In college football, winning isn't the only factor. Who you beat, and how, is a vital part of moving up the rankings and getting into a good bowl game. So each week during the 2012 season, we'll take a look at how Utah's past and future opponents performed.
Utah Utes 2012 schedule
Aug. 30: Northern Colorado W, 41-0
Sept. 7: at Utah State L, 27-20 OT
Sept. 15: BYU, W, 24-21
Sept. 22: at Arizona State TBA
Oct. 4: USC 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Oct. 13: at UCLA TBA
Oct. 20: at Oregon State TBA
Oct. 27: Cal TBA
Nov. 3: Washington State TBA
Nov. 10: at Washington TBA
Nov. 17: Arizona TBA
Nov. 23: at Colorado 1 p.m. (FOX/FX)
Last week: Lost at Sacramento State, 28-17
The Bears put up a fairly ugly performance in Sacramento, with quarterback Seth Lobato going 30 for 54 on passing but with three interceptions. Northern Colorado will look forward to their Big Sky schedule to get on track.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 22 at Montana State
Last week: Lost at Wisconsin, 16-14
Oh so close. Utah State was a field goal away from beating the Big Ten's Badgers in Madison, but kicker Josh Thompson sent the kick wide. Take nothing away from these Aggies, though -- they may be the best team in the state.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 22 at Colorado State
Last week: Lost at Utah, 24-21
The Cougars had three chances to tie the Utes and send the game to overtime, but after a clock reset and a fan-induced penalty, kicker Riley Stephenson hit the left upright to give Utah the win. BYU will now have to bounce back in Boise.
Next up: Thursday, Sept. 20 at #24 Boise State
Last week: Lost at Missouri, 24-20
The Sun Devils started off looking terrible against the Tigers, but they nearly pulled out a huge road win. If they can cut down on their mistakes, they may still make some noise in the Pac-12 South.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 22 vs. Utah
Last week: Lost at Stanford, 21-14
So the Trojans aren't invincible; Stanford exposed more than a few flaws in the SC attack. What once looked like an easy march to the Pac-12 South title now seems a bit shaky. The Trojans are still talented and athletic, though.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 22 vs. Cal
Last week: Won vs. Houston, 37-6
Suddenly, the Bruins are the only undefeated team in L.A., although USC is still ranked higher. The Bruins have taken down Rice, Nebraska and Houston in successive weeks. A big matchup with the upset-minded Beavers is next.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 22 vs. Oregon State
Last week: No game
The Beavers have only played one game so far, but it was a big one: an upset of Wisconsin. After a bye week, they face another big challenge in Los Angeles against undefeated UCLA.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 22 at UCLA
Last week: Lost at Ohio State, 35-28
Hard to tell how good this Golden Bears team is. They lost to Nevada and let Southern Utah hang around for too long, but then they took the Buckeyes down to the wire in the Horseshoe. Go figure.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 22 at #13 USC
Last week: Won at UNLV, 35-27.
The Cougars squeaked out a win in Vegas against the hapless Rebels, as backup quarterback Connor Halliday threw for 378 yards and 4 touchdowns. Fortunately for Wazzu, their next opponent is even worse.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 22 vs. Colorado
Last week: Won vs. Portland State, 52-13
After getting thrashed by #2 LSU in Baton Rouge, the Huskies did some thrashing of their own in a win over Portland State. They get a week off now, but they can't take it too easy: #9 Stanford comes to Seattle later this month.
Next up: Thursday, Sept. 27 vs. #9 Stanford
Last week: Won vs. South Carolina State, 56-0
While a win over an FCS school is to be expected, head coach Rich Rodriguez's offense has put up undeniably impressive numbers in the Wildcats' first three games. But this week, 'Zona heads to Eugene to show what they're really made of.
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 22 at #3 Oregon
Last week: Lost at Fresno State, 69-14
That score looks bad. But the reality is even worse: the Buffs were down 55-7 at halftime. Colorado should be grateful for playing Washington State this week; it could be the last chance they'll have at a win all season. (And it's not a good chance.)
Next up: Saturday, Sept. 22 at Washington State