What if Utah scheduled three P5 schools to start the year? Win or lose, Utah can still win the PAC-12 and go to a Rose Bowl. But, if Utah beat all three, and win the PAC-12, then there’s less of a question whether Utah is worthy of a top four ranking, right?
I’m guessing that if Utah has a difficult out of conference series, where they lose every game, then the hangover could affect conference play. But, even if that happened, at least Utah would be playing in front of more eyes across the country. This likely would create brand recognition for upcoming years. Therefore, when Utah is in a similar position as it is today, we’d be a more recognizable brand.
At the end of the day, I see less downside playing P-5 teams exclusively than piling on a bunch of nobodies for feel-good wins.