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Michigan vs Utah Free College Football Pick & Preview

Jim Harbaughs debut as his alma maters head football coach in the Michigan-Utah game will be a rematch with a team that embarrassed the Wolverines in the Big House a season ago. The game will be the season opener for both Michigan and Utah.

Last season The Utes whipped Michigan 26-10 in Ann Arbor, a contest that wasnt as close as the final score would indicate. This season, FOX Sports 1 will televise the Michigan-Utah game at 8:30 p.m. Eastern from Salt Lake City on the opening Thursday night of the college football season.

It will be Harbaughs first game as Michigans head coach, as last seasons Michigan-Utah result played a key role in the Wolverines choosing to fire Brady Hoke in December. Not only did the Utes dominate Michigan on its home field in 2014, but it was one of the low points in the history of Michigan Stadium.

With the Utes in control of the 2014 Michigan-Utah game, a thunderstorm struck the stadium in the fourth quarter, causing a lightning delay of nearly 2 1/2 hours. When play resumed, most of the crowd of 104,000 had left, leaving primarily a celebrating knot of red-clad Utes fans visible to the TV audience in the near-empty Big House.

The Michigan-Utah game represented a surreal sight, one that likely has never been seen previously in the iconic Michigan Stadium.

Michigan fans hope Harbaugh, who was a quarterback for the Wolverines before an NFL career as a first-round draft pick, can turn Michigan back into a consistent winner and prevent any such scene from occurring again.

Harbaugh certainly has won often in his head coaching career, winning big in just a few years at San Diego U. and Stanford, two programs that were consistent losers before Harbaughs arrival. Stanford remains one of the nations top programs, several years after Harbaugh jumped to the 49ers as a head coach. He also took the struggling San Francisco franchise to a Super Bowl only three years after becoming head coach.

Harbaughs presence adds tremendous interest to what otherwise might be a run-of-the-mill season-opening Michigan-Utah game. The game will pit Michigan and Utah teams projected to finish in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten and Pac-12, respectively. The Wolverines finished 5-7 a season ago and had the nations 112th ranked offense, while the Utes managed a 9-4 record last season, but they still finished fifth in the powerful Pac-12 South.