20 For 2020 College Football Topics, No. 18: Teams That Will Take A Wee Step Back

20 For 2020 College Football Topics, No. 18: Teams That Will Take A Wee Step Back

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20 For 2020 College Football Topics, No. 18: Teams That Will Take A Wee Step Back

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4. Utah Utes

2020 FInal Ranking
AP 16, Coaches 16
Final Record: 11-3

What Made 2019 Special? 

It was early December and Utah was still right there in the hunt for the College Football Playoff.

It would’ve been an interesting debate for that fourth CFP spot had Utah pulled off the win over Oregon for the Pac-12 Championship – it would’ve had a better argument than Oklahoma to get in.

Yeah, the 37-15 loss to the Ducks was bad, and not showing up for the Alamo Bowl against Texas – a 38-10 loss – stunk, but it was still a fantastic season for the Utes. They were dominant defensively until the end, they were fun, and they legitimately looked and played like a team that could’ve made some noise in the CFP.

Why 2020 Will Be A Bit Worse: Returning Talent

Head coach Kyle Whittingham has created a whale of a program that should be able to at least compete for the Pac-12 South title on a regular basis, but there’s a whole lot of work to do with the 2020 team.

The backfield tandem of QB Tyler Huntley and RB Zack Moss are done. These two were special, but the O won’t be all that bad with one of the Pac-12’s best lines coming back.

The defensive side is a different story.

Three stars are gone off the brick wall up front, most of the top players in the secondary are done, and eight key starters have to be replaced.

Why 2020 Will Be A Bit Worse: Schedule 
2020 Utah Football Schedule Analysis

It’s not all that bad.

There’s no Oregon to deal with, the Washington and USC games are at home, and there isn’t a non-conference game to worry about other than the opener against BYU – which is in Salt Lake City.

However, sort of like Virginia’s issue, even one extra regular season loss will be a disappointment. For Utah, after coming so achingly close to the playoff, going 10-2 – or just a little worse – will hardly feel the same.

The Pac-12 is going to be a wee bit better overall. Utah almost certainly won’t rip through it like it did for most of last season.

NEXT: After coming so close to the mountain top, Part 2 …

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