Utah's Kyle Whittingham described his first year in the Pac-12 as being exactly what he'd expected in terms of a competition and atmosphere upgrade. With a division run at stake, that Thursday nighter against USC could be the biggest home game in school history.
Expectations are boosted for the Utes in Year 2, even though they're replacing Norm Chow with young Brian Johnson at offensive coordinator -- Johnson's a rapid learner, says Whittingham, who joked that Johnson skipped kindergarten and first grade.
Whittingham touts Star Lotulelei as perhaps the best defensive tackle in the country, describing offensive tackle as Utah's primary roster concern right now. Lotulelei said he didn't even ask the NFL about his draft standing before deciding to return for another season.
How about that rivalry with BYU? Whittingham offers no indications he's desperate to see it continued more than every now and then, citing the Pac-12's busy nine-game schedule and that Michigan series. "Ideally, you'd like eight home games, like a lot of the SEC teams play."