Matt Norlander of CBS Sports ranked all 351 teams heading into the 2016 basketball season, and the Utes and Cougars both landed in the top 60.
Of the Utes, who came in at No. 53, Norlander writes, "Larry Krystkowiak gonna make me look silly, I bet. He's got another player who I think should find his way to draft night in Kyle Kuzma. He'll be helped by the combo-guard stylings of Lorenzo Bonam. I don't put Utah higher, because I wonder about the depth here, the quality of the Pac-12 and a defense that's probably not going to be keeping most top-100 opponents under 72 points per game."
BYU came in six spots later at No. 59. "Triple-double machine Kyle Collinsworth is gone, but I'm buying on BYU because Eric Mika is back, Nick Emery is going to fill it up, and Kyle Davis is a prime "X-factor" type of player," writes Norlander. "This should be a top-40 offense in America. Will be a bubble team into late February if it can pick off Gonzaga and SMC at least once apiece."
Both Weber State and Utah State received decent rankings with the Wildcats coming in at No. 128 and the Aggies at No. 143. UVU was just inside the top 300 at No. 294.
Cougars in red, Utes in blue?
Zack Pierce of Fox Sports modified the team logos of some of the top college teams to reflect their rivals' color and the results were understandably horrifying.
Consider the Utah Utes as the Pac-12 champs
Heather Dinich of ESPN looks at the results in college football that could throw the playoff into chaos, and Utah was part of the Pac-12 conversation.
After asking the question, "what if Utah wins the conference title?," Dinich writes, "The Utes' only loss so far was at Cal, and they're leading the South standings. Washington and Colorado, though, are both looming on the regular-season schedule. A nonconference schedule that includes Southern Utah, BYU and San Jose State would be a problem. The Pac-12 could be in trouble in this scenario."