A-Rod is a bad coach, no doubt, but the blame for A-Rod's failures lay at Whittingham's feet. And really has anything changed during Whitt's tenure that makes you think that it's anything other than Whitt's fault? All evidence, historically, points to Whittingham for this, whether it's the OC carousal, the lack of recruiting for key offensive positions, the moving of players from offense to defense, or the failure to address the offensive ineptitude (across the board) over the last 6 years. Don't blame A-Rod for being inept at as OC, he shouldn't even be in the position he's in, blame Whitt for putting him in that position.
As for Whittingham and his past achievements (and failures), I commend the guy for all he's done as a Ute coach the last 3 decades, I thank him for things like the 2008 season and Sugar Bowl win, carrying on the success after Urban enough that it got us to this point....a Pac-12 team that is competitive. It's not like we're a doormat, something Colorado or WSU have been for most year, we win games as much or more often than we lose games. But this is the peak we'll see from this team with Whittingham at the helm, it takes something special (and sometimes extreme luck) from the head coach to lead a team to a Pac-12 championship and, IMO, Whittingham doesn't have "IT". I don't know what "IT" is, I don't know how you quantify or measure "IT" so a program can identify a coach that has "IT" to bring aboard and lead the football program. I've watched enough Pac-12 football in my life to know that it is exceedingly hard to win the conference and it takes a special coach to do so. Whittingham will always be a coach that wins a majority of the games, but always loses at least one or two games a year his team has no business losing. He'll offset that by winning a game or two a year he probably shouldn't win, but in the end that's not good enough to win this conference.
Just as Coach Mac was for the Utes in the 90's/early 00's WAC/MWC, Whitt is for the Utes now in the Pac-12. Mac always was able to lead the Utes to solid seasons, brought us out of irrelevance and made us competitive in the conference. He lacked "IT" though, what was needed to take the team above and beyond to the highest level of success possible. He made way for a guy who had "IT" and took the Utes to that level of success, then Whitt stepped in and repeated that. But that was at the MWC level and it hasn't translated to the next level and I don't believe it ever will, historical evidence supports my position.
Of course there will be people who say "this is the best we can hope for" in terms of coaches, that there is no better option out there, that the Utes will not be able to bring on a coach to lead them the higher levels. There were, of course, a lot of fans who said the same thing 15 years ago when we had vastly inferior resources and funding. So yes, moving past Whitt is a big chance, the team could regress into a doormat and never come close to a Pac-12 championship. But with Whitt as a coach they'll always be a team that is competitive, though never great.
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