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Utah, BYU Ranked Among Top SEC Non-Conference Games In 2022

Jun 27, 2022, 2:36 PM | Updated: Jul 22, 2022, 3:05 pm

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An 'SEC' logo is seen on an end zone pylon before the Missouri Tigers take on the Auburn Tigers during the SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 7, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITYOn3.com listed college football games for the Utah Utes and BYU Cougars among the “10 best SEC non-conference games in 2022.”

Jesse Simonton created the list after receiving a “mailbag” question earlier in June.

Among Simonton’s top Southeastern non-conference for the upcoming season were a Utah road game and a BYU home contest.

The Utes’ season opener earned the honor of the SEC’s best non-conference matchup of the 2022 season.

“There’s plenty of juicy matchups — from Alabama at Texas to Arkansas traveling to BYU in the middle of its SEC slate,” Simonton wrote. “But I landed on Florida’s home opener against the reigning Pac-12 champion Utah Utes as No. 1 on my list.”

10 best SEC non-conference games in 2022

  1. Utah vs. Florida (September 3)
  2. Oregon vs. Georgia (September 3)
  3. Cincinnati vs. Arkansas (September 3)
  4. Florida State vs. LSU ((September 4)
  5. Alabama vs. Texas (September 10)
  6. Tennessee vs. Pittsburgh (September 10)
  7. Miami vs. Texas A&M (September 17)
  8. Penn State vs. Auburn (September 17)
  9. Arkansas vs. BYU (October 15)
  10. Lousiville vs. Kentucky (November 26)

Utah Utes vs. Florida Gators

Simonton praised Utah’s backfield duo of Cam Rising and Tavion Thomas as part of the reason why Utah vs. Florida earned the top spot on his list:

“The last time the Gators hosted a Pac-12 team, a guy named Emmitt Smith was still carrying the football for UF. It’s been 33 years. First-year head coach Billy Napier has a chance to make a huge statement in his debut with the Gators. UF enters the fall with some legitimate defensive concerns, so facing perhaps the best QB-RB duo (Cameron Rising and Tavion Thomas) it will see all season in Week 1 is hardly ideal.”

Utah and Florida have played each once before. The only meeting between the Utes and Gators came in 1977. Florida defeated Utah, 38-29, to take a 1-0 all-time series lead.

The Utes and Gators are scheduled to kick off the season on September 3 at 5 p.m. (MDT) on ESPN.

Utah will host Florida at Rice-Eccles Stadium on September 2, 2023.

Arkansas Razorbacks vs. BYU Cougars

Simonton highlighted Arkansas vs. BYU as a “fascinating” contest between two “preseason Top 25 teams” in the middle of October when most non-conference college football games take place in September:

“It’s here where we note that Arkansas is the only school on this list twice. I have no idea what administrator in Fayetteville thought it was a good idea for the Razorbacks to travel to Provo in the middle of their conference schedule. This game is fascinating because of so many variables and unknowns. Both teams are projected preseason Top 25 teams, but will they still be ranked there in mid-October? The Cougars play Notre Dame the week before hosting Arkansas, while the Hogs must figure out how to navigate Texas A&M (in Dallas), Alabama and at Mississippi State the prior three weeks. Mercy.”

BYU and Arkansas have never played each other.

The Cougars and Razorbacks are slated to play at LaVell Edwards Stadium on October 15. Arkansas will host BYU at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville on September 16, 2023.

Which matchup are you most excited to watch this fall? Let us know by tagging @kslsports on Twitter.

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Utah, BYU Ranked Among Top SEC Non-Conference Games In 2022