The Utah football team is making their Big 12 debut this season, and the Utes seem poised for a big year. They are returning a good amount of talent from their defense last year, and that was the strength of the team. However, their offense struggled mightily without quarterback Cam Rising, but the star QB will be back this season as he has recovered from his injury. That should be a big difference for Utah as this will be Rising's seventh season with the Utes. He has a ton of experience.

Cam Rising had a good year in 2022 before getting injured at the end of the season. He ended up having to miss all of last year because of it, but he is ready to go for the 2024 season. Rising could even come back for an eighth season with the Utah football team if he wanted to, but it doesn't sound like that is part of his plan.

That’s not the plan,” Cam Rising said about returning, according to a tweet from Brett McMurphy. “Seven years is more than enough.”

Rising is right, seven years is probably plenty. However, he has only gotten significant playing time during two seasons. 2022 was his best year as he threw for over 3,000 yards and he tossed 28 touchdown passes compared to eight interceptions. It was a good year, and he should be able to put up big numbers in the Big 12.

Utah football is the favorite to win the Pac-12

Utah Utes quarterback Cam Rising reacts against the Southern California Trojans at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This will be the first season that the Utah football team plays in the Pac-12, and they are the favorite to win the conference. Texas and Oklahoma both made the move to the SEC, so the conference is very open this year. With Cam Rising back, the Utes should be solid on both offense and defense, and with the schedule that they play, they should be able to find a way to get into the conference championship game.

Utah is going to be the highest ranked Big 12 team to start the season. Oklahoma State, Arizona and Kansas State will likely be ranked as well, but the Utes should be ranked higher. In the regular season, Utah plays Oklahoma State and Arizona, but they don't play Kansas State.

The Utes have one of the easiest schedules in college football. They should be the most talented team in the conference, and they don't play a lot of good teams. The recipe is there for them to win the Big 12 in their first season.