Though the bulk of preseason previews have yet to hit the internet and magazine racks, there still are a few previews trickling out for the upcoming season.
For most, Utah is getting some pretty solid coverage as they embark on their journey into the Pac-12. CBS Sports' post-spring top-25 has Utah ranked 22nd, just behind Arizona State (21st) in the Pac-12 South. But the one I'm most intrigued by comes from footballphds.com. They have a preview out for the South and project the Utes winning the division with a ridiculously impressive 11-1 record.
1. Utah (11-1): 2010 was an eventful year for the Utes. The finally joined a power conference and they also brought in a FOOTBALLPHDS favorite Norm Chow as their new OC. The Utes’ inaugural season in the Pac 12 is going to be a fruitful one. The Utes will have early season tests with their September 10 visit to USC and September 17 visit to in state rival BYU. The lone loss that I see for the Utes is the November 5 game at my projected Pac 12 South second place team, Arizona. Finishing the season 11-1, expect a superb Pac 12 Championship game between Utah and Oregon.
If Utah does happen to go 11-1, it's not hard to believe a national championship berth is on the line when/if the Utes meet Oregon in the Pac-12 title game.
A bit too optimistic I'm guessing, but wouldn't that be an amazing start to a new era?
Regardless, Utah enters the 2011 season as one of the favorites in the Pac-12 South. That's both good and bad. Good because they're getting respect and no one can ever pooh-pooh respect. But it also means expectations are high and if the Utes stumble along the way, it certainly would suggest they're nowhere near ready to contend with the Big Boys.