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.