The MAACO Las Vegas Bowl isn't where BCS No. 19 Utah or BCS No. 11 Boise State had hoped to end their 2010 seasons, but such is the life of mid-major teams with the temerity to actually lose a game or two in the regular season. Both the Broncos and the Utes had legitimate-seeming national title aspirations at the end of August, but that's why they play the games. Somebody's got to lose.
The Utes came into this season highly touted, but after eight straight wins out of the gate took two highly public stumbles in a row, getting beaten badly by Notre Dame and utterly annihilated by TCU. They won out with victories over San Diego State and BYU, but are frankly lucky to be ranked given how voters feel about non-AQ teams.
The Broncos, of course, were gunning for yet another undefeated season themselves and harbored legitimate national title aspirations, but fell in double overtime to conference foe Nevada over Thanksgiving weekend. It'll be a short trip for both teams to Sam Boyd Stadium on December 22.
Connect with Boise State and Utah fans at SB Nation's OBNUG and Block U. For more information, browse through our complete college football 2010 postseason schedule.