Welcome to the Big 12


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    • #216455
      46

      Knoblocker
      Ute Fan
      @knoblocker

      Hey Utes! Memorial Day has come and passed, so that means we can fully immerse ourselves in college football. Right? I’m overly pumped for this season and am once again setting myself up for inevitable heartbreak this Fall. It’s just what we as fans do. Three short months separate us from the season. So let’s get to know each other!

      First, welcome to the Big 12. I know it’s not ideal for a lot of you. But I promise you it’s going to be fun. Real fun. There won’t be a bad game day atmosphere. You’ll be greeted at each tailgate (and there will be thousands) with free food and beverage. The stadiums will be full of extremely loud, knowledgeable fans. And the football is competitive each and every week.

      Second, how do you all feel going into the 2024 season? About the Big 12? How many of you can I expect to see in Stillwater, as in, do Utes travel well? What can I expect next year when we come to your place? Yada yada yada.

      Finally, what do you want to know about Oklahoma State’s program? About our team going into this season? I can also recommend places in Stillwater to stay, eat, drink, and tell you anything you want to know about a game day on our campus. I hope to see a ton of you there! Go Pokes!

    • #216456
      14

      MDUte
      Ute Fan
      @mdute

      Hey Knoblocker, thanks for reaching out! Can’t wait for the season to finally get here. These final few months take forever!!

      Can’t wait for our matchup with you guys in September. That’s without a doubt our biggest game of the year. I finally had to travel to OKC for work and took the opportunity to drive up to Stillwater while I was there. I was incredibly impressed driving around Boone Pickens Stadium. The exterior is amazing and I can only imagine what a beautiful venue it is inside to watch a game! In fact, I found your stadium to be much more impressive looking from the outside than OU’s stadium in Norman. Would love to get your take on where you feel most excited about the Pokes this year and where are the biggest question marks you have about this year’s team. And which position groups have the most returning production and where you have new faces you’re looking forward to seeing perform. Thanks again for reaching out! And I wish you all the best to staying healthy through Summer Camp and leading up to your season!

      • #216572
        5

        Knoblocker
        Ute Fan
        @knoblocker

        A shot at OU in your first reply. I’m buying you a drink at Eskimo Joe’s before the game in September!

        I feel the most excited about this team’s maturity. We’ll have 20 returning starters and 85% of production back. That’s good for third most in the nation.
        The biggest question mark is how we take the next step in year two of new defensive coordinator, Bryan Nardo. But he’ll have plenty to work with. Pro Football Focus has our linebackers as the fifth ranked group in the country. I’m comfortable with the secondary because again, everyone is back. The D line will be the weakness on that side of the ball, but it just depends on the adjustments Nardo makes in year two.
        The offensive line is another strength. They return every starter. All seniors I believe. PFF had them as the #5 OL in the country and 247Sports just ranked them as the #1 OL (that one was too high IMO). Ollie Gordon is arguably the best running back in the country. WR Brennan Presley had 101 receptions last year and will blow past many of the school receiving records in his final year. So the offense is still pretty loaded. The big question mark there is Alan Bowman at QB. If he can cut down on interceptions, look out.
        We dropped two very weird games last year. You all probably know we lost to G5 school, South Alabama. Then we went into UCF and got clobbered. I think that inconsistency last year has the odds makers apprehensive this year.

        • #216587
          3

          MDUte
          Ute Fan
          @mdute

          Great stuff, thanks! Like others have stated, it doesn’t make sense why OSU isn’t predicted to finish higher by all of the national media. Sounds like you guys are loaded across the board. Can’t wait to face you guys as it sounds like it should be one helluva matchup. And hopefully the beginning of a really fun new inter-conference rivalry (need another term for these types of heated matchups since I realize Utah and OSU would technically never see themselves as rivals haha but hopefully you know what I mean). Thanks again for stopping by our board!

          • #216589
            2

            Knoblocker
            Ute Fan
            @knoblocker

            Thanks for having me! Now what can you tell me about Utah this year? Is Cam back in form after a season off? What are your strengths? Weaknesses?

            • #216591
              6

              MDUte
              Ute Fan
              @mdute

              Yes, all reports point to Cam Rising being back and 100% healthy. Utah fans are definitely excited and optimistic for this coming year given Cam’s coming back along with Brant Kuithe (our TE who sat out all last year to injury as well).

              Coach Whitt has gone on record about 5 years ago saying that he wouldn’t coach beyond being 65 years old. And since he’s turning 65 this year, everyone is bracing for what might be his last year. He’s since changed his statement to saying he’s on a year-to-year basis right now and as long as he’s passionate and motivated, he’ll continue coaching. But we know the end is near. All that said, the donors have been going above and beyond to support the program and surround Whitt with arguably the best roster in the program’s history. The WR room has been upgraded considerably with guys like Dorian Singer, Damien Alford, and Mycah Pittman to go along with proven guys who have been in the program several years. The secondary has also been bolstered considerably with DBs Keenan Johnson and Cameron Calhoun, Safety Alaka’i Gilman etc. And then they’ve brought in more talent to our already solid TE room with Carsen Ryan coming over from UCLA to complement Kuithe and Landen King.

              Utah has a young, somewhat inexperienced, but talented OL that fans are cautiously optimistic about. Our OL will really determine if our offense gets back to the 2021/2022 production levels. Because Utah prides itself on establishing the run game to setup the play-action passing attack. We’re all crossing our fingers that the OL takes a step forward this year with our 2 sophomore OTs having a year under their belts with strength training, experience etc.

              Defensively, Utah is always solid, even when we reload in areas. The DL is expected to be really good and deep. We’ve got really good returning production and depth at both DE and at LB. I wouldn’t say that the Secondary is an area of concern but if I had to point to the defensive group that will determine just how good this year’s defense will be, I’d say it’s the Secondary. And that’s because we’re replacing our 2 Safeties that got drafted in the 3rd and 4th rounds. However, the guys behind them have experience and have been really good as well. So I think the feeling is we will reload there like we’ve grown accustomed to.

              Whether it’s fair or not, the expectation for this year’s team is CFP or bust. This is not meant as disrespect to the B12 in anyway whatsoever. It’s seen this way because it’s the best roster Utah has ever had, with our best QB in program history coming back for his…7th year (haha, that’s crazy to even type!), and with our legendary Head Coach who is winding down his career. It is feeling like it’s now or never for Utah to finally break through. So we’ll all be super disappointed/devastated if it doesn’t happen…but that’s what I believe the general feeling is amongst fans. That said, Utah fans have grown accustomed to being the “underdog” “small market program” trying to take down the giants such as USC, Oregon, and Washington. And I’m sure OSU fans can relate since we both seem like similar programs in many respects. I only say that because there is a large portion of Utah’s fanbase that isn’t at all comfortable with being called out as “front runners” to win the league this year. Utah fans would much prefer to sneak up on teams and surprise everyone. But I think Utah fans are beginning to come around to the idea that we want to continue to evolve as a program and take the next step and this would involve Utah being one of the programs that everyone else is gunning for. So we’ll see what happens…again very excited, lots of optimism, and the season simply can’t get here soon enough!

    • #216459
      12

      UteManX
      Ute Fan
      @utemanx

      About 10 of us will be there in Stillwater. We fly into Tulsa the night before the game then Spending the weekend in Stillwater and flying back Monday.

      What do you recommend for places to stay, eat, drink, see?

      Thanks for the welcome. I loved the pac12 cities but to be fair many fan bases didn’t seem to care or show up, so it will be nice to watch road games where the traveling support isn’t the dominant group in attendance.

      • #216573
        6

        Knoblocker
        Ute Fan
        @knoblocker

        Nice! I’ll post coordinates to my tailgate closer to game time!

        I would start booking hotels/airbnb’s now. Stillwater is a small city and lodging supply doesn’t keep up with game day demand. The Atherton is the hotel on campus but I can guarantee rates will be sky high if it’s not booked already. A lot of people stay in Guthrie or even OKC and drive in on game day. It’s not a bad drive at all.

        As for food and drink. Listen, everyone’s going to say it, but get to Eskimo Joe’s for a beer and maybe some cheese fries. Or just to see it. That atmosphere is something. It’s right off campus and is a madhouse on game days. There’s plenty of other places really close to campus as well. Hideaway Pizza is a Stillwater original too.

        • #216655
          1

          UteManX
          Ute Fan
          @utemanx

          That would be great. We would love to tailgate.

          We booked for the Atherton on the 21st. Thank you for the recommendation. We will also plan on heading to Eskimo Joes for some drinks and atmosphere. We are really looking forward to it. Hopefully we will get a night game out there. Something about under the lights.

          Thanks again and thanks for the warm welcome to the Big 12!

    • #216461
      7

      BD
      Ute Fan
      @flyfisherman

      Thanks for coming to our board! Looking forward to the season!

      Finally, what do you want to know about Oklahoma State’s program? About our team going into this season?

      I have noticed that OSU football is quite consistently ranked around the middle of the conference for the upcoming season. It seems to me that OSU should be in the top three, above what many are predicting, although I admit I don’t know much about your football team, so maybe I am missing something.

      Do you feel OSU should be ranked higher?

      • #216574
        3

        Knoblocker
        Ute Fan
        @knoblocker

        Absolutely I do. But we’re used to it. And we tend to play our best football under the radar. So keep the low rankings coming!

    • #216462
      12

      Brettski
      Ute Fan
      @brettski

      Thanks for stopping by. I think you’re right about knowledgeable fans except for those losers in Provo.

      It seems like the Utes, OSU and Kstate will likely rule the conference for the foreseeable future. I just know you guys seem to punch above your weight if what the national media gives you and your coach seems like he knows what he’s doing

      • #216610
        1

        Central Coast Ute
        Ute Fan
        @flip2848

        I would throw TCU in there and KU is up and coming.

    • #216463
      9

      oc_ute
      Ute Fan
      @ocute

      Nice to be in the big 12. just be aware, there is ALLEGEDLY a certain fan base that will create fake user id’s and pose as ute fans. their intent is to cause trouble and make ute fans look like a-holes. i’m sure we have a few a-holes but the length these other folks go to in stirring the pot is unbelievable. realize this in advance and keep your radar on to detect the fakes. edit– i don’t post very often but this type of behavior is something all big 12 fans need to be aware of.

      edit 2. or posing as fans from another big 12 school hoping to elicit negative big 12 comments.

    • #216468
      7

      Yergensen
      Ute Fan
      @yergensen

      Thanks for reaching out, B12 will be cool, looking forward to it.

      Really like Ollie and the Mullet (not a bad band name btw).

      Hope you can get out to SLC for a game. RES is a great game day and in game experience and we’re really good hosts despite our online rep.

    • #216470
      3

      Dallas
      Ute Fan
      @dallas

      Best BBQ?

      • #216575
        3

        Knoblocker
        Ute Fan
        @knoblocker

        Bad Brad’s which is West of town on Highway 51!

    • #216471
      4

      PhiladelphiaUte
      Ute Fan
      @philadelphiaute

      I have a brother who works as a chiropractor in Tulsa. I believe that puts him only about an hour away from Stillwater. Workload permitting, I might make a trip out for a game at Boone Pickens.

    • #216493
      6

      //r00t4Utes
      Ute Fan
      @r00t4utes

      Thanks for the welcome.

      I think it won’t feel real, for me, until BIG12 media day. Which I suspect a certain 2 coaches will speak glowingly of each other’s programs, that being the current Dean of the BIG12, Gundy and the Dean of what used to be the PAC12, Whitt.

      Not that I know Gundy, outside of sound bytes, but I get the impression that both he and Whitt are confident enough in their jobs and programs to, at times when they choose to, speak bluntly enough that they can come across as quirky and/or gruff. That hopefully will make for some good sound bytes between the 2.

      I personally don’t have the $$$ to travel to road games, but as you and others have said, it will be nice to have passionate fans and tailgate/game day experiences. While the California schools were more destination cities with things to do and beaches, the fans and atmosphere weren’t there.

    • #216503
      10

      krindor
      Ute Fan
      @krindor

      As a Utah fan, I’m both sad and excited.

      There’s some sadness about going to the Big 12…but it’s not really directed at the Big 12.

      Imagine you’re in High School, doing well academically, socially, athletically, etc. and then your High School burns down. You and your friends are then spread out to 4 different schools. The new school could well be fine or even better than the old one, and you’re undoubtedly lucky (some of your friends actually had to stay in the burned out corpse of the former high school while they try to rebuild it)…but you’re still sad about losing what was and the people/teams you knew. I get why Big 12 teams see it as anti-Big 12 sentiment, but it’s more just mourning the loss of something we really loved.

      With that said, when we look past that, there is a lot to be excited about in the Big 12. There’s fewer marquee names…but more depth and more excitement/enthusiasm across the board. Which will be a welcome change. There’s a lot of great teams and we’re excited to build rivalries with a bunch of you.

      I’ll note that I’m particularly excited about Oklahoma St, since they seem to match us in lots of ways. Excellent long-time head coach, under-the-radar consistent excellence in the field without the high-end breakthrough. I run a lot of stats and ranking teams on-field performance over the last decade, Utah is #14…and Oklahoma St is #15. The two programs feel very similar in many ways.

      Given that, I do expect Utah to be in the mix for the conference championship right off the bat. It’s not a guarantee by any means, there’s lots of competition. I’ve written elsewhere that Utah is probably more likely to get it than any other individual school…but substantially less likely than the field. It’s a big accomplishment and it’s always an uphill battle.

      And finally, as to Oklahoma St, I’m seeing the Vegas odds on you being pretty low this season…and my question is why? Feels like you brought a lot back after a good season (and that you’re pretty much always in the mix). Is there something I’m missing that would explain the lack of confidence?

      • #216576
        6

        Knoblocker
        Ute Fan
        @knoblocker

        Ok that high school analogy was the best explanation I’ve gotten.

    • #216547
      6

      Tony (admin)
      Admin/Founder
      @admin

      This is an awesome first post. WELCOME! Thanks for joining the board and starting up a conversation. Definitely tell your fellow fans to stop by! I think you’ll find 99.9% of Ute fans to be friendly and they know their football.

      My feelings about going to the B12 are certainly bitter sweet. I’m glad we landed on our feet in a solid conference. I’m very sad to no longer have almost weekly opportunities to stand toe to toe with the USC’s, Washingtons, Oregons and UCLA’s of the world, and beat them most of the time.

      I really need to do some studying. I don’t even know all the teams in our new conference. Sigh.

      • #216559
        5

        //r00t4Utes
        Ute Fan
        @r00t4utes

        I’d have to disagree with you, Tony. If say it’s more like 97.9% of us are friendly.

      • #216577
        6

        Knoblocker
        Ute Fan
        @knoblocker

        Hey we’re in the same boat. It does kind of stink that the challenge of OU and Texas won’t be there for us. Two huge college football brands. I’ve found myself lately almost hoping that the big money brands break off and form their own little minor league. Let us small market teams have college football back! I would absolutely watch a Utah vs. Virginia Tech national championship game over boring ol’ Georgia vs. Ohio State.

    • #216561
      5

      Virginia Ute
      Ute Fan
      @virginiaute

      I am still sad about the demise of the P12, but I have gotten really excited about this season and look forward to seeing how Utah does in the B12. There will be a lot of fun matchups, including with OSU.

      I’m guessing our game in Stillwater will be very meaningful and hopefully a good one. I feel like OSU is the team I fear the most next year as an Utah fan, especially with your RB. I can’t figure out why they are so underrated.

    • #216602
      4

      ProudUte
      Ute Fan
      @proudute

      Thanks for taking the time to come here and post. Since the schedule came out – I have been saying that our toughest game may be our first Big12 game at Stillwater. That’s not exactly how I wanted to start the conference season.

      It seems that you guys should be tough with one of the nation’s leading RBs returning. He ran for more yards last season than any Ute ever has. So it will be strength against strength. Rushing D has been our strength for most of the past 2 decades.

      Come back often.

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