LAS VEGAS -- An accomplishment on Kyle Whittingham’s bucket list gets a check mark today when he coaches Utah in the Rose Bowl. When the Utes joined the Pac-12 a decade ago, Whittingham set a goal to win the conference and play in this game full of history and mystique.
Whittingham described the feeling this week as “surreal.” It’s not as significant for Utah’s opponent, Ohio State. The Buckeyes, who were upset by Michigan and missed out on a Big Ten title and the College Football Playoff, have had their top four NFL prospects opt out and take a pass on playing in Pasadena.
The motivation angle clearly favors Utah and Whittingham, who is 11-3 straight up in bowls. The Utes are 9-1 since Cameron Rising took over as the starting quarterback and their current six-game winning streak includes two blowouts of Oregon.