The Utes aren't the only ones agonizing over postseason possibilities.

Officials at the two bowls with which Utah and the Mountain West Conference have ties are also anguishing over the wait, but the Liberty Bowl, which gets first choice, says it is doing all it can to give each team involved in the MWC championship a fair shake.Harold Graeter, associate executive director of the Liberty Bowl, says that even though the bowl has the right to pick any of the teams that tie for the championship -- and it could pick either BYU or Utah now because they are co-champions for certain -- it will wait until this weekend's games to find out if Colorado State and Wyoming join in the co-championship.

He says "it wouldn't be fair" to pick either BYU or Utah now with CSU and Wyoming still having a game to play. "We will wait until all the games are played," Graeter said, and then the Liberty Bowl will wait until its representatives attending the CSU at Las Vegas and Wyoming at San Diego State return to Memphis so the whole committee can meet Sunday to make its choice, which might be announced Monday or Tuesday.

For that reason, he said, the Liberty Bowl told Utah athletic director Chris Hill not to make a trip to Memphis to meet with its committee. It wouldn't be fair to Wyoming and CSU, he said. He said the bowl gets "multiple daily contact on the phone" with each of the schools involved. "They're all doing a great job of stating their case and getting us the information we need to evaluate them," he said.

"There's no leader, no pecking order," right now, said Graeter, adding the bowl's main criteria include quality of wins, how well the teams played late in the season and the "enthusiasm and excitement of the teams, the fan base and alumni."

Meantime, the Las Vegas Bowl, which must wait until the Liberty Bowl makes its pick, is really getting anxious. It has only a little over three weeks to promote its combatants because that bowl is on Dec. 18. The Liberty Bowl is on New Year's Eve.

"We are very frustrated sitting and waiting," says Vegas Bowl coordinator Tina Kunzer-Murphy. She said Fresno State coach Pat Hill, an old friend, calls every day trying to find out whom his Bulldogs will play in the bowl, and she can't begin to tell him.

Utah sent four representatives, headed by Hill and football coach Ron McBride, to Las Vegas Monday to make a presentation. Kunzer-Murphy said that was good because it was a face-to-face meeting that made up for a missed contact on Saturday.

She said the Vegas Bowl planned to send a representative to Provo last Saturday for the BYU-Utah game, but he returned home from Europe too late to make the trip. There were bowl reps at the Colorado State-Air Force and Wyoming-New Mexico games last weekend.

"I came out of (Las Vegas) with a good feeling that we have a legitimate shot at it," said McBride.

Wherever the Utes go, if they play in a bowl, "this is a very important bowl game to us," McBride said. "Our fans need to travel to show we're good and will produce."

"We're optimistic," said Utah's Hill of his feeling after being in Las Vegas. He said he has the feeling about the Liberty Bowl that "we're part of the mix."

Hill said he doesn't think Utah is a strong candidate in the minds of the Motor City Bowl people in Detroit, who are said to be considering BYU.

Both bowls said the fact that a team played postseason games in their towns last year has little bearing on the teams to be chosen this year. BYU was in the last Liberty Bowl and played Air Force in the 1998 Western Athletic Conference championship at Las Vegas. Graeter said BYU's Liberty Bowl appearance last year "is a factor, but I don't know how significant."

Kunzer-Murphy said she was impressed with Utah's following on Sept. 25 when the Utes played at Las Vegas.