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Utes will have tough 2007 schedule

While I'm also reviewing last year's preview, I thought I would start a basic preview of this year. I'm not going to get too in-depth this early, since things are still undecided about this upcoming Utah team. Though one thing that is clear about the season is Utah's tough schedule, which arguably could be their toughest in school history. This really is a mixed blessing, because while Utah will have its most talented team since 2004, they'll also probably lose a few games that will ultimately hinder their final standings. Though if Utah does in fact go undefeated (highly unlikely) or finish with one loss (still very unlikely), they could be the story this season.

Since it's January and the 2006 season officially ended last week, major college football outlets have decided to start their very premature top-25 for this season. Not surprisingly, Utah will have their fair share of top-25 opponents. I've looked over at the most reputable, mainstream websites' top-25 and have chosen every team Utah will face, their ranking and whether it's a road or home game.

Website Team Ranking Location
ESPN TCU 18 Fort Worth
UCLA 20 Salt Lake City
Louisville 25 Louisville
CNNSI Louisville 4
UCLA 24
Sportsline Louisville 6
TCU 8
Fox Sports UCLA 9
TCU 23
Oregon State 25 Corvallis

ESPN has Utah playing three top-25 teams, with TCU being the highest ranked. CNNSI has them playing two, with Louisville being ranked 4th in the nation. Sportsline has both Louisville and TCU as top-10 teams, while Fox Sports (College Football News) has UCLA, TCU and Oregon State in the top-25. Why they don't have Louisville in the top-25 makes zero sense to me. Unless they just assumed Brian Brohm wouldn't return, or they don't think Steve Kragthorpe can coach. Either way, I think Louisville will be ranked when August rolls around.

It will be a very difficult schedule and I don't see Utah winning all these games. In fact, I could see them dropping to Louisville, Oregon State and TCU, which wouldn't be entirely bad if Utah could win the rest of the games on their schedule.