Pac-12 Football: Utah and Colorado Only Make the Conference Better

Matt VelureContributor IISeptember 11, 2011

New Pac-12 Member Utah Gave the Trojans a Scare
New Pac-12 Member Utah Gave the Trojans a ScareHarry How/Getty Images

Well, Utah lost to USC and Colorado lost to Cal in last minute losses in their Pac-12 debuts. I’m sure both are frustrated and wish that things went differently. However, I’d like to welcome both to the Pac‐12 and thank them for raising the level of competition in the conference.

Utah’s first game in the Pac‐12 conference was quite possibly the toughest test any team could possibly face—a game in the Los Angeles Coliseum against USC. Add to that the fact that USC isn’t bowl eligible this year, which perhaps makes the trip to L.A. even tougher.

The Pac­‐12 hasn’t just gotten bigger this year, it has gotten better. Utah brings BCS experience (remember, Alabama?) and has been competitive on the national stage over a period of years.

Colorado brings a football championship tradition that will only add to the prestige of the Pac­‐12.

No longer is the Pac-­12 a conference of two to three really great teams and seven or eight mediocre teams. Adding Utah and Colorado to the conference not only increases the quality of competition, but also adds tradition and potential.

Now Utah and Colorado have an idea of the level of competition they will face each and every week in the Pac-‐12 conference.

“Easy wins” during conference play will be fewer and each game is going to matter with the goal of playing in the Pac‐12 Championship Game. As both new teams get more comfortable with the conference, the games will only be better and more fun to watch.

Next week Utah takes a step out of the Pac‐12 and heads to Provo to take on BYU. Certainly, the nation understands that this game is for bragging rights in the Salt Lake City/Provo area. After that, the Washington Huskies arrive at “The Muss” followed by Arizona State.

Washington is one of the those teams easily described as a sleeping giant, and while they let nearly blew their last game against Hawaii, expect them to be a formidable opponent.

Arizona State is yet another example of a Pac‐12 team on the rise and this may be a tough night for the Utes. The only thing that may result in Utah wins is the fact that both these conference games are at home.

Colorado has Colorado State in Denver (another bragging rights opportunity) and then go to Columbus to face Ohio State. Then they continue league play with Washington State coming to town.

Yes, the Cougs aren’t exactly like having Oregon on the schedule (that happens in October), but I’d be ready. They put a pretty good hurt on UNLV.

So good luck Utes and Buffaloes, you’re gonna need it. But thanks for making the Pac‐12 better.