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I am not really sure how Utah’s 7-1 Mountain West record and 10-3 overall record exactly translates to the Pac-10, but I think it places them fairly high and that’s why I have them here.
They are actually my pick to win the South, but only because of the USC sanctions.
Stanford finished last season highly ranked and will likely start next year much the same.
Utah finished just outside the rankings and early rankings have them floating the top 25. I have seen them either just in or just out.
Utah gets a beneficial schedule in missing both Oregon and Stanford next season.
Stanford will be losing a good portion of the O-line as well as the defense. One of the biggest losses though, will be head coach Jim Harbaugh.
Keeping quarterback Andrew Luck was one of the biggest pluses for Stanford, but Utah’s Jordan Wynn was no slouch.
He may not have finished near as high as Luck, but he was still rated fairly well while also missing a couple games.
Hear me out here. Losing a head coach is never easy. Things can go in either direction. Oregon stayed up and reached new heights through the transition, but Michigan fell pretty hard during theirs.
While I expect Stanford to start ranked high and have a solid season, I just have to wonder if they lost too much.
Moving conferences is also a question mark: something we don’t have a lot of examples to look back on.
Virginia Tech won the ACC in their first year after moving over from the Big East. The move from the Conference USA to the Big East wasn’t as kind to Cincinnati in the first year.
I feel like both will do well in their divisions, but due to the questions for both, I have a hard time knowing which will truly be the tougher team.