Utah coach Kyle Whittingham probably was too forgiving in the midseason grading of his football team, because his A-minus assessment glosses over how the Utes lost to the wrong team.
In the second half of the season, the Utes either will have to raise their grade to an “A” by winning their remaining six games or hope that USC fails multiple times.
Here’s the problem with No. 13 Utah’s 5-1 record, amid strong performances overall by the offense and defense: If the season ended today, the Utes wouldn’t play in the Pac-12 championship game. USC would represent the South, via a 30-23 win over Utah last month in Los Angeles.