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Wednesday, December 22, 2010
New family member: Utah

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Utah will walk onto the field tonight at the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl as a member of the Mountain West Conference. It will walk off as a member of the Pac-12 South.

So, in advance, welcome Utes.

As for the rest of us -- the Original Ten (also known not that long ago as the Elite Eight) -- the matchup between Utah (10-2) with Boise State (11-1) at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN) will be a good preview of a new member of the family, even though the Utes will be without starting quarterback Jordan Wynn, whose season ended with shoulder surgery. Senior Terrance Cain will get the start.

Wynn, who will be a junior next fall, was last seen opposite a Pac-10 team slicing and dicing California in a 37-27 win in the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl. That victory, by the way, was the Utes' ninth consecutive bowl win, which is truly impressive and speaks to excellent coaching.

For those who'd like some primers on the game, here's ESPN.com's introduction at the beginning of the bowl season and here's an updated preview. Here are three more keys.

Here's a look from Sports Illustrated's intrepid college football scribe, Stewart Mandel.

And for those who need their updates fast from now on, you should add Lya Wodraska's fine blog to your Internet "favorites" list.