weather icon Partly Cloudy
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Las Vegas bowl must wait on BCS decision

Instead of representing her bowl game Saturday in Provo, Utah, where potential invitees Utah and Brigham Young will meet, MAACO Bowl Las Vegas executive director Tina Kunzer-Murphy will attend alma mater UNLV’s season finale against San Diego State at Sam Boyd Stadium.

There’s no reason to go to Provo because little will be decided.

After the BCS, the Las Vegas bowl has first choice of Mountain West Conference teams. But it can’t make any selections until Dec. 6 when the Bowl Championship Series pairings are announced.

Barring an epic upset by New Mexico on Saturday, No. 4 Texas Christian will play in a BCS game, leaving the Las Vegas bowl to take No. 18 BYU or No. 22 Utah. But Kunzer-Murphy still must wait.

"Does it make sense?" she asked. "Not to me."

The Las Vegas bowl committee met Tuesday night to discuss its options. While the Mountain West side is fairly clear-cut, that’s not the case with the Pacific-10 Conference, where the Las Vegas bowl is slotted for the fifth choice.

"There are 32 scenarios with the Pac-10 side we’re looking at," Kunzer-Murphy said. Actually, it will be eight after Saturday.

LUSTER LOST — With TCU having grabbed most of the MWC headlines, BYU-Utah doesn’t carry the same national magnitude as in recent years.

But that doesn’t matter much to the game’s participants, who know bragging rights and a possible recruiting edge hang in the balance.

"We’ll have no trouble getting up for this game," Utes coach Kyle Whittingham said. "It’s the seniors’ last regular-season game. There’s a lot of motivation, and the rivalry is motivation itself."

BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall agreed, saying energizing his players won’t be the issue. "Most of the time we have to keep them down," he said.

ITCH REMAINS — Mike Sanford, who will coach his final UNLV game Saturday, could be on another team’s sideline next season.

"I’ll pursue a coaching opportunity in college football and in the NFL," the 54-year-old Sanford said. "I would love to get back into coaching (next) year. Hopefully, it’s something I’ll be able to do."

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2914.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.