We've talked a lot here about how rough it is in the Pac-12 to recruit against everyone else. At Utah, we are recruiting against universally better weather (except Wazzu and maybe CU), better academics, and some of the best locations in the world. We also are competing against facilities that are just as nice if not nicer than ours. But last night illustrated one thing that we have over many Pac-12 schools -- atmosphere.
The game was just as important to Cal as it was for us. They are on the bubble. But look at their crowd. Their gym (can't even call it an arena, though it has been beautifully renovated recently) wasn't very full. The crowd didn't seem into the game. Can you imagine what it would have been like at the Huntsman if the game were played there? Utah fans would show up and be loud for a team trying to play their way onto the bubble.
To some extent, I think the same holds true for football. For example, Stanford has a top 10 team, a great new stadium, and the atmosphere and crowd at RES is flat out much better. We have a good crowd and by and large enthusiastic fans. Sure Utah fans are late all of the time and somewhat fickle, but for good games and in big moments they show up. Playing at RES or the Huntsman is a great college atmosphere. That is one reason a recruit may choose Utah over places like Cal, ASU, USC or even UCLA.
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