Las Vegas Bowl executive director to make Pac-12, MW scouting trips

John Saccenti has an idea of what teams will be in the mix for the Las Vegas Bowl with the local game less than two months away.

Saccenti, the executive director of the Las Vegas Bowl, plans on traveling to numerous Pac-12 and Mountain West campuses during the next seven weekends to narrow down the field before the game arrives Dec. 17 at Sam Boyd Stadium.

“Yeah, you can watch games at home, but we want to be at stadiums,” Saccenti said. “See which fan bases are packing the stadium. We try to talk to head coaches, athletic directors and alumni in person. We want to get the two best possible teams playing at the Las Vegas Bowl.”

For the next seven weeks, the Review-Journal will ask “Where is Saccenti this weekend?” It will give readers a better sense of what teams to expect when the announcement is made Dec. 4.

Saccenti won’t know where he’ll be until games are completed Saturday of each week. For this week, the schedule worked out in his favor. Saccenti is in Northern California, where he watched Oregon at California on Friday night, then headed to Stanford on Saturday for the Cardinal-Colorado game.

“The Mountain West is a lot easier to figure since we look at the top of the conference, but the Pac-12 is wide open,” Saccenti said. “Getting to look at four teams will definitely help us out.”

Oregon probably won’t be in the race after a surprising 2-4 start, but Saccenti feels strongly about Cal, Stanford and Colorado.

Colorado could be an intriguing choice since the school has never played in the Las Vegas Bowl or played in a bowl since 2007.

“The fans and the school is hungry for a bowl game,” Saccenti said. “We’re taking a good look at Colorado.”

Colorado is the surprise team of the Pac-12 with a 5-2 overall record and 3-1 conference mark.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0492. Follow @gmanzano24 on Twitter.

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