College football’s top 25 Future Power Rankings

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    • #169022

      Ute Fan

      The 2022 season is within sight, which means it’s time to put a bow on the annual crystal-balling exercise known as Future Power Rankings. The team list is here.

      The team rankings examine the programs on a macro level for the 2022, 2023 and 2024 seasons. Factors such as coaching changes and stability, and recent on-field/recruiting trajectory, hold more value in this list. The increased importance of the transfer portal and even name, image and likeness can’t be discounted when doing a projection such as this one.

      At its core, FPR remains personnel-based, and assesses how current and future players will impact performance for their teams. Recruiting in the past few seasons or projected success in 2023 carries some weight. But some programs consistently outperform their recruiting rankings and deserve to be recognized appropriately in the team list.

      14. Utah Utes

      2022 Future QB ranking: 14
      2022 Future offense ranking: 23
      2022 Future defense ranking: 12
      2021 Future team ranking: 25

      Scouting the Utes: I surely will take some heat for slotting Utah behind an Oregon team it spanked twice last season to win the Pac-12. The Utes surely would rank ahead of the Ducks (and USC) in a one-year projection. The key for coach Kyle Whittingham’s program is to keep building on offense, a unit that surged late last season. Quarterback Cam Rising and running back Tavion Thomas both return with junior eligibility. Utah’s post-Rising outlook is promising after signing top-100 national prospect Nate Johnson in the 2022 class. The team also has some insurance behind Thomas in sophomore Micah Bernard, who averaged 6 yards per carry in limited action last fall. Utah’s line must overcome some attrition but projects fairly well, as All-Pac-12 performers Braeden Daniels and Sataoa Laumea return at tackle and guard, respectively. Jim Harding is one of the nation’s best line coaches and should produce a solid group in 2023 and 2024. Utah gets star tight end Brant Kuithe and fellow senior Dalton Kincaid for one more year, but must find more at wide receiver. Sophomore Devaughn Vele, who averaged 16.9 yards per catch in 2021, is a building block, but the Utes need others.

      Utah’s defense is consistently solid and occasionally elite, and should maintain its trajectory through 2024. The unit loses All-American linebacker Devin Lloyd, top pass-rusher Mika Tafua and solid contributors such as linebacker Nephi Sewell, but also returns plenty of notables. Cornerback Clark Phillips III could contend for national honors this fall and has three years of eligibility remaining. Phillips and safety Cole Bishop, who had nine tackles for loss and five pass breakups in 2021, will lead a secondary also featuring junior cornerback JaTravis Broughton, who returns from injury, and sophomore cornerback Faybian Marks. Utah will need transfers Mohamoud Diabate (Florida) and Gabe Reid (Stanford), as well as returnees such as Karene Reid, to stabilize a linebacker position that loses a lot from last year’s team. Defensive line should remain a strength, as Van Fillinger and Junior Tafuna are set to lead the next few seasons. Other players such as sophomore tackle Aliki Vimahi are also on the rise. Utah’s recruiting is on the uptick with prospects such as ESPN 300 linebacker Lander Barton. article

    • #169023

      Ute Fan

      Seems about right to me.

    • #169028

      Ute Fan

      About right for Utah football. Exciting season ahead with all the returning players and promising new players. Will be interesting to see what impact NIL money bag schools will have on the transfer portal for Utah after this season.

      Interesting how some Utah position groups are seeing a recruiting bump more the others at Utah. LB, QB, RB, Dline, and Safety have seen increased recruiting success over the past couple years as a result of Utah’s sucess. Defense at Utah is always going to be solid as long as Scalley is there. WR and CB are positions of concern. CB especially is a head scratcher to me considering all the players Utah has put in the NFL. 

      What is up with Shah? Not blaming him as I am a huge fan. His assigned position groups are struggling. Other then Clark Phillips, CB recruiting has dropped way off considering this has been a prominent position group for Utah football for many years. STs were awful last year other than kick/punt returns having more to do with Covey’s talent. Utah was ranked 123 out of 130 D1 programs for blocked punts allowed last season and that does not include the one of the two punts blocked against OSU called back for a penalty. KO return coverage ranked 107 giving up an average of 24 yards per return. Touch backs per kick were also not good especially for a home field at +4K altitude. Covey pretty much covered up for STs as a whole. Hopefully it all gets fixed.

      • #169030
        1 4

        Ute Fan

        Excellent point about Shah. I used to be firmly in his camp, particularly after we flipped CPIII from Ohio St but there has been a drop off as of late. You have to wonder if his wife’s reality TV antics and run in with the feds has anything to do with it. 

      • #169032

        D T
        Ute Fan

        CPIII/Broughton are solid All PAC-12 performers.

        But behind them both is where the question mark comes into play…..Marks/Vaughn & who else? Hopefully this position group doesn’t get hit hard by injury again.

        But I have faith in Coach Shah to work it out & they’re facing an elite O in practice every day that I believe will utilize the deep ball more this year & do so effectively.

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