quarterback Terrence Cain struggled all day long against the Boise defense. While some of those struggles were exacerbated by mental mistakes by his receivers -- more on that in a bit -- he also faced constant pressure from the Broncos' front four, often forcing sacks or quick and errant throws. Utah would only manage eight first downs on the entire day, and even the Utes' short-field drives (five of which started past the Utah 40) were by and large fruitless. Grade: A

Coaching: At times, Chris Peterson was a little too cute with his playcalling, and it led to potential problems for the Broncos. Most notably, we're talking about Peterson's fake punt reverse pass that ended up being thrown to punter/placekicker/scapegoat Kyle Brotzman , who was open on the play but displayed zero receiving acumen as he tried to catch the pass with his stomach. There's a reason not to throw these guys the ball, y'know. But even after that dropped pass and all the groaning by people reminiscing about Brotzman's awful night against Nevada last month, Peterson never hesitated calling his kicker's number, and that's commendable. Grade: B+

Utah

Offense: It's hard not to fall into the familiar "A's for winners, F's for losers" model of game grading, especially when dealing with a starting quarterback who's seen limited action this year like Terrence Cain. Cain started in place of injured Jordan Wynn and underwhelmed, as his final numbers bear out: 10/24, 93 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT; 14 rushes, 19 yards, 0 TD, one fumble lost. And yet, Cain had several good throws come up empty; the announcers estimated that six of Utah's 14 incompletions were on dropped passes (some of which were unconscionable), a pass to inside the 5-yard-line was called back on a dubious illegal downfield receiver, and a touchdown pass was waved off after an easy holding call. Cain could have done better; his supporting cast didn't give him much help, though, and that's clearly a problem when facing a defense like Boise's. Grade: D+

Defense: Give the Utah D some credit; by and large, it held the Boise rushing attack in check. If it weren't for that 84-yard run by Doug Martin to open up the Broncos' scoring, Utah would have given up just 118 yard on 36 carries, a 3.3-yard average. That's ordinarily very good! It's just, Martin's run did happen, and it changed the momentum of the game. Boise State's 26-second touchdown drive to cap the first half didn't help Utah much either. But other than those two quick strikes, the Utes largely held the Broncos in check. Boise's 26 points, in fact, were the least it had scored in any game this year. Not a bad performance, and that doesn't include the turnovers forced. Grade: B-

Coaching: It's tough to hang too much of the blame for Utah's struggles on Kyle Whittingham tonight; after all, he wasn't the one out there committing penalties or dropping passes. Still, though, his playcalling left a little to be desired; too often, Cain would drop back on first down, something the Boise State pass rush and linebackers were routinely ready for. Matt Asiata , Eddie Wide III , and Shaky Smithson each had a rush for over 20 yards on the day, yet the three players combined for only the same amount of carries (14) as Cain had on the day. That's not putting the offense in position to make plays. Grade: C

Final Grade

This could have been a good game, but Utah spent so, so much time blowing opportunities in new and exciting ways (fumbling in Boise territory, committing backbreaking penalties, making Cain face over 10 yars on all but a couple of his third downs, etc.) that once Boise State was up 16-3, the game just felt over. That's a departure from Boise State's usual bowl play, which routinely features 60-minute, one-possession contests, but c'mon; the Broncos even tried handing the Utes a big lead in the first half and Utah couldn't capitalize. It's too bad such a high-profile game turned into such a snoozer (I have literally fallen asleep three times since starting this article), but Boise State is a very good team, and this is what very good teams do to sloppy teams. Grade: C-


Posted on: December 22, 2010 2:18 pm
 

MWC, C-USA to team up for BCS bid?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Mountain West has been taking hits all season long.  Things started out promising enough when the conference landed Boise State, and speculation that the league could end up with an automatic BCS bid because of it began.  Unfortunately, since then, the conference has watched TCU, Utah and BYU move on to greener pastures, and any talk of an automatic bid for the Mountain West quickly came to a halt.

Though that hasn't stopped the conference from brainstorming ideas to get that bid.  In fact, it seems that the Mountain West is teaming up with Conference USA in an attempt to find a way to get a BCS bid between the two conferences.
A united approach to a Bowl Championship Series automatic-qualifying berth has been among the most intriguing possibilities since neither currently has automatic status.
"There is still some level of interest in talking about that between the two conferences," [C_USA commissioner Britton] Banowsky said. "Where the conversation ultimately goes, I think, is way too early to tell. But I think as long as folks are interested in exploring that idea, we'll continue to do that."
There has been speculation the two could push for a BCS play-in game between the winners of their conferences.

That laughing you hear in the background is Bill Hancock.

It's a noble idea, sure, and one that in a perfect world would likely deserve some consideration, but let's be real, the BCS isn't looking to bring in any new members.  While the two conferences may team up and help each other with marketing and television, there's no way either will end up with an automatic BCS berth.
Posted on: December 21, 2010 3:39 pm
Edited on: December 21, 2010 3:44 pm
 

Ute WR tweets smack at 'Girlse State'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Thanks to the Las Vegas Bowl's offer (or, to be sponsorifically accurate, the offer from MAACO Bowl Las Vegas) of a "professional massage," Utah and Boise State were able to deliver their Sunday pre-game trash-talking, threats, and dish-smashing shoves in person.

But with the teams separated -- after Sunday's incident, probably for good, at least until kickoff -- Ute wide receiver DeVonte Christopher had to resort to the fans' standard medium of smack talk, the Internet. And via Twitter, he certainly made the most of it (emphasis added):
Christopher, a Canyon Springs High School graduate, posted on Twitter: "I can't wait to get out here wit these Boise State or should I say Girlse State they a bunch of cheerleaders...lol."
While Christopher is no doubt not the first person to come up with the "Girlse State" monkier, he is the first person to bring it this blogger's attention, and he is awarded full marks for both the attempt and for singlehandedly forcing his coach to create a Twitter policy .

That said, don't expect the tweet to actually do anything to ratchet up the acrimony between two teams that already sound like they don't care a whole for the other:

"If we ate dinner with other teams, I think the same thing would happen," Utah defensive end Christian Cox said. "We've both been in similar situations in terms of BCS notoriety. They're probably very frustrated that they're in Vegas when they could've been in the BCS or arguably the national championship.

"I love it. I think it's great. If you want to talk, show it on the field" ...

"A little more tension in the air, but I think guys are ready to play anyway," Boise State nickel back Winston Venable said.

If anything ... untowards happens during the game, we might worry about the reactions from Utah's and Boise's new conference homes at the Pac-12 and Mountain West, respectively, on their incoming members' conduct reputations. Then again, you know what they say: what happens in MAACO Bowl Las Vegas stays in MAACO Bowl Las Vegas.

 






Posted on: December 21, 2010 12:34 pm
 

CBS Bowl Bonanza: Las Vegas Bowl

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Why to Watch: This is a no-brainer. We've got a Top-20 matchup between two teams that had spent time in the Top 5 late in the season, both of whom can put points up in bunches. Boise State has a lot to prove after seeing its BCS dreams fly wide of the uprights at Nevada, and what would be a better sendoff for Utah as it heads to the Pac-10 than to knock off a powerhouse like Boise?

Keys to victory for Boise State: It seems like this game would be a cakewalk for Boise State, and it might well be one at the end of the day, but one of the uncomfortable truths about the Broncos is that they don't exactly show up for bowl games on a consistent basis. They're 6-4 in bowl games, and those losses have come against some unspectacular competition: 11-1 Louisville , 9-3 Boston College , 8-5 East Carolina , and 11-2 TCU. Oh sure, Boise has also taken out an undefeated TCU and a loaded Oklahoma squad in that unforgettable 2007 Fiesta Bowl, but by and large the overall resume isn't that impressive -- especially when Boise's not playing on the home Smurf Turf in the Humanitarian Bowl. In fact, every bowl the Broncos have ever played away from Boise has been decided by seven points or less.

So with a feisty Utah squad facing it, Boise State needs to jump out early and bury the Utes. Kellen Moore has no shortage of weapons to make that happen, of course; Titus Young and Austin Pettis have been making cornerbacks look silly all season long, and Boise's troika of tailbacks gives the Broncos the ability to grind out touchdowns or take a simple halfback counter to the house.

Keys to victory for Utah: Everything that happened against TCU and Notre Dame? Yeah, Utah's going to need the opposite of that. Utah's two losses on the season were both disastrous blowouts, dropping a 47-7 home game to the Horned Frogs, then following it up with a 28-3 drubbing in South Bend that didn't even seem all that close. That's the type of collapse that can send a team reeling, but the Utes managed to win their last two games against bowl teams San Diego State and BYU -- both games where the Utes mounted double-digit fourth quarter comebacks. Which is to say, the fight's still there, and Utah's going to need it yet again in this bowl.

If the Utes want to stay in position to compete for all 60 minutes, they won't be able to do it by winning a shooting match with the Broncos. Boise's defense is too good for that, and Jordan Wynn isn't a good enough quarterback to hang 30 points on the Broncos yet. Therefore, Utah's going to need to at least slow down the Bronco attack, which is a lot easier said than done. Young and Pettis should be early deep targets, and Kellen Moore's deadly accuracy off play action means that simply staying with a seven-man front isn't going to be enough to neutralize the Boise passing game. Still, Utah's rush defense has been solid all season long, and if the Utes commit to taking away the pass (as best as one team can against Moore, anyway), the score should stay low enough that Utah could potentially make a game of it. Boise State's aforementioned habit of keeping bowl games close ought to work in Utah's favor. Or maybe Boise State's just overdue for a blowout. Time to see.

The Las Vegas Bowl is like: Vegas, baby. An entertaining, high-powered bowl with elite performers in the middle of the first week of bowl season is about as likely as an entertaining, high-powered city with elite performers in the middle of the desert in the Southwest. Of course, Las Vegas features gambling and we'd rather you didn't gamble on this bowl game -- just let the kids play ball, y'know? -- but there's no such thing as a perfect analogy so let's just let that detail slide and enjoy the game for what it is: the best December bowl of the season.

Posted on: December 20, 2010 4:59 pm
 

Utah and Boise get massages, fight each other

Posted by Tom Fornelli

There are two seasons going on right now, bowl season and the holiday season.  Now while the holiday season is supposed to be one of love and cheer and gifts from people you talk to maybe once a year, it seems bowl season has taken on a completely different tone.  Everywhere you look this bowl season, people are fighting.  

We can't dance without a fight, can't practice without a fight and now it seems we can't even get massages in Las Vegas without getting into a fight.
A spat of pushing and shoving broke out between the Boise State and Utah football teams during Sunday’s MAACO Bowl Las Vegas welcome reception — the first of several events involving both teams.
“Some pushing and shoving, some dishes broken,” said Mark Wallington, the media director for the MAACO Bowl.
Utah moved to a lower level of the Hard Rock Café after the incident.
The incident started outside the massage room, where the bowl had provided professional massages for the players, toward the end of the reception.

Seriously, people, where is the love?  

Dances and massages are supposed to be fun and relaxing events, not a reason to push and shove. Save the hatred and the violence for where it belongs: on the football field.  Besides, if anybody should be angry and wanting to start a fight this bowl season, it should be the fans who had to sit through the first three games of the season on Saturday.

Who does a blogger have to punch to get a compelling game around here?
Posted on: December 9, 2010 2:15 am
Edited on: December 9, 2010 2:20 am
 

Utah player guarantees win over Boise State

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Are you excited about the Las Vegas Bowl? You should be! Boise State and Utah are squaring off, and even though Boise's heavily favored and Utah got blasted 47-7 by TCU in Week 10, we should see plenty of offensive fireworks. Oh, and Utah's going to pull the upset.

What? Don't believe that we're seriously calling this one for the Utes right now? Well!  We happen to be working with inside information -- namely, the testimony of Utah DE Christian Cox. Here's what he told Utah basketball fans Tuesday night, according to the Deseret News:

Head coach Kyle Whittingham , center Zane Taylor and defensive end Christian Cox spoke to the crowd, thanked them for their support and encouraged them to make it to MAACO Bowl Las Vegas [sic].

Cox, however, delivered the biggest statement.

"I promise a victory against Boise State in Las Vegas," he said. "You better be there."

Now, here's the thing: Utah probably will not beat Boise State. It probably won't even be close. Crazy things do happen in bowl games all the time, though. Boise State has a fantastic track record of showing up big in big bowl games, but it's also a team that dropped a bowl game to an 8-3 Boston College in 2005 and a 7-5 East Carolina (the Chris Johnson coming-out party, if you'll recall) in 2007. If the Broncos are still bummed about getting bounced from the BCS on two horrifying missed chip shots and don't take this game seriously, Utah is still good enough to give them fits.

And should Cox's guarantee come to pass, the one team that will be howling with dismay is TCU, whose national standing suffered after a "lackluster" 40-35 win over San Diego State that was never really that close. Sure, Wisconsin will probably beat TCU, but if the Horned Frogs can go 12-0 in the regular season with a 40-point win against a Utah team that can beat Boise State and still have no shot at the national title (to the point where many wondered aloud if Auburn losing the SEC Championship to South Carolina would actually be enough to drop the Tigers to No. 3 if TCU's waiting there), then there's really no reason for the non-AQ conference teams to participate in the BCS bowl system, is there?

So yes, there could be some wide-ranging ramifications to the Boise State-Utah matchup in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl. And they'll all come to pass, because Utah's definitely going to win! Christian Cox even said so, you guys!


Posted on: December 5, 2010 1:59 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2010 4:01 pm
 

Looks like Boise to play Utah in Las Vegas

J. Darin Darst

Looks like Boise State is headed to Las Vegas.

With Nevada taking a slot in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Boise was looking for the best possible matchup. There was talk about Boise playing Miami in the Sun Bowl, but the Sun Bowl is pretty much set on a Miami vs. Notre Dame game.

So where does that leave Boise? Well the Maaco Bowl in Las Vegas needs to fill a slot because there won't be enough bowl-eligible teams out of the Pac-10, so Boise will fill that spot.

Several sites are reporting this, including the Boise student newspaper .


Category: NCAAF
 
 
 
 
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