PACMAS was 10 years ago today

How time flies!

Stewart Mandel was a bit premature in predicting back in June 2010 that “the Utes will have the talent and the resources to challenge for the Pac-10 title immediately.” But he wasn’t all that far off!

That glorious time feels so far away.


Yes, but I like to remember how great that day was and how it changed not only Utah Athletics but also the University of Utah itself, fundamentally and forever. In 2009 the U was a good, rising state research university with the R1 rating. Now it’s a PAC-12 school and a member of the Association of American Universities. I was attending a meeting at the U’s law school recently and there was discussion of the incoming class’s LSAT scores, GPAs, and of tuition levels. In every one of those categories the only comparison was to our peer schools in the PAC-12. I thought, “Wow! How the world has changed!”


That first season if the kicker makes one FG against the Buffs we’re in the championship game.


Merry PACMAS everyone.


Excellent point. Mandel was right.

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Always fun to read:


Some people I know thought this was a paranoid approach, but Greg Hughes later showed us it was not. Chris Hill:

We worked everything out but the money and they said, “When can you start?” Colorado was going to have to wait a year but we said, “We’ll start now.” They said, “You won’t get any money.” And we said, “We don’t care.” We wanted to get it done before any kind of political pressure hit us – anybody in the state trying to say we couldn’t do it.


Mac tried to get a talented local RB in the program who’d made a dumb decision as an 18 year old - Sione Havili - and Chris Hill shot it down. I wrote a letter in defense of Havili to Hill about what he’d done with his life since.

Hill was resolute, Havili never came to Utah, ended up at Texas Tech. (His brother Stanley Havili had a more prolific career at USC and then the NFL).

In the spring of 2005, right after the Fiesta Bowl I told Chris Hill at practice one day I thought Utah & Colorado would make logical additions to the PAC10. He quickly waved it off… while he was working behind the scenes to be prepared if the opportunity arrived.

Chris Hill’s vision and positioning to get us into the PAC will be his greatest legacy. It flipped everything in this state, we’d gone from the rag-tag Utes (who were definitely on the rise) to things being the way they are now, and us looking to keep climbing, within a context none of us could have imagined 11 years ago.


I asked him about it once, probably in that same time period. He said something like, “We are going to keep scheduling them every chance we get–we just want to be a pain in the butt to them so that if the time comes they’ll take us seriously.”

I agree. PACmas was the biggest day in U. of U. sports history, and there will never be a bigger one.


The only possible bigger day in U of U sports history would be a title in either football or basketball.

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You could argue that such an opportunity came because of PACmas.

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Yep. Chicken & Egg scenario.

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I guess, but we did win a 2008 national championship of sorts before being in the Pac-12.

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In terms of its impact on everything that has followed or will follow, nothing tops PACmas.


It was total mental turmoil until we were actually in.

For weeks it was: we are in, we are out, we are in, we might be in, etc…


It was a great day in Utah history. I don’t think it happens without Meyer or Whittingham. We got good at the best possible time.


Completely shot the moon.

Also, don’t leave out Michael Young. Without his support, his political, academic program development and lobbying experience at some of the top academic institutions in the country before that, and him working the phone at the presidential level, Chris Hill would not have had a shot. Young is the one who had to convince PAC12 university president committee members individually and having been active on the faculty of an Ivy grad school, dean at a GW grad school, etc. he had the chops to be taken seriously. He didn’t stay long but between Hill, Young, Meyer, Whitt and Alex Smith (underappreciated piece–he set Meyer’s trajectory as an offensive innovator and program. turnaround artist straight up–look at the coaching tree and where it went in the Sec), we wouldn’t have PACmas abd what’s followed academically. Mean reversion is lower than what we have had, so enjoy it. Almost like it was meant to be.

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You’re right. So many people built this house.


[quote=“Duhwayne, post:18, topic:3861”]
Young is the one who had to convince PAC12 university president committee members individually and having been active on the faculty of an Ivy grad school, dean at a GW grad school, etc. he had the chops to be taken seriously. [/quote]

Off topic, but Michael Young is now at President at Texas A&M, where their starting QB is advocating tearing down a statue of an important early A&M leader, who also played a part in the Confederacy.

Johnny Manziel, among others, is supporting Kellen Mond, the QB.

At least some A&M supporter aren’t impressed that Michael Young is bending to support things like BLM, and related things.

Young’s definitely earning his salary, these days.