Utah came into their new conference as somewhat of an afterthought, despite having won 22 regular season games in the past two seasons. Many experts considered them to be one of the worst teams in the Pac-12 South, on par with Arizona and UCLA.
As it turns out, they may be one of the best.
They traveled to the Coliseum and lost by only nine points. They then took out their frustration on their intra-state rival, thumping BYU 54-10.
They've had a bye week to refocus on Pac-12 play. They have two huge games upcoming, both in Salt Lake, against Washington and Arizona State. If they win those two games, they'll be in the driver's seat for the Pac-12 South title.
A major reason for this is that they avoid having to play both Stanford and Oregon. I'm usually not a big "look at the schedules" kind of guy, but it is important when ASU travels to Autzen, and Utah hosts Washington (who isn't a slouch themselves).
Of course, it will most likely come down to the game against the Sun Devils next week, and Utah has a great chance to win. ASU has been shaky so far, needing overtime to beat Mizzou at home (after Mizzou missed a field goal at the end of regulation), and losing to Illinois on the road. It will be only the Sun Devils' second road game.
The Utes have a proven winner in quarterback Jordan Wynn (pictured). John White IV is an emerging running back, and the defense isn't too bad either (they forced seven turnovers against BYU).
The next two weeks will tell the story. If Utah defends their home turf, they will be in first place in the Pac-12 South and will have an easier schedule going forward. After that, they can find themselves in the Pac-12 title game, and may finally get a chance to play Stanford or Oregon.