Future of Utah Football

I was nervous going into the game last night. Got stuck at work on call and missed the game. Frantically checked my phone once I could and wasn’t too surprised to see the score.

Tough loss and from what I have read here and other places the better team won.

It has been a great season overall. Most seasons each game is a heart attack inducing gut clenching finish. It was really nice this year to blow most teams - USC excluding - out and be coasting to the end.

This season did a lot for Utah football. Nice to be included in the playoff conversation. The loss last night will probably negate some of the good will but hopefully enough will remain to help the team going forward.

A few thoughts about the team going forward:

  1. Recruiting: Something has to change. Utah does more with less valued recruits than just about anyone. We need either a new recruiting coordinator/marketing team or something to improve recruiting. O-Line is in a HUGE NEED. Ohio state, Oregon have huge powerful O-lines. You see what they can do. D-Line has been pretty strong each year but needs to continuously improve. Skill positions: WR/QB/RB/DBs hard to replace some of these guys, QB will be the biggest question mark. We need to be better at recruiting top talent. Sorry, the small market excuse doesn’t work. I think it is more about brand, expectation and how they are recruited. Tuscaloosa is a small market yet Alabama somehow recruits everyone. Obviously market size has less to do with it than the brand. Alabama is a huge brand with a legacy, we don’t have that and something needs to change.

  2. Coaching: Whitt is a solid, respected, winning coach. Hard to argue against that. If our expectation is to challenge for PAC12 south every few years, win the PAC12 every decade or two then he is probably our guy. He is resistant to change and wants to play his brand of football regardless of what the other team does. If you have the players to maul the other team that can work. If they game plan against it and you don’t, you lose. Ludwig has been stellar this year, not sure what happened last night, maybe it was just the truth. Our offense works when Huntley has time and they can run effectively. Stop the run and rush the passer and our skill guys aren’t up to a level to make a play. Scalley outside of the USC game and perhaps last night has been excellent as well. Maybe these guys are the best we can hope for. We had a great season. It just seems that the elite coaches are willing to make adjustments. Maybe they do and we don’t see it. On the bright side, all of the discussions about Scalley and Ludwig looking at HC jobs may be premature after a loss on national TV.

Great season overall, I know there is a bowl game to come but right now I have a sour taste in my mouth. A win last night would have done huge things for the program. Hopefully the loss didn’t take too much positivity away.

GO UTES

August 2019

Man from the future: The Utes will go 11-2, be in the top 5 and in consideration for the CFP, only to lose to USC and to Oregon in the PAC-12 championship. You’ll steamroll everyone else.

Utah fans: That sounds awesome! I’ll take it! That’s more than I could wish for!

December 2019

Utah Fans: Well, futureman was right. Should we get rid of Whit?

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That being said, this was a bitter loss. I can only imagine how the team is feeling. But really for me as I try to gain some perspective on this - this was as fun of a regular season as we have ever had. It is just too bad that the consolation prize this year should have been the Rose Bowl but is the Alamo bowl. This outcome was the equivalent of, “Win and you get a new car! Lose and you get 20% off at Bed Bath and Beyond.”

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Overall the season has been a huge success. And I’m a realistic Ute Fan. I don’t expect to compete for a NC on any regular basis, if ever. I personally would love to see the team make the Rose Bowl, at some point.

Great season, tough loss. Hopefully the team will “Rising” to the occasion next year?

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Truth is, and maybe why this stings so much… is this season showed us we COULD compete for a NC. Granted that is an incredibly hard thing to do and so many things have to go right just for that to happen, but until about 18 hours ago it was a possibility. I never would have believed you if you told me this 20 years ago.

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Something Utah has to consider is hiring the very best coaching staff they can that is more known for recruiting (maybe 3 guys). Right now on 247 rankings of recruiting coaches Utah’s highest rated coach is Sharrieff Shah the Cornerbacks Coach and he’s ranked 318. I know people say it’s tough to recruit to Utah but you’ve proved even with 3* and below talent you can win the Pac 12 South and make a run to the CFP.

Oregon had 27th, 19th, 13th & 7th classes versus the Utah 37th, 33rd, 33rd and 42nd classes nationally. Talent disparity is huge between 1-25 classes and 30+. Utah has to figure out how to get the recruits because this system and how they develop players is not broken. They just need the dudes t develop.

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I think we can improve recruiting quite a bit, but I’ll also note that as we have in the past, Utah’s recruiting classes don’t quite reflect accurately what is happening because of sign-and-sends/missionaries and typical late season additions.

Well, the fact that the staff loses guys like Noah Sewell is tough. You have to lock down the local 5*.

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There is still the allure of teams like Oregon and USC over Utah. A CFP appearance would have gone a looong way to curing that.

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recruiting needs to make a huge step up. Utah has proven what it can do with “lesser” talent, I realize some guys just want to leave state or play for a USC/Oregon/Alabama. But we need to do everything we can to prevent that. We need better recruiters!

To be fair Oregon has great facilities and has been to a National Championship and only cracked the Top 10 once in the past 4 years. Neither team has had very steady leadership at the helm while Utah has had a rock in the HC position. If the facility at Utah is equal you are almost there. Salt Lake City has great business opportunity for athletes who attend post playing career. I think the future is bright at Utah. Losing is a learning experience. Not a killer.

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That and steal a few top recruits from areas where you typically don’t recruit.

Edit: Also, steal any top recruit from the TDS. There is zero reason they are an option over Utah.

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I’m trying to think of a top recruit that has chosen BYU over Utah in recent memory. I’m drawing blanks. (I’m speaking of a head to head both teams wanted the kid thing - not recruiting misses).

I know there is some OL from Colorado I read both of you have offered but I don’t know the specifics. I think he’s an LDS kid.

I agree about the brand. Our brand took a hit last night.

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OK, Noah’s brother winning the Outland Trophy. Still not sure how that guy ends up in Eugene over SLC.

Oregon, USC and UW recruit at the top of the conference, Utah does not. Not sure why that is a surprise.

That’s like asking why a kid chose Georgia over Ole Miss.

You can claim a lot of things, but no, being realistic is not one of them after your first post. It’s okay to be disappointed in how the team played in the championship game, but a “realistic” Utah fan would not imply that it’s a time for a change in the coaching staff. Sorry.

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But, many kids choose Ole Miss over UGA.

top recruit in Utah high school for 2020 is also committed to Oregon.

Not shocking, unless you haven’t followed local recruiting here for the past 15 years