Greg McElroy isn’t concerned about Utah quarterback Cameron Rising’s availability to start the 2023 football season. As such, he’s not really concerned about Utah at all.

The Pac-12 championship has gone through Salt Lake City for the last two seasons. And yet it was USC — the team the Utes beat twice last fall — that garnered 25 of 36 first-place votes in the preseason media poll.

Lincoln Riley’s USC squad was picked to win the Pac-12. Washington was voted No. 2. Utah was sitting in third.

“Disrespect Utah and be prepared to eat your crow,” McElroy said recently on the Always College Football podcast.

The former Alabama quarterback-turned-ESPN analyst cautioned people to stop doubting the Utes. In recent years, doing so has only landed folks on the Old Takes Exposed account.

“I’m also never going to doubt Utah’s physicality,” McElroy continued. “What won the Pac-12 last year? Just being tougher than USC, just being flat-out tougher. When I watched Utah’s spring game, their quarterbacks were live. Live. Quarterbacks getting tackled to the ground in their spring game. That’s who Kyle Whittingham is.

“I’ve got them 9-3 at the very worst. I like Utah this year. I like the over. I think they’re the most under-talked-about team in college football.”

An ACL injury in the Rose Bowl put Rising on the shelf this offseason, but Utah coaches have maintained optimism he’ll be ready to go on Aug. 31 when the Utes welcome Florida to Rice-Eccles Stadium.