In a season riddled with upsets, it’s only logical to focus on #23 Cal at #5 Utah as our game of the week.
We’re so used to hearing about elite teams like Alabama, who’ve won three of the last five BCS Championships, but it seems it’s finally time for another team to shine, and these two teams are as likely contenders as any.
Last season, the Utah Utes broke into the Top 25 AP poll and ended the season 9-4, considerably better than the previous two years' 5-7 records. But they lost another offensive coordinator, a defensive coordinator, and a recruiter, which left most people bracing for another 5-7 finish, or worse. However, the Utes have bulldozed through every opponent they’ve faced in 2015 and landed in the top 5, their first time in the Top 10 since 2010.
The Utes are one of two teams in the Pac 12 that are still undefeated. The other team? Cal.
The Golden Bears are currently ranked #23 in the AP polls, enjoying their first 5-0 start since 2007 and a #2 ranking. Cal has been on a rocky ride since 2012, finishing that and the 2013 season 3-9 and 1-11, respectively. It’s unclear whether Cal will continue to rise this season considering their recent history, but for now, they are still a Top 25 undefeated team.
Cal does have one thing working for them: quarterback Jared Goff.
The junior QB is already being discussed as a legitimate Heisman candidate and a top-five NFL draft pick, with 1,630 total yards and 15 touchdowns this season, plus Cal’s career passing record (9,101 yards).
While no team is safe this season, I feel good about betting on the Utes to get this one done, especially coming off a week to rest and regroup.
Watch #23 Cal at #5 Utah at 8pm Saturday on ESPN.
Other games on Sling TV this weekend (all times Eastern):
SMU at University of Houston, 8pm Thursday, ESPN2
Washington at #17 USC, 9pm Thursday, ESPN
NC State at Virginia Tech, 8pm Friday, ESPN
New Mexico State at 14 Ole Miss, 12pm Saturday, SEC Network
7 LSU at South Carolina 12pm Saturday, ESPN
Illinois at 22 Iowa, 12pm Saturday, ESPNU
Indiana at Penn State, 12pm Saturday, ESPN2
Tulane at Temple 12pm Saturday, ESPNews
Georgia Tech at 6 Clemson, 3:30pm Saturday, ESPN2
Wisconsin at Nebraska, 3:30pm Saturday, ESPN2
Connecticut at UCF, 3:45pm Saturday, ESPNU
Troy at Mississippi State, 4pm Saturday, SEC Network
Arkansas at 8 Alabama, 7pm Saturday, ESPN
21 Oklahoma State at West Virginia, 7pm Saturday, ESPN2
11 Florida at Missouri, 7:30pm Saturday, SEC Network
East Carolina at BYU, 7:30pm Saturday, ESPNU
23 California at 5 Utah, 10pm Saturday, ESPN
Wyoming at Air Force, 10:15pm Saturday, ESPN2