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Pac-12 Networks was drawn to the lush storylines of a two-team format for Season Three of "The Drive" — storylines that will be familiar to many Utahns.

It was announced Tuesday that Utah and Oregon State will be featured this year in the conference's season-long documentary series, airing across all seven regional channels in weekly 30-minute installments.

Senior coordinating producer Michael Tolajian said his crew will be able to tell more stories than it did last year, when they focused exclusively on UCLA, and that the team and fan base profiles at Utah and Oregon State excited network executives during a powwow in February.

The show promises to offer a more intimate view of the teams and their head coaches, Kyle Whittingham and Gary Andersen, who have a friendship that dates back to their time as Idaho State assistants in 1993.

It will also touch — at least in the early going and in the buildup to the teams' Oct. 31 showdown — on the many parallels and ties between the programs.

For instance: Both teams play Jim Harbaugh's Michigan Wolverines in the first two weeks of the season. Andersen hired away two of Whittingham's assistants after taking the OSU job last December, including highly valued defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake. And Oregon State has clearly made it a priority to lean on the staff's ties to Utah preps, offering a dozen or more local prospects and planning a satellite camp this summer at Alta High.

But while that may have engendered some enmity between the two fan bases, don't expect to hear either side trash the other on air.

Whittingham and Andersen are on good terms and speak regularly, Andersen has said, and anyway, teams ultimately control the show's content.

They'll strive for good TV, but not dirt, Tolajian said.

"With Oregon State, you have a brand-new coach coming in looking to establish his culture," he said. "It's always interesting to see someone try to build something from scratch. And then, of course, you have Utah, which is really just on the verge of breaking through as far as a Pac-12 South champion."

Tolajian described both coaches as "super gung-ho" about participating. Whittingham said in a release that the national exposure "allows us to get our team in front of a lot of people and let them see what Utah football is all about."

It's a potential boon to the school's recruiting efforts if Utah does well and Pac-12 Networks broadcasts the good cheer across the entire Pac-12 footprint.

And Tolajian said the show can even benefit a team during a down season. After Season One chronicled Sonny Dykes' Bears (in addition to Todd Graham's Sun Devils) during a one-loss campaign, Tolajian said Dykes still reported a positive effect on recruiting.

"Regardless of the record, if the coach is forthcoming and genuine, it'll shine through," he said.

Unlike last year, when Utah received "The Drive" treatment as the opponent of host UCLA, this year's program is not likely to dwell much on other teams, Tolajian said. That's simply due to time constraints.

The debut date and air time will be announced at a later date, the release said, but Tolajian guesses it will be sometime in mid- to late-September, shortly after both teams have played the Wolverines.

Twitter: @matthew_piper