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Utes ink deal for home and home with Fresno State

Utes will host the Bulldogs in 2014.

Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

Utah has replaced the BYU Cougars in 2014 and 2015 with a home and home against the Fresno State Bulldogs - a team the Utes last played in the 1999 Las Vegas Bowl.

The move is a curious one, since the perception out there was that Utah would schedule down when they ended the annual rivalry game with the Cougars. Fresno, while not known as a college football power, has generally been a competitive program and even recorded a 9-3 season under first year head coach Tim Deruyter. You could even make the case the Bulldogs are on equal footing as BYU, who finished 2012 with a rather ho-hum 7-5 record.

Anyway, the 2014 schedule will consist of home games against Fresno, Idaho State and a road game against Michigan - with, presumably, home conference games against Oregon, USC, Arizona and Washington State. Their conference road slate then would consist of Oregon State, UCLA, Stanford, Arizona State and Colorado.

A pretty brutal schedule - meaning unless Utah vastly improves these next two years, we could struggle fighting through the Pac-12 transition.

What do you make of this scheduling news?