It’s time for bowl projections.

Following a home win over Cincinnati (2-3) to claim it’s first Big 12 victory, BYU (4-1) not only looks like a lock for a bowl game, but with so many teams in the conference struggling, the Cougars still have a great shot at making the Big 12 title game.

While Utah State also got a victory, the Aggies did so by the skin of their teeth against a winless UConn team (0-5). Sitting at 2-3, Utah State still has a lot of work to do get to bowl eligibility, but Saturday was a step int he right direction.

Utah (4-1) wasn’t so fortunate as the Utes lost their first game of the season in a 21-7 loss to Oregon State in a Top 25 showdown on the road. However, at 4-1, and despite its bad offense, the Utes still look like a lock to become bowl eligible with Pac-12 teams like Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, etc.

Here’s a look at where the Utes, Cougars and Aggies could play during the bowl season.


Playing in front of the largest crowd at LaVell Edwards Stadium since 2009, BYU improved to 4-1 and won its first-ever Big 12 game in Week 5.

Kedon Slovis continues to improve each week in a Cougars uniform, which is a good sign for the offense. Slovis threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns, but more importantly, did not turn the ball over.

The running game is still something that needs fixing for the Cougars, as they were only able to muster 70 yards on the ground on just 2.5 yards per carry.

Heading into the bye week, the Cougars need just two more wins to secure bowl eligibility. In its first Big 12 campaign, BYU football appears to be ahead of schedule in competing within a Power 5 conference.

Projection: Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
Opponent: Western Kentucky
Date: Saturday, December 23
Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium – Fort Worth, TX
Time and channel: 1:30 p.m. MT, ABC

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No. 18 Utah

The Utes’ stagnant offense was finally their undoing last week in a game that knocked them from the group of remaining undefeated teams.

The 21-7 loss to Oregon State also dropped Utah eight spots in the latest Top 25 rankings (10 to 18) while also hurting its chances of returning to Las Vegas for a three-peat shot at the Pac-12 title.

The defense is clearly the team’s strength, but the offense without Cam Rising is concerning in a number of ways.

The Utes have struggled with both quarterbacks in Rising’s absence, but perhaps the bigger surprise is the issues with the run game. Against the Beavers, Utah only recorded 57 rushing yards on 32 attempts (1.8 yards per carry).

A bye week for the Utes couldn’t have come at a better time. With Rising’s status still up in the air and a number of other injuries, the team might have a tough time getting through conference play with a number of ranked opponents still to play.

Projection: SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl
Opponent: Minnesota
Date: Saturday, December 23
Location: Allegiant Stadium – Paradise, NV
Time and channel: 5:30 p.m. MT, ABC

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Utah State

Falling behind 17-0, it appeared Utah State’s season was headed for complete disaster at winless Connecticut.

The Aggies had other plans though, storming back to win 34-33 thanks to Ike Larsen blocking an extra point with 40 seconds to play.

While the offense struggled in the first half and the team continued the problematic trend of being the first to give up points, the second half was much better for the Aggies.

Senior quarterback Cooper Legas replaced injured true freshman McCae Hillstead and sparked the offense, with USU scoring on five drives once he took over. Having Jalen Royals as a target certainly helped Legas, as the receiver caught seven passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns.

At 2-3 overall, the Aggies now return home to face Colorado State in Mountain West action. A win will keep them on at least the six-win pace needed to secure a bowl invitation.

Projection: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Opponent: Eastern Michigan
Date: Saturday, December 23
Location: Albertsons Stadium – Boise, ID
Time and channel: 1:30 p.m. MT, ESPN

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