Ranking the Games: Order of Importance

Which games are the most important on the 2015 schedule? We rank them from 1 to 12

1. at Arizona (Nov 14)
Want to win the Pac 12 South? You'll need to win at least one road game against the other contenders within the division. The matchup in Tucson looks to be the 'easier' of the two big divisional roadies, but this won't be a walk in the park. If the Utes can head down South and knock off a good Wildcats team, it'll give them the signature road win for 2015 that should put them in a great position to grab the division crown.

2. at USC (Oct 24)
Can't win the one above? Better win this one. USC looks like a possible playoff contender and will start the season as the favorite in the South. The Utes got over the Trojan hump last year in Salt Lake City. Doing it in Los Angeles would be HUGE.

3. vs UCLA (Nov 21)
Want to win the Pac 12 South? You'll need to win at least 4 of 5 conference home games, if not all of them. On paper, UCLA looks to be the toughest conference home game, but the Utes outplayed Bruins last season in a game that never should have been that close, and had a great shot at wins in the two previous years. UCLA at Rice-Eccles in late November is a huge advantage for the Utes.

4. vs Arizona State (Oct 17)
These guys again. It's the only Pac 12 South team the Utes are yet to beat since joining the conference. It's been close each of the last two years and it's time for Utah to get passed the Sun Devils. If they can't take down the Sun Devils at Rice-Eccles this year, winning the South probably won't happen.

5. vs Oregon State (Oct 31)
This one is personal as half of OSU's coaching staff and what seems like half their freshman all were Utes (at least verbally) at some point. The Beavers won't be very good this season, but Utah can't let the personal aspects of this game cloud how they play and let a lesser team hang with them.

6. at Washington (Nov 7)
Want to win the Pac 12 South? Beat inferior teams on the road. This will be a huge transition year for the Huskies and Utah needs to be able to go to Seattle and get this W if they want to take home the division crown.

7. vs Cal (Oct 10)
Cal has a lot of similarities to the Washington State team that shocked Utah last season at Rice-Eccles stadium with a high flying offense and a highly questionable defense. Jared Goff looks like a future first round pick at QB and can take over a game at anytime. Possible trap game?

8. at Oregon (Sep 26)
How can Oregon be 8th on the list, you ask? Road game, out of division, against a superior opponent. If there's one game you shouldn't expect Utah to win in 2015, this is probably it.

9. vs Colorado (Nov 28)
Is this the worst current 'rivalry' in college football? Utah is significantly better, but the big question about the Colorado game is whether or not the Utes are battling here for a South title, trying to get into a bowl game and save Kyle Whittingham's job, or somewhere in-between?

10. vs Michigan (Sep 3)
Too low? It's not a conference game, and those are always going to have more value for a team that has a legitimate shot at wining its division. The game will be on national TV and the Utes will have a great shot at making a national statement against an overhyped opponent, so there's value, but not like a conference game.

11. vs Utah State (Sep 11)
Keep littlest brother down. Keep both of their fans from celebrating. Maintain in-state recruiting dominance over Aggies. Don't lose to non-P5 team. Pretty simple.

12. at Fresno State (Sep 19)
It's at the bottom of the list, but there's still value here. The value doesn't exist in the win, but instead in avoiding the loss. No reason Utah should lose to Fresno State.

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