Two weeks ago, Utah was hanging on the brink as a fledging Top 25 team, sitting at No. 18 in the AP poll with a 4-0 record.
Fast forward to now, and thanks to a 62-20 victory at Oregon in Week 4, the Utes are sitting pretty at No. 5 with an opportunity to move into the College Football Playoff conversation with a win tonight against the No. 23-ranked Cal Golden Bears, who boast an undefeated (5-0) record of their own.
ESPN College GameDay color analyst Lee Corso has taken it one step (or several) further, stating that he believes Kyle Whittingham’s crew is currently his No. 1 team in the country.
“Utah is… the number one team in the nation.” – Corso. pic.twitter.com/wNi76FyUL3
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) October 10, 2015
The 80-year-old college football veteran may be on to something. Utah already has two marquee wins against Michigan (24-17) and Oregon, and with a full Pac-12 schedule remaining, has an opportunity to control its own playoff destiny.
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) rankings, Utah has the No. 6-best strength of record and is projected to finish 11-1, with its lone loss coming on the road at USC in Week 8. However, the Utes only have an 18.2 percent chance to win the conference, falling behind Stanford (47.9) and the Trojans (21.2).
But with a big win against Cal tonight — kickoff at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN — those numbers are subject to change.