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Block U Summer Football Rankings: 70-61

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Utah Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

With football season just around the corner, it’s time to take a look at where Utah stacks up compared to the rest of the nation. With 130 teams currently competing in Division 1, we’ve ranked each team using an equation that takes into account last season’s game results, returning players, coaching staff consistency, recruiting rankings over the last three seasons, transfers, and more. Each week, we will reveal 10 more teams, then revealing a final top 25 before the season officially starts on Saturday, August 24th.

70. BYU

Independent

2018 Record: 7-6

With the exception of a disastrous 2017 campaign, Utah’s most storied rival has consistently remained a good-but-not-great team since going independent in 2011, and this season looks no different. With four P5 teams on the schedule to open the season (all at home with the lone exception of Tennessee in week two), it’s possible the Cougars get off to an 0-4 start with meetings against USF and Boise State also on the horizon. The key to success will come from sophomore quarterback, Zach Wilson and (more importantly) his connection with tight end Matt Bushman (arguably one of the best tight ends in the nation) along with tighter o-line play. Head coach Kalani Sitake and defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki will field a formidable defense despite a lack of size and speed; a defense that may be good enough to help the Cougars win a game they probably shouldn’t.

69. Appalachian State

Sun Belt

2018 Record: 11-2

68. Ole Miss

Southeastern Conference

2018 Record: 5-7

67. West Virginia

Big 12

2018 Record: 8-4

66. Duke

Atlantic Coast Conference

2018 Record: 8-5

65. USF

American Athletic Conference

2018 Record: 7-6

64. Oregon State

PAC-12

2018 Record: 2-10

Oregon State gets (at times unfairly) overlooked as a punching bag for the PAC-12 and one of the worst P5 programs in the nation, and that narrative isn’t likely to change in 2019 thanks to an absolutely grueling schedule, however there is some optimism to be had in Corvallis. The offense is promising thanks to the return of starting quarterback Jake Luton and leading rusher Jermar Jefferson, who managed 1,380 yards and 12 touchdowns with an average of 5.8 yards per carry last season as a true freshman. The trouble for the Beavers is with a nearly non-existent defense. OSU’s defense was historically bad in 2018 giving up an average of 45.66 points and struggling to remain competitive in any of their 10 losses save for a 37-35 loss to an 8-5 Nevada team in week three. If the defense can come together under the wave of several JUCO transfers, including the highly regarded lineman Jordan Whittley, there’s reason to believe the Beavers could be on the upswing in 2019.

63. Western Michigan

Mid-American Conference

2018 Record: 7-6

62. San Diego State

Mountain West

2018 Record: 7-6

61. Vanderbilt

Southeastern Conference

2018 Record: 6-7