Oregon game, and UCLA and Florida losses

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    • #177539
      2 2

      Ute Fan

      Oregon has looked very good since their abysmal loss against Georgia. They’re not invincible (is anybody in college football?), but winning against a top-10 team on the road is never easy. And despite the lower odds, it is going to be a tough pill to swallow if we lose at Eugene. Not the loss itself, but the season implications.

      And I can’t believe it will be UCLA of all teams who will have played the spoilsport. I wasn’t sold on them even after our loss, but I’m coming around to accept that they might be good. Still, their program and fanbase just screams apathy, which makes this more-than-a-loss harder to cope with.

      The Florida loss also looms large. They are a mediocre team this season, bad even. We didn’t perform to our caliber, but I blame this loss on the scheduling philosophy (topic for another day, but these matchups, while fun, just make life harder for teams like Utah due to the inherent biases). Granted, this game doesn’t change our P12 destiny, but it would’ve kept the Cotton Bowl hopes alive.

      Even then, there’s still a lot to play for, and I’m incredibly proud of our team and coaches regardless of how it all plays out. My lamenting, if anything, is just a testament to the high bar this program has set for itself.

      On to Oregon… errr Stanford. Go Utes!!!

    • #177540
      10 1

      Ute Fan

      I am glad we scheduled Florida. I am also glad we have Wisconsin, Baylor, LSU, Arkansas, and any more P5 teams on the future schedule. If we want to be one of the top 4 teams in the country then we need to beat teams like Florida on the road. We could always say we would still have a playoff chance if we scheduled a cupcake but I don’t think we deserve to be in the playoff if we aren’t one of the 4 best teams. If it were up to me we’d play a tough out of conference opponent every year. The high profile matchups help our brand and perception regardless if some of them end in an L.

      • #177544
        5 1

        Ute Fan

        I hear ya, @cj13. I even agree in principle, but the reality is very different. CFB is a rigged system, so we need to squash every disadvantage we can. We already play an extra conference game, and we also play many true road games. And if it’s about building reputation, I’d argue we’ve built enough credibility in the last 2 decades. Not elite, but solid enough to not let an average OOC schedule be a detrimental factor.

        Case in point being the 2019 season. We played North Dakota, NIU, and TDS in our OOC games. Nothing formidable, but it was not held against us. We were in playoff contention till the very end. We didn’t make it because we lost the P12 championship game, not because our non-conference schedule was not formidable. But the buzz was worth it. It paved the way for 2021 and 2022 seasons. And guess what, we still got to play Texas in our bowl game. Now imagine if we had scheduled Texas to open the season, and lost. It’s still a solid season, but we’d have just been another top-25 team after a second loss. No playoff buzz after 2 losses. Same opponents, same game outcomes, very different seasons.

        I think we have established that we can routinely be a top-25 team, and we also tend to garner decent national respect. So it’s time to take the next step. But that journey is only getting harder in the ever-unfair CFB landscape. No need to make it even more hard.

        PS: FWIW, I didn’t downvote you, and I welcome the opposing viewpoints.

      • #177553

        Ute Fan

        cj I agree with you 100%. Schedule the best “A” games you can get for OOC.

        However, I think Utah could have been smarter with the schedule and still get the “A” games in. Namely, don’t have your “A” game be the first game of the year. Too many weird things can happen in the first game. I would like to see Utah schedule a bodybag game for game 1, a respectable (i.e. solid mid-major or crappy P5) team for game 2, and then the “A” game for game 3. By game 3 you have most of your kinks worked out.

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