With 95 days until college football kicks off the 2022 season, Brandon Marcello of 247Sports put together a list of the 100 best games of the upcoming season.
Utah, which finished the 2021 season with a 10-4 record and a Pac-12 championship, has five games on the list — including two in the top 10 — starting with its contest against Lincoln Riley and the new-look USC Trojans on Oct. 15, which checks in at No. 3.
BYU, which finished the 2021 season 10-3 and ranked No. 19 in the AP poll, has three games on the list, starting with its contest against Arkansas (the Razorbacks finished 9-4 last season and ranked No. 21 in the AP poll) at No. 52, also scheduled for Oct. 15.
Marcello wrote blurbs on his top 10 games and then just listed the remaining 90. Of the Utah-USC game he wrote, “The Pac-12 championship usually loops north through Oregon, but the two best teams in the conference this fall might reside in the what was formerly known as the South Division.
“Transplanted coach Lincoln Riley leads fellow Oklahoma castaway Caleb Williams and his crew of superstars from the transfer portal, including Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison, to Utah to face the dean of the conference, 18th-year Utes coach Kyle Whittingham.”
A rematch of the Pac-12 championship between the Utes and Oregon, with new head coach Dan Lanning, is slotted at No. 10.
“There’s a bit of a budding rivalry between these two programs. Utah drilled the Ducks twice in three weeks last season, including 38-10 in the conference title game, but neither game was played in Eugene,” Marcello wrote.
“Oregon, even under a new coaching staff, would love to prove it’s not as soft as the Utes made it seem like last season. With the Pac-12 scrapping divisions and instead going with the top two teams in its conference championship game, this game might be even more pivotal as a possible loser-stays-home bout.”
Utah’s three other games on the list are as follows: No. 25 is the Utes’ season-opening trip to the Swamp to play Florida; No. 50 is Utah’s rematch against San Diego State, which beat the Utes last year and finished the year ranked No. 24 in The Associated Press poll; and No. 91 is Utah vs. Washington State on Oct. 27.
At No. 88 on Marcello’s list is BYU vs. Oregon and at No. 99 is BYU vs. Boise State. The Cougars will be looking for revenge against the Broncos.