Utes warm up bowling shoes

Although most of the attention on the U football team is centering on the coaching situation, there is still a BCS bowl game to be played and the Utes will not know their opponent until Dec. 5, when the bowl pairings are announced.

Most projections across the country have the Utes playing Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl; however, anything can happen and matchups could change.

The Utes are in bowl practice right now, but can’t truly prepare until they are sure about an opponent.

If Cal loses to Southern Miss this week, or if Texas jumps Cal in the standings even if both teams win, the Utes could go to the Rose Bowl. ABC can also step in and change matchups outside of the national title game.

“It’s almost like the offseason again,” Ute defensive end Sione Pouha said.

The Utes aren’t ignoring the growing sentiment that they will matchup against the Panthers in the Fiesta Bowl.

“We have watched some film on Pittsburgh,” U linebacker Spencer Toone said. “But we haven’t watched too much, since we don’t know who will be playing.”

If the Utes do end up playing the Big East champion in the Fiesta Bowl, it will probably be Pitt even if the Panthers lose to South Florida on Saturday.

Since Pitt and Syracuse are tied in the conference standings, the tie is broken through the BCS standings.

Neither team is ranked in the top 25; however, Pittsburgh coach Walt Harris has a vote in the coaches’ poll and Syracuse’s Paul Pasqualoni does not. If Harris votes for his own team, then the Panthers will most probably win the tiebreaker.

In practice, the Utes are doing a lot of the things they did in the spring and before the season began.

“We are working on fundamentals and on things that we can control,” Toone said.

With more than a month’s time between their last game and the bowl game, the Utes will have to worry about not getting rusty.

“We just need to polish up our basics and it is especially a time to keep conditioned,” Pouha said.

[email protected]