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Morning links: Cougars, Utes bowl games ranked, Jazz jump up power rankings

Neither the Utah Utes or the BYU Cougars received much love for their bowl game matchups as Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports ranked all 40 bowl games.

Fornelli had the Cougars' game with Wyoming ranked at No. 29 saying, "BYU absolutely refuses to play in anything but a close game, and Wyoming's defense absolutely refuses to ever let the Cowboys pull away. This ranking isn't great, but there's a lot of upside possibilities here."

The Utes' battle with the Indiana Hoosiers got a little more respect, coming in at No. 21. Of the Foster Farms Bowl matchup, Fornelli wrote, " It's hard to know what kind of Indiana will show up following the dismissal of Kevin Wilson, but if the Hoosiers show up ready to play, they could give Kyle Whittingham's bowl record a real test.


Jazz make huge jump in NBA.com Power Rankings

The Utah Jazz made a huge jump in John Schuhmann latest NBA.com Power Rankings, moving up from No. 14 to No. 9.

After talking about changes in the Jazz lineup and the shooting struggles of Rodney Hood, Schuhmann wrote, "the Jazz have been playing their most efficient offense of the season, scoring 123 points per 100 possessions over their last four games. Gordon Hayward has scored 30-plus points in three straight games for the first time in his career."

Schuhmann then turned his attention to the other end of the floor, saying, "The defense hasn't been great, but Rudy Gobert's rim protection was critical in Tuesday's win over Houston."


ESPN writer predicts Cougars and Utes will win bowl games

Adam Rittenberg of ESPN predicted the outcomes of the upcoming bowl games, and he had both the Cougars and the Utes coming away with wins.

Of the Cougars' game against Wyoming that he has the Cougars winning 26-19, he writes, "Kalani Sitake's team played a much tougher overall schedule and held its own every time out. BYU's defense is deciding factor in a low-scoring affair."

Talking about the Utah game against Indiana, Rittenberg gives the Utes a 37-28 win, saying, "Despite Utah's late-season fade, it's hard to go against coach Kyle Whittingham, who is 9-1 in bowl games and brings the more talented squad to the Bay Area.