Saturday is going to tell us a lot about this year's Utes team. I'm excited for that. I can't get too pumped for games against Utah State or San Jose State, so it's nice to actually have a big opponent on the schedule. It certainly boosts interest in my blog and the Utes, so that isn't entirely bad, right?
Of course, this is a big game. It's going to potentially define the season for Utah and that does make me nervous. But beyond that, I think it'll be tough to face the prospects of the Utes' winning streak finally coming to an end. I'll be honest, I didn't take it well when TCU ended their 18-game winning streak in 2005.
Now the Utes stand at sixteen straight. A victory over Oregon would push that streak to seventeen and unless things go south fast, they should tie the school's longest winning streak against Louisville. The possibility is there to break that streak and push it forward if Utah can just get by the Ducks.
Right now, it might be a big if, but it's doable and for a huge road game, can you really ask for anything more? Not really. This isn't a contest where we're conceding defeat and that makes the buildup at least enjoyable.
In fact, if Utah can get past Oregon, when is the next realistic loss? TCU? That'd put Utah's winning streak at 23 and maybe give them the confidence to go into Fort Worth and knock off what most likely will be a highly ranked Horned Frogs team.
But that's putting the cart before the horse and I shouldn't do that. Really. I'm setting myself up for disappointment because Utah does not look like a team capable of winning seven straight to put themselves in that position.
Yet a victory Saturday changes the landscape of the entire season for the Utes. Even if it isn't perfect because the Ducks should at least be as good, if not better than, Louisville, Colorado State (who looked horrific against Weber State), UNLV, Air Force, Wyoming and New Mexico.
Which means a victory Saturday would surely alter the dynamics of the season. It might not prove the Utes are capable of going undefeated again or beating the likes of TCU and BYU, but it will set them up for the possibility. And that isn't a bad spot to be in if you think about it.
First thing first, though, beat Oregon. Keep the streak alive. Give Utah fans hope this season will be another great one.
It can be done.