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Utah Utes football: Early ESPN bowl projections have team staying home

The question of the hour--albeit a very early one--is this. Is the Utah Utes football team going to a bowl game this season? ESPN, your “Worldwide Leader in Sports,” says no. In their bowl projections released on Monday, May 26 personalities Brett McMurphy and Mark Schlabach both said the Utes were staying home and not going to a bowl game in the Bowl 2014 season.

Utah Utes football fans.
Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

Surely you jest. In May, four months before the season even starts? Not even the lowly New Orleans Bowl to be played on Dec. 17 was good enough for these Utes. For the record, McMurphy picked Wyoming to visit the Big Easy--while Schlabach picked Colorado State for no apparent reason other than to possibly stick it to Utes fans. But, that's what happens when your team goes 5-7 in consecutive years.

Utah State made their charts, though, as McMurphy said the Aggies would play Arizona in the Las Vegas Bowl as the Mountain West Conference champion--while Schlabach didn’t feel as confident in USU, saying the Aggies would instead take on Rice in the Hawaii Bowl.

Either way, ESPN believes Utah State will be getting some sun in the postseason. The same goes for BYU, because McMurphy and Schlabach believe in their heart of hearts that the Cougars will get to go to their “automatic” bowl choice, the brand spankin’ new Miami Beach Bowl.

These two Nostradamus wannabes aren’t the first sports reporters to say the Utes aren’t going any further than their living room couches, either. CBSSports.com also predicted that Utah would go bowl-less and also said that Utah State and BYU would go bowling.

In a recent poll conducted by The Salt Lake Tribune, fans disagreed--but not by an overwhelming margin. By a very narrow 51 percent to 48 percent margin, fans believe that the ESPN prognosticators and the CBSSports.com Nostradamuses will be proven wrong and that the Utes will change their fortunes and go bowling.