The Utah brand

As someone posted, our only hope is to continue doing what we’re doing, eventually start winning the big games, and then maybe our brand will improve. We are already getting better players.

Salt Lake City’s image is part of the recruiting problem, but I can tell you it is a far different town than the one I left in 1982. It reminds me more of Boulder or Berkeley than the city where I grew up. I don’t know how long it will take for that new reality to come through.

If you don’t think that can happen, I have a one-word response for you: Tucson. Let’s just say Tucson is not an attractive town, and yet UA tracts five-star basketball players, because of the brand they have developed. I think we can develop such a brand, but it’s going to take a while.

Whittingham is the horse we are riding, and we can’t change. He will be with us until he retires. We will continue to play the style of game he stubbornly adheres to, as long as he is here. Yes, it is probably a smart formula for Utah, given our resources and current reputation. But will it ever win the big ones? All we can do is hope that he will eventually succeed, and that his teams will not continue to inexplicably blow big games on national TV.

I personally don’t buy the idea that against Oregon we were simply outmatched in terms of talent. Vegas didn’t think so; I don’t think we should think so. For some reason, something psychological happened last night, and our weaknesses (o-line) came to the fore. We also had a bunch of bad breaks with injuries, crucial bad calls (the non-targeting calls). Still, this was a team that until this game did well in the face of adversity. I think the loss was a mental one.

We were hopelessly outmatched OL v their DL. No idea why.

Here is a song to remember in times like this:

With the CFP in the line, all the pressure was on Utah. Oregon was likely going to the Rose Bowl either way, so they had nothing to lose.

Felt like they came out loose and fast, while our entire team was playing tight and scared. Surprising, given the strong senior leadership we’ve had all year, but pressure does funny things to player’s heads sometimes.

I do a fair amount of recruitment from other markets within my company to our SLC office. I can tell you it is night and day better than it was even 5 years ago. There is still a bit of a stigma but usually overcome with a visit to the market.


But their defensive line is not that good. Neither is our offensive line, but it should have been a match of two mediocre lines against one another. Instead, Oregon looks like all Americans and we look like idiots.

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Absolutely right. What puzzles me is that this team has been there before - 12 months ago. Yes, then only the Rose Bowl was in sight (“only” the Rose Bowl!), and this time it was the CFP. I’m just puzzled. Maybe the level of hype was so high that the guys just couldn’t stand it.

But, they had the best DL recruit from last year. He took over a game. Talent won that match up.


It’s also easier to be a great defender when you are allowed to target.

Oregon is legitimately good and brought their A game with a chip on their shoulder for being overlooked all week by basically everyone. Utah did not respect their opponent, in my opinion, and just showed up. The Utes definitely did not bring their A game. All the mistakes being the primary evidence. Once they were socked in the mouth, they couldn’t overcome the surprise and handle the challenge.

The Utes were beat soundly in pretty much every position and aspect of the game, but trench war losses were the most obvious (on both sides of the ball). Still, they battled to within one score but the subsequent long TD run was the back breaker. That was Oregon Utah-ing Utah. Run the ball, tire out the defense, and late in the 2nd half the OL and run game gets stronger.


I agree with you generally, but I am not ever going to buy into the idea that we had no chance in this game. We could’ve and should’ve won.


I agree. We play them 10 times we win 6. This was one of the four we lose.


Don’t get me wrong, I think we definitely could have won it… but the mental game was off and that was the biggest difference. And Oregon was on.

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Yes, and maybe one of the one in 30 that we get blown out.

I agree completely. Is that a collective psychology thing? Do the coaches have any responsibility? I’m not sure that’s knowable, but I do wonder.

I’ve brought this up on the recruiting sites, but IMO, we are able to recruit well at every position except the Oline. We do a good job at development, but the difference in talent at that position is a problem. This year that was compounded by a lack of experience. But we need to start winning a few battles for high level talent at that position.


Sure… everyone has responsibility in a team game. Looking at those shots of the sidelines early in the 2nd(!!!) quarter where guys had blank stares, slouched shoulders, and otherwise generally bleak body language makes one wonder why resigned so early with so much game left to play?

My interpretation is that they believed in the formula the media was spinning for how they could make the playoffs: they needed not only to win, but to dominate. And it wasn’t a question of winning, but whether they would dominate enough and have a large enough margin of victory to get into the playoff.

However, in the early second quarter when they were not only NOT dominating but being dominated… well, that was like they had already lost their chance at the playoff. Obviously I don’t know for sure, but seems like it could fit. 3rd quarter was great and like they had re-focused on just getting the W, but could not complete the rally. And Oregon did not falter in their own psychological game as the score narrowed.

Team games are very much about trust not only in one’s own ability to perform, but in teammates (and coaches) as well. Confidence (or lack of) is contagious. As is arrogance. The line between the two is thin.

Anyway, until proven otherwise, media hype is Ute kryptonite.



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Don’t start with the ref excuses, those borderline non malicious targets were not what cost Utah this game. Oregon beat us straight up.


Yep. One team showed up more than ready to play. For whatever reason the other team didn’t.

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That Oregon team playing the way they did last Night beats any team in the nation.

And the Oregon team who played ASU and WSU would get pounded

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