Those are some predictions floating around from local talk radio in Salt Lake and on Rivals.com. Green Bay Packer Brady Poppinga, who is a former BYU linebacker was on a radio station in Salt Lake saying that BYU will finish in the top five. Then there was a juvenile bet between one of the hosts who said Brady could take a full shot in pads if BYU makes the top five by years end. Top five is a lofty goal for a team that was not won a road non conference game since 2002 when they defeated Utah State, but that should change this year partly because they play Utah State on the road this year, and a subpar Washington. If BYU were to get a top 20 ranking a top 5 finish could be a reality if they go undefeated, but the team has been ranked as high as 13th in an ESPN preseason poll and in the Athlon college magazine.
Here is the audio from former BYU Cougar Brady Poppinga and also an interview from former BYU Quarterback and current Miami Dolphin QB John Beck.
As for Utah there is an article at Rivals that talks about how the Utes could be a sleeper pick in the BCS race, and that ill hinges upon the team staying healthy. The health starts with QB Brian Johnson who should be 100% healthy this year, and offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig will be able to finally run the spread with a quarterback who is capable. Other players who were injured last year were star JUCO transfer Matt Asiata as well as H-back Brent Casteel who went down as well.
Back in 2005 before Brian Johnson tore his ACL he had better numbers through ten games compared to what Alex Smith did in 2004 during the Utes Fiesta Bowl run, so we know he can play. Quietly, the Utes could, possibly, maybe sneak into a BCS bowl game or if you read Phil Steele he has the Utes ranked top 15 in his preseason poll. This Utah team should be the closest to the 2004 team and the best of the Kyle Wittingham era. This team has a chance to make a national splash in the Big House when the Utes play Michigan.