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Morning Links: BYU-Utah one of nation's biggest games; 4 predictions for Utah Jazz

Utah Utes defensive end Nate Orchard (8) and Utah Utes defensive end Trevor Reilly (9) tackle Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill (4) as the University of Utah defeats Brigham Young University 20-13 as they play football Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013
Utah Utes defensive end Nate Orchard (8) and Utah Utes defensive end Trevor Reilly (9) tackle Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill (4) as the University of Utah defeats Brigham Young University 20-13 as they play football Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, in Provo.
Tom Smart, Deseret News

The rivalry between Utah and BYU is in the national spotlight again as Ben Kercheval of CBS looked at five reasons to watch college football in week 2.

Before talking specifically about the Utes and Cougars, part of his No. 1 reason (heated rivalries revisited), he writes, "Conference realignment has been one of the worst things to happen to college football. That is the truth and I will die on the hill saying so because no other shift in the sport has taken away so many great rivalries. Thankfully, some of those long-standing games will be restored on Saturday."

After talking about Penn State vs. Pittsburgh, he focuses on BYU-Utah, saying, "The Holy War is intense. perhaps more so than people realize nationally."

Four predictions for the Utah Jazz

Vahan Shakhpazyan of 12Up covered the progress that the Jazz made in the offseason before making four predictions for the upcoming season.

He writes, "An extraordinary offseason, however, has put the Jazz in perfect position to battle for the playoffs again, with the opportunity to land a higher seed than eight. They have depth and an ample amount of young and veteran players which should have them competing at a higher level. "

He is especially high on the play of center Rudy Gobert who is the main focus of the last two predictions.

While talking about team defense, Shakhpazyan writes, "Gobert's intimidating factor has made Utah one of the best defensive teams in the league, and they show it by holding opponents under 100 points most nights."

He continues discussing Gobert in his final prediction, saying, "He is the heart and soul of Utah's interior defense and has been significantly improving each year. He is definitely a keeper, and the future of the team. When Gobert does get his extension, he will deserve every penny of it."

Gobert working for the season

While many are focused on what Gobert can do for the Utah Jazz this season, he is preparing for the long and difficult schedule in the gym.

He took to twitter yesterday to show how much he has worked to get ready.

Jay Yeomans is a sports writer for DeseretNews.com. Contact him at jyeomans@deseretdigital.com.