#28 Utah Utes: College Football 77 in 77

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In their first year in the Pac-12, the Utah Utes came within a field goal of forcing overtime with the league championship game on the line. Of course, it also says something about the weird circumstances surrounding the game that a .500 team, UCLA ended up getting a berth in the Pac-12 championship.

Alas, the Utes benefited from USC being ineligible in the South Division, and finished with just a 4-5 conference record. Prospects look a little higher in 2012

For the Utah basketball season preview GO HERE

2011 was: another solid year, an 8-5 campaign. The offense was bad, the run defense great, but the secondary was kind of a train wreck at times. They started just 2-3 but sizzled down the stretch, (excluding the hiccup versus Colorado) beating Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl. And that’s the sixth straight bowl defeat for the Ramblin Wreck.

2012 will go smoothly if:  they have stars on both sides of the ball returning, including a guy actually named Star. He’s in both BMOC and ALL NAME TEAM, DT Star Lotulelei. He’ll be called early on NFL Draft night too. RB John White IV broke the school rushing record.

2012 will be rough if: there’s not much experience or talent in the OL, and the secondary leaves something to be desired. It would be good if they continue to not commit turnovers too. Both the passing game and the running game need to improve their numbers from last year. It is expected they will, but the O line needs to come together for that to happen.

BMOC: White 4, Star, QB Jordan Wynn, WR DeVonte Christopher, DE Joe Kruger

All Name team: Junior Salt, WR Dres Anderson, MLB LT Viliaga (wouldn’t it be cool if he were a left tackle?), FS Quade Cappius

Bottom Line: They should be better than .500 as 7-9 wins could happen, but is not guaranteed. They landed in the easier of the two divisions, but they still have a very tough schedule .

Rankings:

Lindy’s- 26, Athlon-33 , Phil Steele- 32

All the 77s

#29 Missouri

#30 Georgia Tech

#31 Virginia

#32 Notre Dame

#33 NC State

#34 Iowa

#35 BYU

#36 UCF

#37 Washington

#38 Tennessee

#39 Rutgers

#40 Penn State

#41 Baylor

#42 Texas Tech

#43 Pittsburgh

#44 Cincinnati

#45 Mississippi State

#46 North Carolina

#47 Northwestern

#48 Miami, FL

#49 California

#50 SMU

#51 South Florida

#52 UConn

#53 UCLA

#54 Illinois

#55 Vanderbilt

#56 Washington St.

#57 Wake Forest

#58 Ole Miss

#59 Purdue

#60 Iowa St

#61 Kentucky

#62 Arizona State

#63 Boston College

#64 Ohio

#65 Marshall

#66 Arizona

#67 Southern Miss

#68 Tulsa

#69 Oregon State

#70 Houston

#71 Syracuse

#72 Colorado

#73 Kansas

#74 Maryland

#75 Duke

#76 Minnesota

#77 Indiana

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too

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