The Las Vegas Bowl has one half of their teams set up with Utah representing the Mountain West, but the other opponent has been anyones guess the past few weeks. The Pac-10 is not going to have enough teams due to USC being ineligible and the league having Oregon and Stanford both in a BCS game.
The names tossed out have been Norte Dame, Temple, Ohio or any other MAC team. Some people have been hoping that either Boise State or Nevada would be able to find their way to the Las Vegas Bowl so that they could face a formidable opponent.
With the WAC only having four bowl eligible teams -- a fifth could be on its way if Louisiana Tech upsets Nevada -- it seemed a long shot for either school to be let out of their contract. However, the New Mexico Bowl is looking to replace their WAC representative with possibly UTEP. So, it looks like all bets are off for where the WAC teams will end up.
Las Vegas Bowl Executive Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy said she expects Utah's opponent to be a team ranked in the top 25:
"I really believe we'll have two Top 25 teams in the game," she said. "We don't have everything finished, but obviously the speculation is it will be the University of Nevada, Reno, or Boise State, and if that plays out, it will be a great matchup against Utah.
"I think it is going to happen."
Boise State and Nevada are the only two realistic options she is referring to. A third could possibly be Northern Illinois, but that is the only other team that may want to go to a different bowl game. Plus, the Las Vegas Bowl may want a team that will be in the Mountain West within the next two years instead of having two teams that will no longer have ties to them after the game. Going by that logic, Boise State looks to be the team the Las Vegas Bowl would want to bring in.
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