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The odds game

College football is all about odds. What are the odds you convert on 4th and 1, or the odds you make a 45 yard field goal? Every play, every calculation is done based on the probability it will succeed. Odds tell us that if you're facing 4th and 20, you punt -- unless you're in dire need of a first down. But on the flip side, if you're 4th and inches, you're probably smart to go for it.

So when it comes to predicting each game, it's far better to look at the probability of winning, of course it's not a perfect formula, because anything can happen. But just for the sake of this article, and the fact this is just another way of predicting Utah's season, I've decided to use my own odds to come up with Utah's chances in every game. It will prove to be accurate, you just wait and see.

The Key:

  • 10 - Utah is a near lock in these games. While technically 10 would be impossible, since anything can happen, for the sake of history and rational thought, this will be an option.
  • 9 - Utah should definitely win, but a loss is possible if the world were to somehow flip on its axis and black became white, up became down and war became peace. Oh wait on that last one, that came true.
  • 8 - Utah will be favored, but a loss -- though slim -- will be possible.
  • 7 - Again the Utes should be favored, but a loss becomes more possible. If they were to lose, it would be perceived as an upset.
  • 6 - Barely favored and a loss would not be shocking in the least.
  • 5 - Up for grabs, either team can win and a loss could even be expected.
  • 4 - Utah will be underdogs, but could realistically win.
  • 3 - Bigger underdogs, but a win would not be shocking.
  • 2 - A win here will turn a lot of heads. A loss though would be expected, even if by a slim margin.
  • 1 - Maybe, if hell froze over, Utah will win. But staying competitive could prove to be a feat in and of itself.  
  • 0 - You're crazy to think Utah will win this game. In fact, lock yourself up right now and throw away the key, because you're not fit for society.

Now that we have that pesky key out of the way, here are the odds for each game.

  • at Oregon State: 4. Utes might win, but a loss shouldn't be surprising and might even be expected. The fact Oregon State is playing this game at home definitely gives them the edge.
  • Air Force: 8. The Falcons will have a new offense, a new coach and new hopes. However, news out of Colorado Springs is not that optimistic. Utah should win and if they don't, it would be seen as a pretty bad upset.
  • UCLA: 4. The fact this game is at home automatically makes it more competitive than it would be if played in Pasadena. With that said, Utah's showing last season does not have me optimistic that they can pull out a victory here. It's possible, but it'll take some luck and a couple bad play calls from UCLA's coaches to give Utah a chance to win. On the up side, it should be a far better game than last year.
  • at UNLV: 9. The fact Utah has lost only once to UNLV in school history gives me reason to believe this is pretty much a lock. Utah loses, throw in the towel, the season is over.
  • Utah State: 10. The only 10 on this list and yes I am that confident Utah will beat USU. I don't want to even think this will be a close game and based on last year's results, it won't be.
  • at Louisville: 2. Ouch, a two? Yeah, this game is going to be tough. The Utes should keep it respectable, but a win would go down as probably the most important -- outside of the '04 Holy War that got Utah to the Fiesta Bowl -- in school history.
  • SDSU: 8. I would put the Aztecs at a 9, but Utah has struggled in the past against them. Of course that was the other coaching staff and Utah easily beat them last year in San Diego. This game will be played in Salt Lake.
  • at TCU: 4. Tough to say this will be a 4, but I'm not banking on Utah being favored. With that said, it will be a close game and Utah could win.
  • at CSU: 7. Poor Rams aren't much of a threat anymore. This will be a tough game, but one Utah has no business losing. Maybe four years ago this would have been a swing game, but not now.
  • Wyoming: 7. The Cowboys don't play Utah well in Salt Lake and I think every Utah fan remembers the last time Brian Johnson went up against the Cowboys' defense. I expect the same this year.
  • New Mexico: 6. With the past being what it is, putting this at 6 is hard, because it feels like a five. But the fact it's in Salt Lake leads me to believe Utah should win. Hopefully they finally prove me right this year -- as I've said this the past two seasons.
  • at BYU: 5. Hell last year should have been a 4 and Utah made it a 5. This season the Utes will be better, BYU won't and that should be enough to over come the Cougars' home field. This is a rivalry game and I think last year proved no matter how big of a margin there is between the two teams' records, it doesn't always mean it will translate on the football field. This game is the definitive swing game.

Utah should win at least 7 games, with Oregon State, UCLA, TCU and BYU either being up for grabs, or really close to being so. Utah won't win them all, however if they can win 2 of each (preferably TCU and one against BYU), it should be seen as a successful season. Louisville is the game I see Utah losing no matter what, which will suck, but if it's only one of two or three losses, I can live with it.