Utah might not have a shot at the College Football Playoff, but its hope of capturing a second consecutive Pac-12 title is very much still alive.

Following the Utes’ 43-42 win over USC last Saturday, coach Kyle Whittingham heads into the bye week with a 5-2 squad that sits at 3-1 in conference play. This weekend’s UCLA-Oregon clash will leave only one unbeaten team left in the league (conference record). If it’s Oregon still standing, the Utes have a chance to take that tiebreaker on Nov. 19 in Eugene.

With the win over the Trojans, the Utes already possess that tiebreaker. All things considered, they’re sitting pretty. There’s work to be done still for this group to meet its potential on the field — particularly defensively — but a return trip to the Rose Bowl is very much in reach.

ESPN’s Football Power Index gives Utah a 27.4% chance to win the Pac-12. USC remains the most-likely team to win the league (31.3%), but no one else has a better chance, according to FPI.

Using FPI as the guide, expect Utah to be favored in four of its final five games in the regular season.

Here’s how FPI is projecting the rest of the Utes’ schedule, along with what the model was predicting back in the preseason:

  • Oct. 27 at Washington State — 78.7% chance of winning (preseason: 88.1%)
  • Nov. 5 vs. Arizona — 94.7% chance of winning (preseason: 93.3%)
  • Nov. 12 vs. Stanford — 89.7% chance of winning (preseason: 86.0%)
  • Nov. 19 at Oregon — 48.7% chance of winning (preseason: 47.6%)
  • Nov. 26 at Colorado — 96.2% chance of winning (preseason: 83.7%)

The Utes are still a top-10 team nationally, according to FPI. That Nov. 19 matchup with Oregon appears to be a toss-up in FPI’s view, with the difference being Oregon’s home-field advantage.