An early look at the Pac-12 South

SALT LAKE CITY UT - NOVEMBER 6: Fans of the Utah Utes cheer during a game against the TCU Horned Frogs during the first half of an NCAA Football game November 6 2010 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City Utah. TCU Beat Utah 47-7. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

Though we're still a couple months out from the start of the 2011 college football season, that hasn't stopped the preseason publications from releasing their predictions for the upcoming year.

I already mentioned a bit ago that there was no real consensus on where Utah will finish this upcoming season and that point has really been solidified with the more preseason magazines that have hit the market.

With that said, there is an overall general opinion shared by most predictions thus far and it's that the Utes won't fall below third in the Pac-12 South. A third place finish might not guarantee a winning season, but it probably would put Utah in the postseason, and I believe that would be the lowest tolerable output fans would accept from the Utes this season.

Anything below third, though, would most likely put them on the bad side of .500 play and for a program that hasn't suffered a losing season in nearly a decade, that would be a huge disappointment.

Regardless, some publications are more optimistic about the transition and actually pick the Utes to win the South.

The breakdown after the jump...

Publication TSN Lindy Athlon Phil Steele Rogers Poll USA Today
Rank 1 3 3 3 1 3

Obviously, the consensus now is forming around a third-place finish. But it seems there are two extremes: either Utah is going to win the division or finish toward the middle. It's interesting that, in all six major publications to date, not one has the Utes finishing 2nd. I'm sure that will change when more publications are released, but at the moment, we're seeing a divergence of opinions here.

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