Mike Sorensen: It's a busy time of sports year, but college football lurks around the corner

Published: Sunday, May 11 2014 5:35 p.m. MDT

Utah has a brutal stretch from Oct. 25 to Nov. 15 with games at home against USC, at Arizona State, home against Oregon and on the road against Stanford. All four teams are ranked 16 or better in the preseason projections. The Utes also play at Michigan in a non-league game.

Utah State starts with Tennessee on the road and finishes with Boise State on the road and has BYU on the road in early October. Otherwise, the Aggies may be favored in the rest of their games.

Southern Utah plays at Nevada and Fresno State in non-league games and at Southeastern Louisiana, picked No. 3 in the preseason FCS rankings, and must play the two league favorites, Eastern Washington and Montana, but at least those two games are at home.

Weber State starts off with four straight road games, at Arizona State, Sacramento State, Stephen F. Austin and Southern Utah and a bye before finally getting a home game against Cal Poly on Oct. 11.

National rankings

For a change, Alabama isn’t picked to win it all this year. Oklahoma gets the No. 1 ranking, followed by Oregon and defending national champion Florida State at No. 3. Alabama comes next at No. 4, while Auburn rounds out the top five.

The Pac-12 has six teams in the top 25 — Oregon (2), Stanford (6), UCLA (8) Arizona State (13), USC (16) and Washington (21).

Notre Dame is the only independent in the top 25 at No. 14.

Difference-makers

Each of the major college teams has one player designated as a “difference-maker.’’

For Utah, it’s senior receiver Dres Anderson, for BYU, it’s quarterback Taysom Hill, both sensible choices. But for Utah State, it’s Darrell Garretson. I guess the writer figures Chuckie Keeton won’t beat out Garretson for the starting quarterback berth.

So there’s a taste of what to expect for this fall’s college football season. It seems like a long ways off, but most players will start working out on campus next month, and fall camps open in less than three months. It'll be here before you know it.

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