Phil Steele recently released his 2011/2012 bowl projections, and the Utah Utes are absent from the list. While there is definite uncertainty about Utah's team this year and how they will perform in the Pac-12, many fans and media members expect Utah to finish the season with a winning record. Utah is just outside of the top 25 in some preseason polls and in the lower 20s in others. Pac-12 media picked Utah to finish 3rd in the Pac-12 South, and the Utes even picked up some votes to finish 1st. In my opinion, this just goes to show that prognosticators are all over the map on Utah this season, and aren't really sure what to expect.
Steele predicts the following Pac-12 bowl match-ups:
- Rose Bowl: Oregon vs. Nebraska - Pac-12 #1 vs. Big-10 #1
- Alamo Bowl: Stanford vs. Oklahoma State - Pac-12 #2 vs. Big 12 #3
- Holiday Bowl: Arizona State vs. Texas Tech - Pac-12 #3 vs. Big 12 #5
- Hyundai Sun Bowl: UCLA vs. Miami Fl. - Pac-12 #4 vs. ACC #4
- Las Vegas Bowl: Oregon State vs. TCU - Pac-12 #5 vs MWC #1 (or in this case, MWC #2 since Boise State is projected to the Fiesta Bowl)
- Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: California vs. Northwestern - Pac-12 #6 vs ACC or Army (at-large selection)
I found it interesting how high he predicted the Bruins to finish. It would appear Steele is confident Neuheisel will save his job this year.