It’s kind of strange for Utah football to get a little bit of respect, being picked 2nd in the Pac-12 South, only behind USC, but the consistency that Coach Whitt has developed with this program is being acknowledged around the conference. Losing as many players as they did, many of whom are now in the NFL, is a credit to the coaches, and people have taken notice. With that said, is Utah picked too high?
The media poll had the Pac-12 South going like this:
1 - USC
2 - Utah
3 - UCLA
4 - Colorado
5 - ASU
6 - Arizona
I think ASU and Arizona are right where they should be, after the seasons they had last year. I think the discussion comes down to Utah, UCLA and CU in the 2, 3 and 4 spots. They’re probably interchangeable in all three of those spots. With UCLA, you have a third year starting QB, who is really talented. Frankly, the entire roster for UCLA is really talented, but they always are and the results just haven’t been there. Will this year be different? I mean, last year Utah dropped over 50 on the Bruins. I think UCLA has some problems between the ears.
As for CU, they lost virtually their entire defense, which was great last year, but they do return a talented offense. They are starting a new QB; well, kind of new, he did start a couple games last year due to injury. I think that secondary for CU last year kept them in a lot of games, and they don’t have the element of surprise going for them this season.
With Utah, you have a returning QB, and a really good returning defense. Sure, questions in the secondary and o-line are there. But Utah has pulled a lot of talented players to help fill gaps, and Utah’s o-line has talent, but the question is depth there. The additions of Darren Carrington and Josh Nurse may have been a couple of the missing links with this offense. Carrington especially, who can be a game changer.
I was surprised to see Utah at 2 in the poll, but when you put everything together, and with 5 of their games being at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Utah has a very strong case for being 2… but so do the other two teams.
What do you think, Utah too high? Or just right?