Utah isn't among the AP Top 25, but with 18 starters back from an 8-5 team, the Utes could surprise.
Utah-USC game key
Yes, it's hard to believe that the fate of the Western world (at least Pac-12 country) will not be determined Nov. 3, when USC and Oregon clash at the Coliseum. But a few other dates will matter.
The Trojans will be in Salt Lake City on Oct. 4 to take on Utah. The Utes will have a legitimate chance to wreck USC's season because of their terrific defense led by one of the nation's top NFL prospects, defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. Still USC will finish undefeated and play for the BCS title.
In addition to Utah, another surprise team will be UCLA, where Jim Mora takes the reins on a talented, underachieving and angry group of players.
The team that disappoints will be Washington State.