For the first time in several weeks, the Utes are again in the “receiving votes” category, coming in at 33 in the AP and 32 in the coaches, meaning the ever-illusive top-25 spot is once again attainable. The Utes will obviously need to care of business Friday night against Arizona, but that likely won’t be enough to propel the Utes, meaning the Utes will need some help from teams around the nation. Saturday’s slate is full of potential upsets, intriguing match-ups and must-see conference battles, but these are the games from outside the PAC-12 footprint that Utah fans should keep a closer eye on.
#22 Texas A&M vs South Carolina Saturday 1:30 PM MT – SEC Network
The Gamecocks are looking for a statement win after losing to their first two ranked opponents of the season and have a chance to do so when Texas A&M travels to South Carolina this Saturday. Vegas has the road team favored by -2.5 and ESPN’s Matchup Predictor is also giving A&M a slight edge with a 50.5% chance of winning. An SC win would likely drop A&M out of the rankings, but the Gamecocks are right behind Utah in the rankings, meaning a convincing win may be enough to leapfrog the Utes.
#15 Wisconsin vs #12 Michigan Saturday 5:30 PM MT - ABC
Wisconsin’s promising season hit a surprising snag after falling to BYU, and if they hope to stay relevant, they’ll need to topple Michigan Saturday night. A loss at the hands of the Wolverines after their embarrassing loss to BYU would likely put the Badgers on the outside looking in. And while Michigan has rattled off five straight wins after a week one loss to Notre Dame, they have not faced a ranked opponent all season (Notre Dame was unranked heading into week one), a loss to the Badgers may leave voters with several questions about Michigan’s legitimacy as a top-25 team.
Hawai’i vs BYU Saturday 8:15 PM MT - ESPN
Utah’s final non-conference opponent will have a new look when they hit the field Saturday night against a red-hot Hawai’i team. The highly touted true freshman Zach Wilson will make his debut for the Cougars who are hoping to spark an offense that has struggled to consistently score since their upset win over Wisconsin in week three. On the other sideline, quarterback Cole McDonald is back for the Warriors after missing last week with an injury and will look to continue his tear as one of the top passers in the nation.