As the newest member of the Pac-10, the Utes will be playing for a guaranteed spot in one of college football's elite bowl games rather than hoping to sneak in with an at-large berth -- as they've done twice before.
Utah officially joined the Pac-10 on Thursday, leaving the Mountain West Conference for the prestige and more lucrative opportunities of a league where things such as the Heisman Trophy, Final Four and national titles are distinct possibilities instead of long shots.
This is a huge blow to the Mountain West Conference, who just last week, in apptempting to stay out in front of the realignment a' go-go bow wave, poached Boise St. from the WAC thus giving them 4 legit top-25 football programs (BYU, TCU and Utah being the others) in their now-snuffed-out 10 team conference. Instead of moving towards an automatic BCS bowl bid for their conference, they're back to also-ran status. As Pac 10 honks, we do feel for fans of the Mountain - the little conference that almost did.
This looks to be the last move for 2010. Again, what looked like the apocalypse as recently as a week ago, has resulted in only a 5.6 shaker. No permanent damage but you were still talking about it the next day at the cooler.