The Athletic’s final top 130

Utah ended up 15th. Here’s what they said about their second 15:

Baylor and Auburn drop out of the top 10 after their bowl losses — as well as Oklahoma’s blowout loss, in Baylor’s case. Notre Dame was crushed at Michigan earlier in the season, but the results from the rest of the year and the bowl game put space between them. Utah’s final two losses especially highlight a lack of quality wins in the end. Memphis drops only slightly after the Penn State loss in which it put up better offensive numbers against the Nittany Lions than anyone else this season. Boise State’s 38-7 loss to Washington puts a damper on things, but the Broncos stay in the top 25 because of a win against 11-win Air Force and two against 10-win Hawaii. Texas A&M and UCF also slide in after bowl wins.

They have Oregon at 7, Texas at 30 (so maybe they don’t even see that as a quality loss); Washington 35, USC at 37 (another non-quality loss?), Cal and ASU are 45 and 46, Wazzu 52, BYU 56, OSU 59, Stanford 86, Arizona 88, UCLA 89, Colorado 90.

The extent to which we fell apart at season’s end will haunt us for some time.

Listening to ESPN 700 yesterday and the discussion with Brock Huard, the takeaway is we need around 20-25 players outside of the starting 22 that can play at the same level as the guy they are stepping in for. In short, filling such a bill outside of being a blue-blood program is a very tall task. In some cases, filling this bill in a blue-blood program is a rough road to hoe too…calling on U$C.

The truth is we are a better program today than we were in 2011. Only Utah and UCLA have won the South in back to back seasons. An 11-3 record is a great season. We just flat ran out of gas only having 10-15 high quality backups.

It’s something to work on.


The comment on depth is probably accurate, but our 22 starters are also not at the level of most top 10 teams/programs. Those powerhouse programs are competing with an entirely different level of player. We got excited this recruiting season about a couple of top recruits. The teams that can win national championships are fully stocked with top recruits.

We recruit in the 20s-30s, and that’s a fairly accurate description of the type of program we are. That we occasionally outperform our recruiting rankings reflects well on our coaches.


This makes sense to me. A couple of thoughts come to mind:

• We are over-achieving. 20 years ago Ute fans would have been agog over where we are now. I’m happy to be where we are and to have a program we can enjoy and be proud of on several levels — on-fíeld achievement, academics, and squeaky-clean. Kyle gets the lion’s share of the credit for this, and he built on what Mac and Urban did.

• We have grounds for hope. We could get a lot better with the foundation we have. Yes, we’re in the State of Utah, but the more senior members here will agree with me that the Sat Lake City of 2020 is light years away from the SLC of the 1980s. The U. is a university on the rise and so is its athletics program. I’m glad to be on board for the ride.