Utah may not being hanging around in the Mountain West Conference but Al Dannity says the Utes could go out with a bang.
The schedule Utah starts 2010 with an explosive clash, welcoming Pittsburgh to Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Panthers, who will also be featured in Sports Interaction’s rankings, will ask serious questions of the Utes. A road trip to Notre Dame on November 13 will ensure plenty of College Football betting fans at least see the Utes in action. While the Irish are improving, I think Utah will win comfortably in South Bend.
As far as Utah’s BCS hopes are concerned, it all comes down to the games within conference play. Both TCU and BYU have to visit Rice-Eccles stadium in 2010 and there’s no underestimating the importance of home-field advantage for the Utes. The 2008 Utes had a similar advantage, and that team ended up winning the Sugar Bowl.
The players The Utes enter 2010 with an offense designed to dominate. Returning quarterback Jordan Wynn leads an offense that includes four returning offensive linemen and All-Conference running back Eddie Wide. With a greater receiving corps supporting Wynn, Wide will see less attention from defenses and should easily improve on the 1,069 yards he gained in 2009.
While the defense only returns five starters, three of them are where it really counts. Derrick Shelby, Sealva Siliga, and Dave Kruger should form a stout defensive line. If nothing else the trio should ensure the Utes improve dramatically on last year’s unit which allowed 140 rushing yards per game. In total Utah return 13 starters on both sides of the ball plus their starting punter and starting kicker from 2009.
The forecast Once again Utah needs to be perfect if it is going to make it to the BCS. Part of the reason Utah is going to the Pac-10 is the easier path to the big money bowls, and with it the bigger financial benefits. This may be Utah’s final season in the Mountain West but they might not finish on a high. The big advantage for Utah is that all of its toughest tests, Pittsburgh, TCU, and BYU, will come at home. The downside is that two of these teams are serious contenders for the BCS as well. The Horned Frogs are equipped to win on the road and the Panthers bring an offense capable of winning in Rice-Eccles Stadium. I like Utah to gain revenge in the Holy War against Brigham Young but a 10-2 finish to the regular season is more likely than 12-0.