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Is Utah a 'riser'?

As the ESPN.com/ESPN The Magazine preseason Top 25 gets unveiled this week, Bruce Feldman looked at 10 teams that didn't make the cut, but could find their way into the rankings.

He ranked Utah No. 6. Here's what he wrote:

The Pac-12 newcomer has an experienced quarterback in Jordan Wynn, which is a good thing. The Utes also don't have to face Oregon or Stanford, the two best teams in the league, which is another good thing.

A 3-0 start, which would include wins at USC and BYU, certainly would push the Utes well into the top-25, not to mention announce their arrival in the Pac-12 as a South Division contender.

By the way, Feldman rates Houston No. 1 on this list. The Cougars play host to UCLA in the Sept. 3 opener, a game that coach Rick Neuheisel said at Pac-12 media day was critical for the Bruins prospects.

Illinois, which plays host to Arizona State on Sept. 17, and BYU also are on the list. BYU also plays host to Oregon State on Oct. 15.