ESPN's Way too Early assessment of BYU Football

Here is what ESPN thinks about BYU, ranking it #19:

19. BYU Cougars

Previous ranking: 18
2021 record: 10-3
Returning starters: 8 offense, 11 defense, 2 special teams
Key departures: RB Tyler Allgeier, WR Neil Pau’u], C James Empey
Key additions: OT Kingsley Suamataia, CB Gabe Jeudy-Lally, WR Cody Hagen, WR Dominique McKenzie, DE Aisea Moa, DE Logan Fano, RB Christopher Brooks, FB Houston Heimuli, OL Lisala Tai
Spring update: Coming off back-to-back seasons with 10 victories and entering their final one as an independent, the Cougars bring back almost everyone who was a big contributor in 2021. In fact, BYU will return 88% of its production, according to ESPN’s Bill Connelly, and that ranks second in the FBS. If the Cougars can keep quarterback Jaren Hall healthy and find a capable replacement for Allgeier, who left for the NFL, they’ll be poised for another campaign with 10 wins or more. One concern: BYU’s schedule next season includes home games against Baylor and Arkansas, road games versus Oregon, Boise State and Stanford and a contest with Notre Dame in Las Vegas.

I believe that ESPN is showing some real respect for BYU’s program. I just hope we can live up to it.

Why is Utah #4? To me, that’s a head scratcher.

Great question, Scott. Here is a comparison of how others see select teams stacking up:
AP Poll has ranked the following:
Notre Dame #8
Utah Utes #12
BYU #19
Oregon #22
AFCA Poll ranking is as follows:
Notre Dame #9
Utah Utes #12
Oregon #21
BYU #22
Preseason Power Ranking is as follows:
Notre Dame #5
Utah Utes #15
Oregon #23
BYU #46
It’s all guess work and speculation, but I agree that placing Utah as #4 may be a bit of embellishment.

UofU are a young team as well. And, we beat them last year. I believe we can be better this year. It’s because we are still an independent.
The polls hurt the teams that turn out to be good if they are ranked poorly to start the season. Maybe polls should be disallowed until the end of the third week. Then rank teams based on their performance instead of having to leap frog over others.

Utah is coming off a banner year last year. Returning a lot of players. Only the QB is young, thus the #4 ranking.

BYU stumbled across the finish line last year, losing to UAB was bad. thus the #19 ranking.

Utah is ranked at 4 precisely because of their QB, who despite of Whitt, has shown moments of brilliance.