I was mad on Saturday night. No, not just mad. Frustrated. Confused. Dejected.
I had been looking forward to this season ever since the "doink" bowl of last November and felt that this could be a season of change and turning a new page. In the offseason, Ron McBride had "alledgedly" sat down with Dr. Hill after his foray into the possibility of coaching Hawaii and apparently ironed out their differences with Hill giving McBride certain areas that the team needed to improve on, one of which- Not losing to inferior opponents (BSU, for example).
Everything the Utes had done up to this point had been almost picture perfect. They were beating up opponents (albeit bad ones), limiting mistakes and costly turnovers, and the best part, no stupid penalties. They looked to be cruising in fifth gear at this juncture of the season. Most of us on this board (I think) looked forward to riding into Colorado Springs with a 5-0 record, and it appeared as though it would happen.
Until last Saturday night.
Before I posted a message after the geame in sheer agony, going for McBride's jugular, I wanted to let things settle for a day or two before I went off on some vengeful tirade (no offense to those who did).
But the funny thing is, I can't help but coming to the conclusion that this team needs a change from the top down. IMHO, the only person(s) that should be retained are Kyle and Fred Sr. The defense this year has played up to par and have literally kept the Utes in games. The first quarter of last Saturday's game was a mirage. BSU couldn't really do anything after that. It's just that the offense couldn't move the ball and the punting was pathetic, leaving BSU with great field position every time. All the Broncos had to do was get a 1st down or two and they would chip a FG. And that's just the Boise game. The defense has been stellar in all the other games as well.
Ron McBride is a good man. He is congenial, personable, and seems to be very passionate. But for some reason, he seems to be unable to convey certain things (listed above) to his players to improve upon. Maybe it's due to the fact that he's a "player's coach". I dunno. I do know that you do not allow your QB to substitute himself back into the game after he's been injured.
All I know is that this team is still not improving. Anasazi begged the question of "What's the next level?" below. The next level is consistent conference championships, meaningful bowl appearances (the Las Vegas and Humanitarian Bowls aren't), beating every team we should beat, and beating, on occasion, certain teams we shouldn't (when we get the chance-because we really haven't played anyone), and finally, being ranked on a regular basis. When was the last time we were in the top 25?
When things aren't changing, you look for a change. Right? McBride has been at Utah for 10 years, and aside from that blip on the radar (that would be the '94 season), Utah has been a 6-5, 7-4 team with one meaningless bowl victory over a subpar Arizona team (I was there, they weren't very good). Sure, we've had our fair share of All-Americans and first round picks that make fans and alumni proud. But who really cares about individual accolades? Football is a TEAM sport. If you care about individual success, go cheer on the Lady Utes gymastics team. I hear they're pretty good.
Rice-Eccles Stadium wasn't built to house 6-5 teams. McBride has done great things to get Utah football to where it's at. I, along with many others, don't feel he is the one to take Utah football to the next century. I would hope that at the end of the season, irregardless of what happens here on out (with the only exception of winning the MWC outright, no 4-way co-championships), that McBride is a big enough man to walk into Chris Hill's office with a signed resignation.
Until then, I will still attend and watch games and loyally cheer on the Utes. But I would hope that this time around, Dr. Hill realizes that this has been the final blow and that the team needs to move in a new direction.
Sidenote to Boise fans: Congratulations on your victory. Your team wanted it more. But stop coming over here questioning Ute fan's motives for wanting our coach replaced. You don't live here, you don't care about our team (other than last week) and you definetely cannot understand our frustration towards our coaching staff. Have a nice day and good luck the rest of the season.
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