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    Utah football: boldly playing to win

    In reading 

    shakeitsugaree ‘s

    Very helpful post, (thank you) I think that things are different at the U now.  Wittingham’s greatest and perhaps least appreciated virtue is that he is NOT content with just being OK.  He is always trying to be great.  He fires when it doesn’t build towards winning.  He is willing to take the big risk.  That is why he hired Taylor.  He doesn’t want to be horizontal in his trajectrory.  He no longer wants to play it safe with a low upside.  He swings for the fences (mixing metaphors).  This year, a year of big transition with coaching and personnell, it hasn’t worked out so well.  But the upside of the risk-reward equation is huge and is WORTH IT.  Taylor’s offense is the kind that could bring a Pac-12 championship.  We are building a culture of playing to win, not playing to lose.  It is risky, but it is absolutely the best time to play that bet.  I for one firmly believe it is best for us to trust the bold Whitt and see how it plays out for 3 years.


  • cbmute
    1 1

    I like Kyle, especailly as a person.  I agree he is playing to win and be great.  I really do apprciate that about him.  Now I don’t always agree with how he goes about it, but I do very much respect his effort to take this team to the next level. 

    Kyle Wittingham is a good football coach.  I don’t think he is elite, but I think he is good to very good.  I sure hope he can take the next step with this team in the next few years.  

    I hope the team wins Saturday because this team needs the practice.  This year is hard to be very excited for anymore, but I am very optimistic about next year.  

  • UteFanatic

    Signing Day

    Can someone explain to me the mechanics of the December signing day? Does this mean all recruiting will be over in December instead of February now?

  • PlainsUte

    Over in December!?  Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

    I guess some players will sign in the early period, but there will still be some who don’t make a binding commitment until February.   Maybe this will help coaches focus on the truly undecided without having to continue to “re-recruit” everyone all the way to February just to be sure.

  • RiseasUtes

    This just helps the kids planning to enroll early to sign their LOI.  And so that the kids that are solid to a school won’t be recruited anymore.  Hopefully all our vebal commits will sign so the coaches can concentrate on other kids that haven’t signed or committed.

  • TexanUte

    I am pretty sure any school can recruit after national signing day in December.

  • rbmw263

    cal hoops blows a 19 pt 2nd half lead against no. 6 Wichita

    and then gives up 100 points in a 917 point loss to chaminade. No defense or effort to speak of. Just cal things 

  • ironman1315

    Your math seems a bit off. How can they give up only 100 points in a 917 point loss? Did they do so poorly they broke math?

    • rbmw263

      never question math. they lost by 917

      • rbmw263

        -817 – 100

        • ironman1315

          You son of a bitch. You lied to me. https://www.utefans.net/message.php?id=1894050 or is that guy lying?

  • CincyUte

    Division II Chaminade?  Ouch.

  • Impressive

  • PlainsUte

    Hey. they’re from Berkeley, prolly spent half time smoking pot on the beach.

  • shakeitsugaree

    Impressions of Utah Football From Around the League

    “There are no facts, only interpretations.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche

    I thought it might be interesting to get some outside opinions about our football program from those who know us best: our opponents. Or, at least the fans of our opponents, since I’m pretty sure that coaches and players are too smart to read this crap. My objective here was to gain some perspective on the ‘place’ of Utah in our conference.

    I posted the following questions (below) on the following comment boards: uwdawgpound.com, cougcenter.com, addictedtoquack.com:

    Describe the Utah Ute football team in three words.

    How would you rate Kyle Whittingham, our HC, in comparison to other coaches in the conference?

    Describe Utah’s fan base. Any personal experience with Utah fans?

    What do you think Utah’s current trajectory is: downward, horizontal or upward?

    There is an element of the Utah fan base that thinks Whittingham has hit his ceiling, and that to be competitive in this conference, Utah should move on from Coach Whitt. Thoughts on this? Why do you think Utah hasn’t dominated in the Pac12?

    Here are the responses (also, links so that you can check out the comment threads yourselves):

    uwdawgpound.com linky

    >>Hello Huskies! This season is shaping up to be a lesson in patience for most Utah fans, although some folks are feeling pretty ‘doom and gloom’ regarding the future of Utah football.<<

    Yeah, it’s been an underachieving year there, but one has to bear in mind that UU plays in one of the game’s toughest conferences. Its recruiting faces unique challenges (the mission situation often affects entry timing, and players come back needing reconditioning) and those are magnified when a bunch of good players graduate. Our own WR corps, what’s still alive of it, has been reduced to ‘Pettis plus whoever currently has two legs.’ Same for our TE corps half the time. As long as you have Whittingham, though, I dread playing you. The day you get rid of him, while a part of me will be sad for UU, much of me will breathe a sigh of relief because he always fields dangerous teams. Exhibit A: last Saturday.

    >>Describe the Utah Ute football team in three words.<<

    Physical, mature, tough.

    >>How would you rate Kyle Whittingham, our HC, in comparison to other coaches in the conference?<<

    I’d put him in the top third. Both of Arizona’s mercenaries have endemic flaws and will always underachieve, and both AZ schools will forever hire mercenaries because both are simply missing something in the fundamental character department. (Yes, we hired Neu, but many of us knew then and all of us know now that this was an aberrant, un-Husky mistake by a lousy AD. Jen Cohen, who is true purple to the soul, would never hire anyone like Neuheisel even at bayonet point.) I think Shaw at Stanford is overrated, though I admit his football team sure overrated the crap out of us in convincing fashion during our meeting, so consider me to be showing due humility.

    Helton was handed a USC talent pool where if you can’t win nine, you’re a geranium, so I don’t know how good he really is. Same for Wilcox, a guy we know at UW, though he looks promising. It’s pretty hard for anyone to win at Cal, where cutting down a tree is grounds for a communist revolution. UCLA and OSU, obviously, can’t be evaluated–but I think Andersen was a loss for OSU. I think Taggart will flame out for the D*cks–or more likely, will take an offer to go back down south. Leach is very dangerous because he doesn’t consult the social consensus before he decides on his basic assumptions, let along his conclusions. If this is pointed out to him, implying that he is not coloring within the lines and ought to change, he simply does not care. That makes him creatively dangerous because he is unpredictable. Right now I’d say Petersen, Leach, Whittingham, and grudgingly Shaw or MacIntyre are the top third. Until Leach locks another kid in a dairy shed and gets sacked in Pullman, WSU will be dangerous. If Petersen left, Whittingham is the only P12 coach I’d want UW to look at.

    >>Describe Utah’s fan base. Any personal experience with Utah fans?<<

    All good, as have been nearly all my travels through the state. I love the MUSS and the way they bring it at home. They have a Native mascot but it’s with agreement and cooperation with the actual tribes, so that’s right and reasonable. The setting in SLC is beautiful; I’ve been to Temple Square a couple of times and was inspired by the loving care with which it’s kept. Clearly a special place to them, and treated accordingly. Utah is a monument to hard work and beautiful scenery and its people are rightly proud of both. I think it was audacious as hell for UU to join the Pac-12, and I respect the way the school and its fans have backed up their belonging in the conference. I could never live in Utah (realistically, if one does not plan to become LDS, it just does not make sense–nothing against Mormons or the church, just human tendencies toward tribalism), but I like visiting, and I root for UU against much of the conference.

    >>What do you think Utah’s current trajectory is: downward, horizontal or upward?<<

    Horizontal, trending a bit up. I think that UU’s normal likely predicted season in the Pac-12, on average, would be 8-4, winning all three games OOC (especially hopefully BUY; most Husky fans dislike the Y) and averaging a little over .500 in conference play. Once in a generation you’d expect double digit wins and a real good bowl game; about twice a decade you’d probably slip to .500 overall. So this is one of those years, but I don’t see UU staying there for long. It is too good at recruiting enormous persons who have names with more vowels and apostrophes than consonants, who have a habit of playing tough and disciplined. And football begins on the lines: with great lines, everything is possible, but without them, everything fails.

    >>There is an element of the Utah fan base that thinks Whittingham has hit his ceiling, and that to be competitive in this conference, Utah should move on from Coach Whitt. Thoughts on this? Why do you think Utah hasn’t dominated in the Pac12?<<

    I think moving on from Whittingham would be a terrible mistake, much like Nebraska made by canning Bo Pelini or UW by canning Jim Lambright. If he goes 4-8 or if the team seems to quit on him, think about it, but look back with me at last Saturday (painful though it may be), and see it through my eyes. Onside kick, recovered; goddamnit! Fake punt run on 4th and very long, first down; is he insane? Numerous daring playcalls paying off; how is this happening? Browning often on the run from enormous vowel-heavy persons chasing him like he was a barbecued pork sandwich. Whittingham was out of town, facing a UW team that–if not mighty this year–was certainly a force to reckon with, and he got his guys to play with zero fear and great audacity. Yeah, that late timeout was a bungle, and it cost him, but only his audacious attack and defensive toughness had him in a position where there was a win to bungle away. Few coaches would have had a chance to beat us with that team. Whittingham looked as if he had us beaten. The language in use in my living room for most of the second half would have been taboo anywhere in the Jello Belt.

    Utah hasn’t dominated the conference because dominating a major conference is very hard. We’re one of the traditional powers and we certainly have had our toilet years. UCLA barely even recruits anyone with less than 6* and they still don’t win, let alone dominate. The Zeroes dominated for a few years, but it didn’t really become a Duck dynasty. Even USC had its down years, though basically those were caused when the rest of the conference shamefully decided it was sick of losing to Pete Carroll. (We at UW know how that goes, dating to the early 1990s, when James resigned at the AD’s invertebrate handling of a situation. They were all sick of us beating them up, and our AD turtled.) To dominate the Pac-12, UU would have to own USC and UCLA, plus the rest of the South, and hold its own against whoever is currently tough in the North. If it were that easy, Helfrich would have done it. Or Mora. Or Tedford, some time back. Every P12 program has years of greatness sometimes (even Oregon State did), and I think UU will have more than its share, and that its down years will be limited to .500 seasons like this one.

    Hope that helps. Good luck to UU this weekend and in the bowl game for which I expect you will qualify. Huntley, a very dangerous athlete, will make fewer mistakes than Montez. He won’t out-brave Montez because Montez is brave as an eagle, but Huntley’s athleticism will make the difference. I used to live in Colorado and I like CU, but I think you’re going to take out a lot of frustrations on them.

    Welcome to the ‘Pound!
    I am by no means a football expert, just a fan, but here are my takes.

    Three words to describe Utah’s program? Scrappy, well-coached, tenacious.
    Coach Whittingham? I’ve always liked him; thought he’s done more with less than a lot of coaches. I’m not sure he’s the one ready to take the next step, but I’d also be careful what you wish for. That last step up is usually a huge one.
    Utah’s fan base? I’ve been to Rice-Eccles and we had a great time. Talked to a lot of knowledgeable Ute fans and the trip became one of our favorites. Having been to Provo as well there is no comparison. I love the fact the Trax light rail plays the fight song on game days when approaching campus. The tailgating scene is pretty weak; maybe to be expected but still not as bad as Riyadh Provo. Lose the Zion Curtain! 😉
    Utah’s current trajectory? Hard to say; probably fairly horizontal. There are sleeping giants in the South (ASU, UCLA), but for whatever reason they tend to stay asleep. If they wake up, Utah’s path will become a great deal more difficult. You have a small local recruiting base and if too many of the sunny schools get good, pulling talent will become that much more difficult.
    Why hasn’t Utah dominated in the Pac-12? I think you may want to reconsider that wording. Utah is unlikely to ever dominate in the Pac-12 unless you find a mega-donor like Uncle Phil in Eugene or you stumble across a Saban-esque coach…you might even need both. The LA schools are the only ones that have an advantage to “dominate” the conference; UW, UCLA, and Stanford are fairly equal historically, and even then “dominance” has been limited to UW for about 20 years in the 80s/90s, Stanford and Oregon more recently (Stanford due to coaching hires; UO due to a huge influx of funding). UCLA hasn’t won a conference title in 20 or so years, and other schools have historically risen and fallen in cycles. To be honest, I think a reasonable argument can be made that only USC has ever been “dominant.” Can Utah compete for the South division frequently and the conference championship occasionally? Absolutely. Dominate? No.
    Thanks for stopping by; hope you’ll stick around.

    by flatdawgs on Nov 21, 2017 | 1:17 PM reply unrec (3)

    Oside Pup:
     The fact that Coach Whitt is 10-1 in post season Bowl games should tell ………….
    you that he is a pretty good coach. He has always played UW close since the Utes joined the conference. I’m guessing that what’s been holding Utah back more than anything has been lackluster QB play, and more importantly, lack of depth. Injuries have really slowed your progress, and UW has certainly not been immune from that as well this season. Be aware that Utah is just 19 points away from having a 9-2 record this season – 4 games that could have gone the other way. You should be very positive going forward with – who I think can be a stellar QB – in Tyler Huntley. It’s a shame he missed those games earlier this season because of injury. I also believe you will end up being very happy in the long run with your Offensive Coordinator, Troy Taylor. Wish UW had him.

    The bottom line is – Utah is competitive in the South, and IMO, just needs more depth and some good luck with the injuries for a change, ti achieve a “break-thru” season in the South. But the Utes will still need to knock off USC to get to the top of the mountain,and that’s probably not going to happen too frequently. So I am not optimistic that matchup will ever turn out to be “dominant” for Utah. No team in the conference has been able to achieve that when the Trojans have not otherwise been on probation/penalized by the NCAA.

    by OsidePup on Nov 21, 2017 | 2:04 PM reply unrec (6)

    Thanks for the opportunity!
    Describe the Utah Ute football team in three words:
    Heart, tough, improving

    How would you rate Kyle Whittingham, our HC, in comparison to other coaches in the conference?:
    I LOVE Coach Witt. I wanted him here when we fired Willingham because I believe he is one of the very best Coaches in all of college football, not just the PAC-12. This is just “my” opinion – but – I think he (ANY University of Utah coach) has had a long standing issue keeping the top-level “home-grown” talent in-state. I am LDS, I lived in Utah for 5 years while stationed at Hill AFB. I KNOW “most” (not ALL) LDS kids are brought up on BYU Football. If they don’t go to BYU then MANY leave the state rather than play at the University of Utah. Go back and look at all the talent that has left Utah to go to out-of-state schools – it is mind boggling. I don’t think that is on Coach Witt. I think it’s just a matter of time before the culture changes and it becomes okay to go to Utah.

    Describe Utah’s fan base. Any personal experience with Utah fans?:
    I have been to 3 UW games at Utah. Every fan I encountered was gracious.

    What do you think Utah’s current trajectory is: downward, horizontal or upward?:
    Defense, Special Teams and a Running Game has never really been a problem for the Utes. Now, they have found a PAC-12 quality QB in Tyler Huntley. There is no question in my mind; I think they will go upwards in a BIG way.

    by onewoodwhacker on Nov 21, 2017 | 2:39 PM reply unrec (2)

    Sorry, I missed this:
    “…There is an element of the Utah fan base that thinks Whittingham has hit his ceiling, and that to be competitive in this conference, Utah should move on from Coach Whitt. Thoughts on this? Why do you think Utah hasn’t dominated in the Pac12?…”

    As I said earlier; I think firing Coach Witt would be a HUGE mistake. Who is better?

    The PAC-12 is a very hard conference to dominate but USC probably has it the easiest. The school is in downtown LA, they are a private school with HUGE donors and history and who really KNOWS what their educational requirements are for High School football players they REALLY want (?), a “luxury UCLA doesn’t have as they are part of the California school system.

    Outside of USC, EVERY PAC-12 school gets good players. Any one can beat anyone on any given day. Then there are the “other” outside forces: 1/2 the schools play on grass, 1/2 plays on turf. One week you are playing on the grass in 95 degree heat and the next week you in snow on turf or vice-versa. And as we ALL know, the PAC-12 refs SUCK :blush:

    by onewoodwhacker on Nov 21, 2017 | 3:06 PM up reply unrec (1)

    I get to type my feelings and opinions? We humans are disgusting. Yes I want to do this
    Preface: Ex-BYU fan, Ex-Mormon here. Now anti-mormon, anti-BYU, to put it lightly.

    Utah in 3 words:
    Volatile, inconsistent, stout

    Kyle Whittingham, in my opinion, is one of the better coaches in the Pac12. That said, I think he lacks the traits to ever become an elite caliber coach. I think he is forever destined to be in the solid-good range, but never great. He’s also a fine looking man with a nice dad bod. I’d say yes.

    I enjoy Utah fans for selfish reasons. I love how relentlessly they torture BYU fans. BYU fans are unbearable. If BYU and mormonism never existed, I’d still enjoy Utah fans, I think. They have a bit of a tough, bad boy attitude, with a little Polynesia and hippie thrown in there. The stadium, play style, unis, etc are all aesthetically pleasing. Rice-Eccles knows how to rock and be hostile. I think they are tastefully aggressive towards opposing fans.

    Utah’s current trajectory seems horizontal to me. I think they will always beat and challenge the better teams in the Pac, but I don’t think they will have many seasons where they do it consistently enough to reach the championship game. I will always see Utah as a challenge no matter how up or down they are, because they have giant slayer mentality.

    Yes, I think Whit has hit his ceiling, but I don’t think the ceiling is bad. I’m a fan of the mountains in SLC, but the rest of it is…. gross to put it lightly. And I was born in the wasatch front and have spent plenty of good and bad time there. I think it’s best to be content with out-recruiting BYU in-state and getting some solid recruits from California. I think shooting for those 9 win seasons, maybe the occasional 10 is a beautiful thing for the program, and I do not think you will lure a better coach there, so stick with what you’ve got.

    But please, do whatever it takes to keep BYU down. Seriously. Never lose, keep the streak going, take all of the recruits. Destroy that program.

    by Rhaego on Nov 21, 2017 | 3:52 PM reply unrec (4)

    Three words : tough, consistently good, a tad dull.

    Coach: solid, his focus on toughness keeps the team competitive. a tad conservative.

    Utah fans? Nice people, dedicated to their team. Welcomed guests.

    Trajectory is: Slow grind upward. Need some key recruiting wins to break through.

    Keep the coach?: For goodness sake, do not get rid of him. He needs a more dynamic OC to open up things a bit, but he’s damn solid. Maybe pump up the recruiting effort if there’s budget. Seriously, ask UW fans. There’s no guarantee that the next guy through the door will be any good at all.

    Why do you think Utah hasn’t dominated in the Pac12?

    a) Who expects this? Win a conference title first 😉
    b) Utah just isn’t a premier PAC12 program yet. They’re getting better but it’s not an overnight thing; so the big-budget, high-profile teams are gonna be an on-going challenge.
    c) More money, more talent, better comparative reputation.

    by KingKona on Nov 21, 2017 | 5:59 PM reply unrec (2)

    Big fan of Utah, before they joined the conference
    Describe the Utah Ute football team in three words. Tough, defense, beatable

    How would you rate Kyle Whittingham, our HC, in comparison to other coaches in the conference? Bottom of the top third.

    Describe Utah’s fan base. Any personal experience with Utah fans? Just a few on the boards. They seem knowledgeable and willing to discuss things without simply careening down the cesspool of most fan bases. That may be more to the fact that we don’t have the history with Utah that we do with say Cal.

    What do you think Utah’s current trajectory is: downward, horizontal or upward? Honestly, downward from last year, but I think next year looks promising. If this question is from this exact moment looking forward, I’d say upward, but I think the end of next year will still be below where y’all were last year (Don’t lose to the ducks again though).

    There is an element of the Utah fan base that thinks Whittingham has hit his ceiling, and that to be competitive in this conference, Utah should move on from Coach Whitt. Thoughts on this? He very well may have hit his ceiling, but so it appeared Mike Price did in year 6 or 7 at WSU, and in year 9 he made the rose bowl. He then looked to be done again, but then went to the rose bowl again in year 14. Others have said this, but I doubt Utah will consistently compete with USC, the best the rest of us can hope for is to have some good luck with injuries and win the conference once or twice a decade.

    Why do you think Utah hasn’t dominated in the Pac12? I mean, it’s the pac-12, no one has. Even the last 10 years was split between Oregon and Stanford and actually started with USC, none of them dominated for long. Heck, UW looked like they’d be pretty good this year and some injuries and inspired opponents led to a season without a championship (kind like your 2015 year).

    by stewak on Nov 22, 2017 | 9:15 AM reply unrec (1)

    cougcenter.com linky

    Here you go
    Disappointing, the annual meltdown happened to soon. (sorry, more than three words)

    Whittingham was a great HC when the stakes were lower. He seems to crumble under the pressure. Hence the late season meltdowns.

    Understanding and good sports. I went on Blocku to say Huck the Fuskies last week on the game thread and you guys seemed chill.

    I think Whitt has hit his ceiling since he always has that meltdown, let him rebuild since he lost a lot of talent last year, if the Utes aren’t in the top 2 in the south in 3 years, it’s time to move on.

    by O’BannonCoug19 on Nov 21, 2017 | 1:55 PM reply unrec (1)

    Glenn Duggan:
    Program: boring

    Whittingham: Good coach, not great

    Fans: Fairly Rabid, Rice-Eccles has never been terribly awful for Cougs outside of Zombie game

    by Glenn Duggan on Nov 21, 2017 | 2:46 PM reply unrec (1)

    My thoughts….
    Three words to describe Utah football?

    – Solid, never great.

    How does Whittingham stack up to the rest of the coaches in the P12?

    – Good enough to be well regarded. But what has he really done in the P12 to warrant the high esteem he seems to be held in by some?

    Utah’s program?

    -Horizontal right now. The Utes need to find an offensive identity and stick with it. The revolving door at OC has to have hurt the program. Defense is usually decent but it’s just my impression they crumble in the biggest games, at the end of the season.

    Why hasn’t Utah dominated the P12?

    -Is this a serious question?? If so, I’d say look around at the P12. I don’t see Utah having any sort of advantage that would enable them to DOMINATE our conference. Compete, yes. Dominate? Get serious.

    by Logrus 53 on Nov 21, 2017 | 3:39 PM reply unrec (1)

    Good, not great

    Whittingham is a stable influence. I think he’s better than average in the conference, just has problems finding the right OC.

    The only personal experience I have with Ute fans have been through online forums, and I’ve found them pretty pleasant and welcoming. Not obnoxious or anything. A couple friends went to Rice-Eccles and said it was a good time without any bad experiences.

    I’d say horizontal. That can be frustrating when you’re always on the cusp of being really great, but it sure beats most of the other programs in the Pac-12.

    Dominated is a strong word. Expecting any former MW program to come in and dominate the Pac-12 on a regular basis is folly. Frankly, I’m surprised Utah has been able to stay relatively strong in their transition to the Pac-12, and much of that I attribute to the coaching stability. It’s extremely hard to compete with schools with established tradition located in recruiting hotbeds with oodles of money to throw around. I think the more recent winning tradition of Utah football has helped mitigate those other factors, but will never be able to consistently go toe to toe year in and year out against the more established programs like USC. Oregon was the closest to do this, and it took many years of coaching stability and a huge influx of cash to achieve.

    “The only thing I know is that I know nothing. Especially when it comes to Cougar football.” -Socrates

    by jackswift on Nov 21, 2017 | 3:53 PM reply unrec (1)

    When I think about Utah, they are tough out, if you beat them you earned the W. I think Wittingham is a good coach, maybe not great, but I believe he is in the upper half of the conference in terms of coaches. I don’t really know Utah fans or had any interactions with them. Utah’s current trajectory really depends on Huntley if he gets better, the team will get better, if he plateaus, or doesn’t reach his potential the program’s current projectory is horizontal, I don’t really see it going up, or going down. As to why Utah hasn’t dominated the PAC-12, three letters USC. Realistically your best hope every year is second place in the division. Maybe you will get lucky and USC will have a off year. Utah’s problem really has been quarterback play, I believe every thing else is there, but in this conference you are only as good as your QB, and Utah’s QB play has not been that good, probably been in the bottom half since they have entered the conference.
    escribe the Utah Ute football team in three words.

    by gowazzucougs on Nov 22, 2017 | 9:29 AM reply unrec (1)

    addictedtoquack.com linky

    I don’t have much to say, other than I’ve been a fan of Willingham and the type of team the Utes seemed to always have. Good lines and an emphasis on defense. However, the hypocrisy of adding Carrington really turned me off to Willingham.

    I’d call you a mid tier Pac12 team.

    In terms of him hitting his ceiling, I want to say yes, but also counter with questions for you. Is it a good job within the conference? What level of coach do you think you should get/have? I want to say it’s a good job, but it might be more of a stepping stone job? I have the feeling that it is. I’m sure a Ute grad would not pull a Meyer on you, but is that just what it is?

    by KDean75 on Nov 21, 2017 | 2:12 PM reply unrec (1)

    Describe the Utah Ute football team in three words.
    Fired another OC

    How would you rate Kyle Whittingham, our HC, in comparison to other coaches in the conference?
    Behind Petersen, Shaw, Leach, and Taggart. Maybe I’m being too harsh after one bad season, but it is very troubling how quickly he’s burnt through offensive coordinators in recent years. Stability on defense is worth a lot, though, ask any Duck fan. He seems unable to figure anything out on offense, and he’s just been throwing OC’s at the wall to see what sticks.

    Describe Utah’s fan base. Any personal experience with Utah fans?
    I have always wished that a Ute fan would interact here, so it’s great to see you finally reach out, shakeitsugaree! Guess there’s a first time for everything. Feel free to stick around, we could always use a Ute in our Quack Fixes! In general, my opinion of Ute fans tends to be one of, “Jeez, we get it. You’re a big program. /rolls eyes and talks to someone else”. That said, your fans are by no means bad compared to many others, and I think the Pac-12 has been a great fit.

    What do you think Utah’s current trajectory is: downward, horizontal or upward?
    Horizontal. I think this year was unexpectedly bad, and I think that next season you’ll be back to being an 8 win-ish team in contention for the Pac-12 South until the end of conference play as usual.

    Why do you think Utah hasn’t dominated in the Pac12?
    Because the state of Utah has 1/8th the population of Southern California. Taggart has been able to recruit his way around that due to Nike money and branding, which Utah doesn’t have the luxury of.

    Baby we can do it / Take the time, do it right / We can do it, baby / Do it tonight

    by CaDuck on Nov 21, 2017 | 2:19 PM reply unrec (3)

    Condensed version.
    How would you rate Kyle Whittingham, our HC, in comparison to other coaches in the conference?

    The P12 is stacked with goodish coaches, this is just a matter of math with only so many blu chip players to go around you have to set your expectations accordingly. Oregon has built itself from the 90s on – that’s over two decades of climbing up the pac – Utah is still a new kid on the block – I’d say he’s worth a few more years. .

    Describe Utah’s fan base. Any personal experience with Utah fans?

    Not BYU – and have some ex SLC friends who are Ute fans and great guys.

    What do you think Utah’s current trajectory is: downward, horizontal or upward?

    Slight upward.

    SQ: Debasing quality discussions since 2009

    by StQuack on Nov 21, 2017 | 2:21 PM reply unrec (3)

    I think Whit’s a very good coach.
    There were so many ballsy playcalls in that last game that kept you guys in it, I just don’t think you can separate those from the questionable TO. He’s what, 10-1 in bowl games or something?

    It’s a little hard to evaluate because the jump from the MWC to the Pac happened under his watch – that kind of transition is usually a years-long process, simply to accumulate that higher level of recruits & competition that go with being a P5 school. And it’s magnified by being in the division with schools like USC & UCLA who have a massive talent advantage most years. You’re always always always going to have an uphill battle due to that dynamic.

    This was a transitional year for you guys anyhow. It’s your QB’s 1st year as a full-time starter. Next year the expectations should be higher, a decent bowl would be the benchmark.

    by LosPatos on Nov 21, 2017 | 2:22 PM reply unrec (2)

    How would you rate Kyle Whittingham, our HC, in comparison to other coaches in the conference? Let’s just say I think he’s better than Leach, who currently has a similarly situated Pac12 program (i.e. not in LA, not a historically top Pac12 school, in a geographic location that has some recruiting challenges) vying for a conference title. I think Whit is in the top half of the conference as far as the football coaches go.

    Describe Utah’s fan base. Any personal experience with Utah fans? No real experience other than with RavUte here at ATQ. Haven’t ever heard any real horror stories about visiting fans attending games there, though.

    What do you think Utah’s current trajectory is: downward, horizontal or upward? Slightly downward but I have no idea what your recruiting or injury situations look like. So, honestly, I have no idea.

    There is an element of the Utah fan base that thinks Whittingham has hit his ceiling, and that to be competitive in this conference, Utah should move on from Coach Whitt. Thoughts on this? Why do you think Utah hasn’t dominated in the Pac12? Be careful what you wish for when it comes to coaching changes. You could do much worse than Whit, and very well might if you swing and miss. As for why Utah hasn’t dominated the Pac12: frankly, (and I know you probably don’t mean it this way) but that sounds presumptuous. You do realize the Pac12 is a challenging conference, right? Asking why you haven’t dominated is akin to saying ‘this conference isn’t that good and it should be way easier for us to win.’ You’ve been competitive in your first half-decade in a Power 5 Conference. That’s not gone unnoticed.
    I’ve always felt like Utah is a tough game in this conference, since day 1. Assuming anything more than that is something I would expect from U$C fan or a fusky.
    Don’t be like them.

    I like to reminisce with people I don’t know. – Steven Wright

    “Have a great day, if you want to.” – Willie Taggart

    by doubleduck on Nov 21, 2017 | 2:25 PM reply unrec (1)

    Cyril Figgis:
    Describe the Utah Ute football team in three words.
    Competing, not contending.

    How would you rate Kyle Whittingham, our HC, in comparison to other coaches in the conference?
    Generally seems likable and has a respectable record as the Utah head coach, but I’d rate him in the middle of the pack.

    Describe Utah’s fan base. Any personal experience with Utah fans?
    Kudos to being the only other conference team to average over 100% capacity of the stadium for home attendance.

    What do you think Utah’s current trajectory is: downward, horizontal or upward?
    I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and call this an off year after 2014, 2015 and 2016 were 9, 10 and 9 win seasons respectively.

    There is an element of the Utah fan base that thinks Whittingham has hit his ceiling, and that to be competitive in this conference, Utah should move on from Coach Whitt. Thoughts on this? Why do you think Utah hasn’t dominated in the Pac12?
    Recruiting has to be tough there and haven’t y’all cycled through at least a couple different OC’s in the past few years? I don’t think he has hit his ceiling. If MacIntyre can take Colorado to the title game, Utah sure as hell should be able to.

    “The only five-star that we even concern ourselves with is a five-star heart.” – Champion of getting fired, Butch Jones

    by Cyril Figgis on Nov 21, 2017 | 2:29 PM reply unrec (3)

    1) An annoyance. (I was never keen on expanding to twelve teams, get off my lawn)
    b) Square-jawed. Clean-cut. Straight-arrow. Vanilla. Glad we have Taggart.
    iii) Other than RavUte? Can’t say that I have had any. Not knowingly, anyway. He’s a good egg, though, that one.
    13-9) Flat, just like that throwback cut on the top of Whit’s dome.
    Cinco) Utah won’t dominate— if y’all wanted to compete yearly for conference titles, you would have been better served staying in the MWC. IMHO, Utah has too many recruiting negatives, especially considering who they’re recruiting against, to ever dominate the PAC-12. Sorry.

    “I’m tellin’ ya man, to be able to stroke it like that must be some kind of feeling.” — Dick Vitale

    by soddruntlestuntle on Nov 21, 2017 | 3:23 PM reply unrec (3)

    Describe the Utah Ute football team in three words.

    Let me do this twice: Utes are up. Utes are down.

    How would you rate Kyle Whittingham, our HC, in comparison to other coaches in the conference?
    Agree that he’s mid-tier…I always thought he was a good coach and well-respected. But that went out the window when he agreed to (sign?) Carrington, a rival Pac-12 team reject (convict?) I lost all-respect for the man.

    No experience with UTE fans.

    What do you think Utah’s current trajectory is: downward, horizontal or upward?
    I’d have to say downward. Mostly because they have been so high in the past couple of years. I think “ju-ju” caught up to the UTES with the Carrington signing (can you tell I hold that against ute?)

    I wouldn’t get rid of your coach. As stated by others; you could do a lot worse. Besides, I think it’s unfair to jettison a HC after one bad year.

    Nice guy though…

    by Bobbyduckalot on Nov 21, 2017 | 3:25 PM reply unrec (1)

    Akili’s Heel:
     Sure…
    Describe the Utah Ute football team in three words.
    Stupid fake punt.

    How would you rate Kyle Whittingham, our HC, in comparison to other coaches in the conference?
    I think he’s good, but most of the coaches in the conference are good right now too. He’s probably mid tier as everyone else has said. Not Shaw, Peterson (gag), or Taggart (hopefully) but in the range of Leach. Pretty much what others have said.

    Describe Utah’s fan base. Any personal experience with Utah fans?
    Just RavUte. He’s aight.

    What do you think Utah’s current trajectory is: downward, horizontal or upward?
    Roughly Horizontal.

    There is an element of the Utah fan base that thinks Whittingham has hit his ceiling, and that to be competitive in this conference, Utah should move on from Coach Whitt. Thoughts on this? Why do you think Utah hasn’t dominated in the Pac12?
    There’s a lot of downside risk to firing a coach, especially a coach who’s proven that he can win consistently. If you guys were winning 5-7 games every year, by all means, where you’ve been, it’s a bit more dicey. Dominating in the Pac 12 for someone not in LA probably requires hiring your version of Chip Kelly and possibly getting a bit lucky with other teams being a bit down. Peterson isn’t going to dominate at Uw, though they will be consistently good. Taggart, who I think is good, is not likely to dominate at Oregon, and Shaw doesn’t at Stanford.

    “What does a Duck Say?” “Touchdown!”
    “We would be the pinnacle of douchebaggery if there were no such thing as investment bankers and Patriots fans.” – DanFoutsBeard

    by Akili’s Heel on Nov 21, 2017 | 4:41 PM reply unrec (3)

    Describe the Utah Ute football team in three words.
    Wearing non-magic underwear.

    How would you rate Kyle Whittingham, our HC, in comparison to other coaches in the conference?
    I’m a sucker for stability. So I like that. Year-to-year, I think he does better than I’d expect with a football program that has obvious comparative recruiting disadvantages. So I like that. Ducks fans have been throwing stones about the Darren Carrington thing, but you know what? Duck athletics lives in an ACTUAL glass house:
    I’d take him over Mora, Helton, Rodriguez, Graham, Macintyre, interim Beaver coach, Wilcox, Shaw (boring), and maybe even Leach (entertaining but a serious dick. I wouldn’t let my kid play for him…if I let my kid play this deathtrap of a sport at all.)

    Describe Utah’s fan base. Any personal experience with Utah fans?
    Also wearing non-magic underwear. RavenousUte is a freaking perv but fun to have around. Do have a few very close friends who went to UU but were too busy skiing to bother watching foobaw.

    What do you think Utah’s current trajectory is: downward, horizontal or upward?
    Upward. They survived the transition to P5 and may be having a down year but are a team I don’t think any team with a brain is looking past.

    People settle for a level of despair they can tolerate and call it happiness. -S. Kirkegaard

    by HoodRiverDuck on Nov 21, 2017 | 6:48 PM reply unrec (1)

    Welcome to ATQ, shakeitsugaree
    Describe the Utah Ute football team in three words.

    The New Kids

    How would you rate Kyle Whittingham, our HC, in comparison to other coaches in the conference?

    I like Whittingham, and I think he is a very good coach. Most of the time the Utes are sharp and play strong defense, but without an upgrade on offense things will never get much better than 9-10 wins (which, hey, is still bloody strong). I am in agreement with HRD… I would take Whit over most other coaches in the PAC12 (but certainly not over Taggart).

    Describe Utah’s fan base. Any personal experience with Utah fans?

    My experience with Ute fans is colored by the fact that I went to grad school at BYU. Frankly, I hate almost everything about the interaction between BYU and Utah, and the vitriol of Ute fans against Cougar fans (and vice versa) extends far beyond what I think college sports should warrant. Kind of like Dodgers/Giants, or something. I don’t enjoy it and it is one of many reasons that I am glad I do not live in Utah.

    As I am first and foremost a Duck fan, however, most of my interactions with Utah folks have been right neighborly if sometimes a bit snarky after a big win or loss. Oh, and I like RavUte.

    What do you think Utah’s current trajectory is: downward, horizontal or upward?

    I don’t think this season was indicative of a general downward turn. ’Twas but a blip. If next season is the same, though? Then things get a little iffy.

    There is an element of the Utah fan base that thinks Whittingham has hit his ceiling, and that to be competitive in this conference, Utah should move on from Coach Whitt. Thoughts on this?

    I think he should stay, but I think Utah neeeeeeeds a major overhaul on offense. Preferably without bringing in rent-a-schmuck players from in-conference foes.

    Why do you think Utah hasn’t dominated in the Pac12?

    Location. Population. Reputation. Recruiting. History. Fear of playing for a team with a Native American mascot and someday having to issue mea culpas.

    Hey, if “domination” was the goal, then the decision-makers at the U were delusional and the PAC12 was the wrong conference to join. There are far too many traditionally strong (and non-traditionally strong) other teams in this conference to expect anything close to domination. Even the long-standing powers do not dominate any more. You buys the ticket and you takes your chances — USC and Stanford and The Twelves and Oregon (hopefully) and Wazzu (sometimes) etc. will not go gently into that good night and are going to be battling hard for that same conference crown. (On the good side… when it happens it is all the sweeter because it means a lot more.)

    “Duck love is recognizable in any language.” ― Edmond Manning
    “How many men would admit that they loved ducks?” ― Annie Barrows

    by cugeno on Nov 22, 2017 | 7:31 AM reply unrec (2)

  • Tony

    Great compilation. Very entertaining reading.

  • BD

    Wow. Cool post. Might be “Post of the Year” worthy! haha


    Some of the comments are pretty funny:

    UCLA barely even recruits anyone with less than 6*“,

    Browning often on the run from enormous vowel-heavy persons” 

    The language in use in my living room for most of the second half would have been taboo anywhere in the Jello Belt.” (He didn’t hear my language last Saturday! haha)

    Referring to the Ducks as the Zeroes. 

    Riyadh Provo”


    Are you sure Mike Leach didn’t write these responses? 🙂 


    Anyway, good post!


  • ironman1315

    Some of these were surprising. Particularly the WAZZU ones. They’ve gotten big for their britches. Duck fans are salty about DC2.

  • EagleMountainUte

    I actually really like that Utah took Carrington even more now and that it bugs Oregon fans. Whitt deserves two thumbs up for that now.
    Magic underwear comments. It is funny how it is socially acceptable to belittle religion in America. Also Utah doesn’t have that many missionaries to make it a recruiting issue.

  • Mr Chainsaw

    Great comments.  I’m a little embarrassed by the domination question.  Who in their right mind thought the Utes would dominate the Pac-12?  I just want to win the South every once and a while.

  • ladyinred

    Not gonna lie, I was annoyed by the UW person who said the tailgate situation is weak at Utah. I think it kicks ass, and I wonder when it was that person last visited, or if they just didn’t walk around much at the tailgate?
    But clearly I am biased.

    I think the responses about Whit are mostly on point. I was amused by the person who hates tds, and also the DC2 situation for Oregon fans. I mean, he was talking to at least 3 or more other Pac 12 teams – he was going somewhere we just happened to get him. And it’s not like he CHOSE to leave…but I’m not complaining. =)

    • GameForAnyFuss

      I thought we had good tailgating as well. Then I went to a Michigan game. And then I went to a Texas game.

      It’s like comparing our marching band to Stanford’s. I love what we’ve got here. The quality is really good. But it’s just at a different level elsewhere.

      • ladyinred

        Oh no doubt we’ll never compare to any of those team’s leagues. I don’t think the Pac 12 in general will ever be as maniacal and/or hardcore. Left coast people too busy skiing/surfing/yoga/nature-ing/smoking reefer etc.
        But compared to other Pac 12 schools? Can we really be that shabby?

        • KiYi-Ute

          I’ve been to tailgates at UW, Oregon, U$C, OSU, Colorado, and Wazzu. I think we definitely hold our own and are better than some of the other venues. UW has probably been my favorite though, simply because we were Sailgating, which is really cool/unique and hard to top. That stadium is also gorgeous since they renovated it.

          Oregon fans were by far the least hospitable, FWIW.

  • KiYi-Ute

    This is a phenomenal post. Thank you Sugaree! I didn’t expect that much salt from Ducks fans for taking Carrington. One of my close friends is a Duck and his attitude was more “Carrington tends to choke in big moments and you’d better hope he keeps his nose clean.”

  • SkinyUte

    This was an excellent and entertaining read. Thanks for putting it together.

  • ragtownute

    Jeez that’s a lot of cool content. Well done!

  • TexanUte

    Great great work shakeitsugaree!!! Did I mention great work? Fascinating takes. I think the thing that stuck out the most is the realization from most that nobody really has dominated in the modern construct of the Pac 12. Gave me some good perspective that perhaps I was overlooking.
    Awesome man.. Thanks a lot.

    • shakeitsugaree

      You’re welcome, Texan. Also, I’m a woman.

  • TexanUte

    Sweet. Thanks for the heads-up. Awesome lady..

  • FtheY

    Yes, awesome post. Can’t thank you enough. 

    One reoccurring theme I hadn’t considered was money. Spot on about location, religious preception, etc. 

    I love how everyone knew the one Utah poster and thought he was cool. That was funny. 

    • RavenousUte

      Thanks sugaree for making me internet famous. 😉

  • Tony

    WSU football coach Leach gives wedding advice LOL LOL LOL


  • EagleMountainUte

    My wife and mother in law are awesome I didn’t deal with that crap. But my mom and sisters tried to moan to me. I just avoided the hell out of them. 

  • ironman1315

    Well, he’s not wrong.

  • PlainsUte

    Sage advice.

    Luckily for me my wife and M-I-L handled most of the gory details and didn’t worry that I was not giving opinions about details of colors, flowers, etc.  Had minor input on invitations and managed invitee list and wine selection.

  • cbmute

    We could use a Mike Leach quote of the day. There is no better interview in all of college sports. 

    • FtheY


  • UtahManPodcast
    2 8

    Has Whit hit his ceiling

    The Utes lose in heart breaking fashion to the Washington Huskies. Many fans are pointing to the late timeout called by Head Coach Kyle Whittingham as the main reason for the L. This is causing many fans to ask, has Whittingham hit his ceiling? Cameron, Ryan, and Scott answer that as well as talk to Michelle Bodkin from utezone.com. The guys also take a look ahead to the must win game against Colorado to wrap up the show.

    Episode 97

  • Hammer

    Short answer, no. I’ll be here all day for other questions.

  • RiseasUtes

    Hit his ceiling?  Yes, an undefeated season and a win against Alabama is a pretty good ceiling, good enough to get to a playoff game if we can do that in this conference.  This year we started or rotated in 12-14 freshman and sophomores (including our starting QB).  If anyone was expecting a conference championship this year, then that’s on them for unreal expectations.  The next two years those expectations for me will go up because of our experience, but this year we didn’t have much experience (especially on O) and our experienced players were injured quite often.  

    • Hammer

      I agree…but to clarify…it was an undefeated MWC schedule. 

      • RiseasUtes

        Im aware, but I think KW has shown what he can do when he team has enough talent(the last few years we needed a better QB to get us over the top).  We have to compare our talent to the talent we are playing against.  USC, UCLA, Oregon, Stanford, Washington, Az St all have better talent on paper.  Their recruiting classes are always ranked higher and they are usually projected to beat us.  KW has beaten several of these teams more than once.  Which means he(and staff) are coaching up our talent better than some of these schools.  Im pretty excited to see what we can do with an experienced Huntley and transitioning into Tuttle.

  • Utah
    6 4

    Short answer: no. 

    Slightly longer answer: what type of stupid f**king question is that? Are we really this god damn dumb to ask this question? What sort of idiot of would even assume this? 

    And, if we’ve hit our ceiling, it’s not Whitt’s ceiling, it’s Utah’s ceiling. 

  • MotherJabubu

    no. 9 wins is around his ceiling, aka we aren’t going to be a perennial power always expected to win the conference and challenge for a playoff spot.. but nobody can tell me we couldn’t have won 10 or even 11 games those seasons. We were very close to doing it.

    • EagleMountainUte

      I enjoy being close but hope for more someday. 

  • ironman1315

    Every damn year we get this question. Answer is and has been no.

    • crazyute

      Answer is yes

  • TexanUte

    Hey Whitt is Vince Lombardi compared to Jason Garrett, head coach of my depressing Cowboys.