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The latest bowl projection has Utah playoff-bound. What about BYU and Utah State?

SHARE The latest bowl projection has Utah playoff-bound. What about BYU and Utah State?
Members of the Utah football team walk onto the field for the game against Ohio State in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

Utah Utes long snapper Keegan Markgraf, wide receiver Britain Covey, linebacker Devin Lloyd, quarterback Cameron Rising and defensive end Mika Tafua (42) walk onto the field for the game against Ohio State in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. Can Utah follow up its first Rose Bowl appearance with a trip to the College Football Playoff in 2022?

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

It’s June, so naturally that means it’s time to talk college football bowl season.

It makes sense, actually, considering the 2022 bowl schedule was released last week.

For the Utah Utes, coming off their first Rose Bowl appearance in school history, there’s been plenty of talk about them as a dark horse candidate to reach the College Football Playoff.

For the BYU Cougars and Utah State Aggies, both programs will be trying to follow up double-digit, top 25 seasons with another memorable year that keeps their programs heading in a progressive direction.

247 Sports’ Brad Crawford is the latest to look into his crystal ball and make college football bowl projections for the 2022 season.

How does that turn out for the Utah FBS schools?

What is the Utah Utes’ bowl projection from 247 Sports?

  • Crawford believes that this year’s Utah team will take the program to even higher heights than last season — more specifically, the College Football Playoff.
  • He slots the Utes into this year’s CFP as the No. 4 team, playing No. 1 Alabama in the Peach Bowl.

  • The last time the two teams played, Utah beat Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl to cap its unbeaten 2008 season.
  • “As always, projected the No. 4 seed this time of year is always the most difficult. Utah, USC, Notre Dame, N.C. State or Clemson — those are the programs that will likely be vying for that final bid,” Crawford wrote.
  • That result would break the Pac-12’s playoff drought, which dates back to the 2016 season when Washington was the league’s last team to make the CFP.
  • The other playoff matchup in Crawford’s projection is No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Georgia in the Fiesta Bowl.
  • He then has Alabama and Ohio State meeting for the national championship.
  • “Alabama will not face an offense as talented as Ohio State’s unit during the regular season, and that includes another bout with Georgia in the SEC Championship,” Crawford wrote.

What is the BYU Cougars’ bowl projection from 247 Sports?

  • Crawford projects BYU will play Western Kentucky in the Hawaii Bowl, though he suggests the Cougars could play their way into a better bowl given their schedule.

  • “This is a team that has a real shot at getting to the New Year’s Six if they’re able to conquer several games against nationally-ranked teams from Power Five conferences,” Crawford wrote. 
  • “Keep an eye on quarterback Jaren Hall, too. If he has a few prolific games early in high-profile situations, darkhorse Heisman buzz should follow him the rest of the season given the Cougars’ matchups with Oregon and Arkansas, among others,” he said.
  • BYU is contracted to play in an ESPN-owned bowl, if it becomes bowl eligible and doesn’t make a New Year’s Six bowl or the playoff.

What is the Utah State Aggies’ bowl projection from 247 Sports?

  • Despite the Aggies coming off an 11-3 season that was capped by a win over Oregon State in the inaugural LA Bowl in 2021, Utah State isn’t projected to make a bowl in Crawford’s predictions.

What are the Pac-12 bowl projections from 247 Sports?

Here’s the full list of Crawford’s bowl projections for Pac-12 teams, notably including USC in a New Year’s Six game: 

  • New Mexico Bowl: Oregon State vs. San Diego State.
  • LA Bowl: Arizona State vs. Air Force.
  • Las Vegas Bowl: Washington vs. LSU.
  • Alamo Bowl: Oregon vs. Baylor.
  • Tony The Tiger Bowl: Washington State vs. North Carolina.
  • Holiday Bowl: UCLA vs. Wake Forest.
  • Rose Bowl: USC vs. Michigan.
  • Peach Bowl (playoff semifinal): No. 4 Utah vs. No. 1 Alabama.