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In a little more than one month from now, Pac-12 football media day will begin in Los Angeles and soon thereafter, Utah will open up training camp ahead of the 2021 season.

In the meantime, the Utes coaching staff has been busy on the recruiting trail and will continue to be. 

Last week, Utah secured commitments from a three-star Texas receiver (Zion Steptoe) and an Elite 11 quarterback from California (Nate Johnson). 

Johnson will compete in the Elite 11 Finals on June 30-July 3 in Los Angeles. 

In other news, as the College Football Playoff announced it is exploring a 12-team expansion proposal, the Pac-12 threw its support behind expanding the playoff while offering an idea that would change how the automatic bids are divided up for conference champions.

In the current CFP expansion proposal, the six highest ranked conference champions would qualify, no matter if it’s from a Power Five league or Group of Five conference.

With the current stipulations, that means a Power Five champion could be left out of the playoff.

“The Pac-12 supports expansion of the CFP and believes that the Autonomous Five champions should annually qualify for the CFP,” a statement from outgoing Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said. “We greatly appreciate the work of the CFP subcommittee, as well as the thoughtful and productive discussions amongst the management committee this week in Chicago. We now look forward to reviewing the expansion proposal more thoroughly with our members, student-athletes, partners, and other key stakeholders.”

Numbers game

9:25.37: Former Ute Grayson Murphy’s personal-best time in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

48: Total tackles during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season by preseason All-American linebacker Devin Lloyd.  

From the archives

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How College Football Playoff expansion could impact Pac-12 scheduling

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Comments from Deseret News readers

Pac-12,

Please implement the 8 conference game format. With 9 games, 6 members have another guaranteed loss. Of course, you already know that... I think? I don’t see the Pac-12 with 3-4 awful cellar dwellers every season like some of the other conferences. The other conferences take advantage of 8 conference games.

— 6 in a row!

The SEC/Big Ten doesn’t want a good Pac-12 team from stealing a spot from one of their better teams. The NCAA Football system has been built to defend the SEC’s ownership. They will placate the other conferences, and gift the other conference’s champions with ‘possibly’ four-spots.  The SEC wants to include the highest-5 ranked conference champions, IF ranked they are ranked within the top-12. The above will ‘allow’ the occasional Pac-12, and Group of Five teams to play. and potentially give the SEC/Big Ten eight-to-ten teams in a possible 12-team tournament; Big- 2, and ACC usually getting the other two. Look at all that new money going to the SEC.

— majmajor

Up next

Sept 2 | TBD | Football | vs. Weber State | @Rice Eccles Stadium