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Block U Summer Football Rankings: 50-26

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NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Southern California Kirby Lee-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.

50. Illinois

Big 10

2018 Record: 4-8

49. Florida International

Conference USA

2018 Record: 9-4

48. NC State

Atlantic Coast Conference

2018 Record: 9-4

47. Cal

PAC-12

2018 Record: 7-6

Cal is a deceptively dangerous team, especially within the context of a loaded PAC-12 North that is anyone’s (except Oregon State’s) for the taking. Head coach Justin Wilcox has established the Golden Bears as one of the conferences more formidable defensive units, which is saying something considering they’re being measured against the likes of Utah, Washington and Stanford. The defense that held Washington to just 10 points last season returns 13 players, which should bode well for a program that appears to be on the rise, however the offense will need to improve if Cal has any outside shot of contending for the divisional crown. Incumbent starting QB Chase Garbers threw for 14 touchdowns, but also doled out 10 interceptions in his 10 starts last season, however former UCLA QB Devon Modster is waiting in the wings for his chance to help turn the Bears offense around if Garbers should prove unable.

46. Indiana

Big 10

2018 Record: 5-7

45. Washington State

PAC-12

2018 Record: 11-2

One of the more surprising teams of 2018 was Mike Leach’s Washington State Cougars. Thanks in part to graduate transfer, Gardner Minshew, the Cougars skyrocketed up the rankings, finishing 10th after an impressive 11 win season that was at least partially derailed due to a controversial loss to USC in the conference opener that would have otherwise sent WSU to the conference championship and a likely New Year’s Six bow. Weather or not Leach can once gain catch lightening in a bottle with incoming Eastern Washington transfer, Gage Gubrud is yet to be seen, however seven of the eight receivers who caught passes for Minshew last season are back in Pullman, which should make the transition a little easier.

44. Kentucky

Southeastern Conference

2018 Record: 10-3

43. Nebraska

Big 10

2018 Record: 4-8

42. Virginia

Atlantic Coast Conference

2018 Record: 8-5

41. Memphis

American Athletic Conference

2018 Record: 8-6

40. Northwestern

Big 10

2018 Record: 9-5

39. North Carolina

Atlantic Coast Conference

2018 Record: 2-9

38. Syracuse

Atlantic Coast Conference

2018 Record: 10-3

37. UCLA

PAC-12

2018 Record: 3-9

Year two of the Chip Kelly ear is underway in Westwood, and while 2018 was a major disappointment for the Bruins, there were some signs of hope for the boys in blue and gold. An 0-5 start turned around with a 37-7 drubbing over Cal, followed by a 31-30 victory against Arizona. Senior Tailback Joshua Kelley will play an important role on the Bruins offense after accounting for 1,243 yards last season, especially if the much hyped quarterback, Dorian Thompson Robinson fails to progress the way the Bruins faithful expect him to.

36. Oklahoma State

Big 12

2018 Record: 7-6

35. Missouri

Southeastern Conference

2018 Record: 8-5

34. Mississippi State

Southeastern Conference

2018 Record: 8-5

33. Cincinnati

American Athletic Conference

2018 Record: 11-2

32. Stanford

PAC-12

2018 Record: 9-4

It’s hard to imagine a scenario where David Shaw’s team doesn’t muster another 8-9+ win season, but a loaded schedule that features the likes of Northwestern, USC, UCF and Oregon in the first four weeks of the season is daunting to say the least. However, if the Cardinal can make it through that initial gauntlet, they’ll be rewarded with three straight home games against Washington, UCLA and Arizona State after taking on an easily beatable Oregon State team on the road. The issue for Stanford will come in replacing much of last season’s offense, with returning quarterback KJ Costello losing three receivers and four starting offensive lineman.

31. Pittsburgh

Atlantic Coast Conference

2018 Record: 7-7

30. Arizona State

PAC-12

2018 Record: 7-6

Herm Edwards shocked the west when his first year at ASU turned out as successful as it did, being one of only two PAC-12 South teams to reach a bowl game, finishing one game behind Utah in the divisional race. Running back Eno Benjamin may be one of the best backs in the conference, however without quarterback many Wilkins and receiver N’Keal Harry, the three-headed beast that was the Sun Devil’s offense will surely lack the explosive potency that was demonstrated in Herm’s debut. A senior-laden offensive line should help keep whoever the starting quarterback may be out of duress, however it will likely be the defense that carries ASU in 2019, with both Merlin Robertson and Darien Butler returning after leading the team in tackles in 2018 as true freshmen.

29. USC

PAC-12

2018 Record 5-7

Posting their first losing season since 2000, the Trojans are poised for a strong rebound in 2019 despite a turbulent offseason. Graham Herrell enters the fold as offensive coordinator to help develop the supposed quarterback prodigy, JT Daniels, now in his second season by implementing an air raid offense, a unique turn for the Trojans. Should the experiment prove successful, the sky is the limit for the Men of Troy.

28. Minnesota

Big 10

2018 Record: 7-6

27. Penn State

Big 10

2018 Record: 9-4

26. UCF

American Athletic Conference

2018 Record: 12-1