When Utah announced its move to the Big 12 Conference last summer, the assumption was the Utes would participate in the Big 12′s bowl tie-ins starting in the 2024 season.

According to Action Network’s Brett McMurphy, that won’t be the case for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

Due to contracts that run through the 2025 bowl season, if they are not selected for the expanded 12-team College Football Playoff, “legacy Pac-12 members” (Utah, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Washington, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Cal and Stanford) plus current Pac-12 members Oregon State and Washington State will play in Pac-12-affiliated bowls for the next two seasons, not the bowls with tie-ins to their current conferences.

Here’s the selection order for Pac-12 bowls in 2024:

  • Alamo Bowl (Pac-12 vs. Big 12).
  • Holiday Bowl (Pac-12 vs. ACC).
  • Las Vegas Bowl (Pac-12 vs. SEC).
  • Sun Bowl (Pac-12 vs. ACC).
  • LA Bowl (Pac-12 vs. Mountain West).
  • Independence Bowl (Pac-12 vs. Army).

This sets up an interesting scenario: What happens if a former Pac-12 school now in the Big 12 (Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Arizona State) is in line to be selected first by the Alamo Bowl after having the best record of any of the non-CFP former Pac-12 teams? Will they be selected to play a conference foe, or skipped over and sent to the next bowl on the list?

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Of course, the goal for Utah — and every other Big 12 team — is a trip to the College Football Playoff, which will consist of 12 teams for the first time ever.

The four highest-ranked conference champions will be seeded one through four, and receive a bye in the playoff, moving directly to the quarterfinals. The fifth-highest-ranked conference champion also receives an automatic bid, but no bye. Teams ranked five through 12 will play each other in the first round, which will be held on the higher seed’s campus.

In 2024, the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl will host the CFP quarterfinals, with the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl playing host to the semifinals. Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia will host the national championship game.

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