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Utah Utes football: With a win, magic may happen for U.

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  • Glenn A. Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 20, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    I don't care about 54-10, or overall SOS, or that Jon Hays is a questionable D-1 Quarterback. I don't care that if the Utes make the PAC-12 Championship Game, they're likely blowout fodder for the Ducks. I don't care that every other seemingly capable PAC-12 South team has done everything possible NOT to take the division. There are a lot of reasons to question the validity of the Utes' potential run to the PAC-12 Championship game, and I don't care. Ultimately, it's just been a blast to watch this team regroup during the season and give us Ute fans something to be excited for in late November. Other than 2004 and 2008, I can't think of a more entertaining/rewarding Utes' football season.

  • MN Ute SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 20, 2011 9:59 p.m.

    @Glenn A.

    I hear you, though I do have to say a few things:

    1. Hays has improved pretty well. In the second half of the game yesterday, he had some very nice passes. With a productive offseason, by the time next year rolls around, I give him pretty competitive chances against an unfortunately Fragile wynn (seriously, can we put Wynn's football brain into Hays' body?) and an incoming Travis Wilson.

    2. If we're given two weeks to prepare, we could potentially handle the ducks. Their strength is their agility and we're a quicker and better defense than USC, who managed to shut them down pretty well by forcing turnovers and controlling the pace.

    3. As for ASU and UCLA blowing up recently, remember to give credit to the teams who did it. Arizona, WSU, etc... are good teams that really have nothing to lose, which makes them terrifying and dangerous, whereas ASU and UCLA are wilting under the pressure, despite having so much talent (after the ASU game, I admit I'm a fan of Osweiller and thinks that he has a potentially bright NFL career, over 450 yds in yesterday's loss alone).

    3.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 20, 2011 10:07 p.m.

    We've got a great coaching staff and great players who showed they can battle through adversity and make positive things happen.

  • Denver Jazzman Parker, CO
    Nov. 20, 2011 10:26 p.m.

    Well said, Glenn A.

  • niners SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Nov. 20, 2011 10:55 p.m.

    Glenn A.
    Agreed! I don't think the 2004 or 2008 seasons were this entertaining at this point in the season. Those seasons we were wrapping up our undefeated campaigns with 30 point victories over the Y. I would much rather finish the season up with Oregon in the PAC championship and then a top tier bowl game.

  • nosaerfoecioveht NSL, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 12:10 a.m.

    Glenn,

    Totally agree brother. 2008 was even more entertaining at this point in the year, and surprised us by being the greatest football season any team has ever had in this state. But our Pac 12 membership has turned out to be pretty fun so far!

  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    Nov. 21, 2011 3:44 a.m.

    What wasn't mentioned is that if Utah loses to Colorado, UCLA is the representative in the title game regardless of the outcome of any other game. Arizona State could at best tie with UCLA and UCLA wins the head-to-head. But, if UCLA loses to USC and then loses to (most likely) Oregon in the title game, then they would be 6-7 overall and would not be bowl eligible. Could they end up losing bowl eligibility by playing in the title game?

    If Utah wins on Friday, that keeps both Utah and Arizona State alive. Utah will then need an Arizona State loss that night as Arizona State has both the head-to-head and the three-way tie breaker. Actually, UCLA loses the three-way if that happens and it then goes to a 2-way between Utah and Arizona State and ASU comes out on top.

    This is more fun and intriguing than in the MWC. And the consolation prize could be a $2 million bowl (Alamo, Holiday, or Sun).

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 4:34 a.m.

    The most amazing thing... there would have been no shot at the rose bowl, or even a very good bowl for that matter, had utah done the same thing in the MWC or with an independent schedule.

    Great move going to the PAC, and way to finish strong.

    GO UTES!

  • rj Moss, Norway
    Nov. 21, 2011 5:39 a.m.

    As a cougar fan still smarting from that 54-10 embarrassment, I have to admit that I'm pulling for the Utes to make it to the Pac-12 championship and win, for a couple reasons: 1. It would be fun to see someone overcome the mathematical odds. 2. It would highlight the imperfections of the BCS system (yet again) by placing (yet another) 4-loss team in a big game. Then I hope they get blown out of the Rose Bowl. ;)

  • Ute's R Gr8 Sandy, Utah
    Nov. 21, 2011 7:44 a.m.

    The Utes did GREAT with what they were given this season in regard to obstacles to over come. They never quiet! the never faltered but always stayed focused.

    The results was and is what Fall brings to us in the PAC12 college level Football and showing everyone, that the Utes belong and can play in the Big Leagues.

    GO UTES!

  • Ute Fan In Utah West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 8:31 a.m.

    Mike Johnson- UCLA would still be bowl eligible in that scenario. They just need 6 wins.

  • Honor Code Denver, Colorado
    Nov. 21, 2011 8:33 a.m.

    Utah should be grateful they're in the weaker conference of the PAC 12. Colorado is not that good.........and neither is Utah!!

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 8:49 a.m.

    I am always pulling for the Utes to do well in the PAC and hope they are able to pull it off. With the collapse of ASU and UCLA, I think it is likely that the Utes will end up in the PAC championship game. I also have to say that if that happens I would expect them to get completely blown out in that game. If they play against a good team in their bowl game, they could easily end the season with two blowout losses. It has been fun to watch but they have not been beating good teams the last few weeks. I would rather see them make a good showing in a lesser bowl game that see another one like last years Vegas bowl. I almost think I want ASU to beat CAL this Saturday.

  • Chiro Portland, OR
    Nov. 21, 2011 9:02 a.m.

    Life is great as a Utah fan:

    Best case: Utah plays at Oregon for the Pac-12 Championship.

    Worst cast: Utah plays Oklahoma in the Alamo bowl or Texas in the Holiday bowl.

    Either way Utah will finish 8-4 for their first year in the Pac-12, not bad!

    Our losses came with USC having to block a FG to beat us, and the other three losses came when Utah was breaking in a new QB. I do not play the what if game, I will live with: The best D in the conference and an overall 8-4 record and a chance to finish the season either 9-4(Holiday) or 10-4(best case, Rose Bowl).

    Love our new conference.............

  • Ibleedcrimson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    "Utah should be grateful they're in the weaker conference of the PAC 12. Colorado is not that good.........and neither is Utah!! "

    The difference is Utah isn't all that bad either, Colorado on the other hand is the epitome of bad.

  • CT98 Saint George, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 9:12 a.m.

    Love the title of this article!

  • bgl Santa Monica, CA
    Nov. 21, 2011 9:24 a.m.

    Honor Code--The Utes defeated your team 54-10. Your team quit during that game as did many of your fans. Now the Utes also had a low point of the season. But they never quit. They never slammed their helmets and hung their chins. Also, their fans never quit on them. Nobody ran away in masses during the third quarter of any game as your fans did against Utah.
    Learn from this, little brother. Watch and learn.

  • Utesby3 Sandy, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 9:40 a.m.

    Honor Code | 8:33 a.m. Nov. 21, 2011
    Denver, Colorado

    "Utah should be grateful they're in the weaker conference of the PAC 12. Colorado is not that good.........and neither is Utah!!"

    If Utah isn't that good, then BYU must be horrible. Enjoy your exciting November schedule.

  • hamrdown OREM, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 9:51 a.m.

    Sorry bgl, but I saw a lot of fans "quit" on Utah during the 4-game losing streak - including the loss to Washington. The stadium during that game was 1/2 empty at the start of the 4th quarter. And most of my co-workers who are Ute fans had thrown them under the bus after loss #3 of the losing streak. Now that they are winning again, those same fans are coming back out of the woodwork!

  • JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt Beverly Hills, CA
    Nov. 21, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    BYU fan, 30 years have passed and playing WAC teams no longer gets you anything. Go back to the shallow end of the pool. Still 54-10 and you just fumbled again.

  • Fletch1027 SHARPSBURG, GA
    Nov. 21, 2011 10:09 a.m.

    There has been a lot of Crimson colored glasses wearing when mocking BYU's cobbled together schedule, but before you mock too much about BYU not beating a team with a winning record, look inside your own program:

    7 wins:

    Mont. St (I-AA)
    BYU (8-3)
    Pitt (5-5)
    OSU (3-8)
    Arizona (3-8)
    UCLA (6-5)
    Wazoo (4-7)

    So, after USC dispatches with UCLA this weekend, the only thing keeping the Utes from the same distinction (not beating a team with a winning record) is BYU, whose wins you discredit as "bye weeks".

    This may be a magical season for the Utes - magic in that the magic comes from USC being ineligible for post season and the rotation being kind enough to allow you to avoid Stanford and Oregon this season...

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 10:10 a.m.

    With Oregon's second loss; the PAC-12 will be sending only one team to the BCS, therefore almost ending Utah's chance for the Alamo Bowl or Holiday Bowl. Makes it fun to watch all games of the conference this week. Good not to be Independent.

    If Utah makes it to the PAC-12 Championship, that will be the real bowl of the season. Go USC, Go Cal, Go Utah!

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    hamrdown didn't go to the Washington game. But, I did. The game was sold out and fans stayed to the end. Are you sure you weren't watching TV during the second quarter when the band leaves their seats to get ready for half time? Try going to a game, you will be surprised how fun it is.

  • Jared Average, SE
    Nov. 21, 2011 10:20 a.m.

    I hope you guys know that Honor Code is not a BYU fan. Honor Code is an anti-BYU troll (look at any of his/her/their comments on a BYU football story) who is posing as a BYU fan. It's enough to make your head explode.

    As a BYU fan, I'm rooting for Utah to play in the Pac-12 championship. What a great inaugural year in the Pac-12. It had its rough moments but despite that, Utah has improved rather than imploding. Utah is not a great football team this year - they are not bad but certainly can't be considered great. BYU is the same - not bad but certainly not that good. But that is beside the point; the point is that this is a feasible scenario. Regardless of whether or not the Utes make it to the championship game, there is still much to be proud about for the season.

  • Portland Beavers SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 10:21 a.m.

    Glenn A

    The only people that think the Utes are "blowout fodder" for the Ducks, are Y fans and people who really don't know the game. It's a great thing even Oregon and Stanford have to go another week before they know who is in from the north. It has been a "blast", Utah is in the PAC-12 with a chance to go better games, better bowls and have a fan base that can really look forward to the following week.

    The Y has also had a good year but have nothing to really play for. It was thier choice, now they have to live with it (Hellicopter Bowl)
    So sad that there are just a few jeolus Y fans that have to comment so negatively about the U. BYU fans just remember what Lee Corso said on ESPN Game Day, and then move on and support your team don't simply get on here and tell us how bad the Utes are, they are better than U

  • Golfhack20 West Jordan, Ut
    Nov. 21, 2011 10:33 a.m.

    I am really getting tired of the Bandwagon Fans, Stadium size garbage!! If you go to the games you see that people leave early to get on Trax or they want to beat the rush of fans leaving at the same time. The Jazz, Real Salt Lake, BYU or UTAH fans all do it. Don't sit here and tell us it's only Utah Bandwagon fans. The fans can leave when they want or come when they want. This is the home of the free!!! Get over yourself and stop discounting fans for leaving early or whenever they leave. Cheer for your teams but remember to be respectful of your opponents!!!

  • JosephMother Farmington, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    Newsflash Ute fans: Honor Code is not a BYU fan.

    Funny how if you say something even remotely critical of Utah, you must be a Ute-hating BYU fan. Thin-skinned much?

  • 10of17 Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 10:54 a.m.

    This is why you wait until things play out over the course of a season before you evaluate teams and write articles and host radio shows asking whether a team is in over their head. Even Kyle was guilty of this when he said the division was a "done deal" after the ASU game. I didn't believe the Utes had much of a chance but I knew they had a "Lloyd Christmas" chance. Which is why I was suprised that Kyle said that when they were not yet mathematically eliminated(I'm sick enough to have known that when he made that statement). Maybe that attitude is what contributed to the poor effort at Cal. Thankfully, they rectified it afterwards, the momentum has built and the odds have been beaten to this point with the things out of their control. Just three more positive results to go and the miracle is complete.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    Utah and USC win, AState too, putting the Utes in a lesser bowl. Utah 27-Colorado 10 my predict this week. Chase Hansen is a great high school qb, but as with Jake Heaps, college is a different game, hope he can make the next step for the Utes. Go cougars.

  • govt rocks Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    Cowboy Dude: It is almost a certainty that the Pac 12 will send 2 teams if Oregon beats OSU and Standford beats Notre Dame. Stanford is ranked 4th in the current BCS poll and will likely move ahead of the loser between LSU and Arkansas. So that would put Stanford (assuming they beat Notre Dame) and the PAC 12 chamionship game winner into the BCS.

  • PAC12Fan South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 11:04 a.m.

    The worst they could do (assuming we beat Colorado) is the Sun Bowl.
    The best we could do is Rose Bowl.
    We'll probably end up playing Texas in the Holiday Bowl.

    That is the difference between non qualifier and belonging to a good conference. Every game counts and the teams are rewarded heavily for a decent season. At 8-4 in the MWC, we would be playing a crummy bowl like the Armed Forces Bowl. The Bowl payout for each team in our conference (including the championship game) is around 3 million whether one makes a bowl game or not. That's double the MWC receives in total pay out for the season.

  • 9er4life Provo, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 11:10 a.m.

    This is why being in a BCS conference does for you. Being 8-4 can give you a chance at the Rose. Life is good.

  • abejones SCOTT DEPOT, WV
    Nov. 21, 2011 11:17 a.m.

    PAC South? WAC with mud flaps and squirrel tail.

  • KamUte South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 11:21 a.m.

    I believe the fan base is maturing at Utah. We are a relatively new, inexperienced fan base in that most of our success has occurred from McBride forward.

    I noticed that our fans travel very well as they are buying up all the seats made available from the schools.

    Also, our fans are not bailing out in groves like the BYU fans do when their team is getting blown out. I was proud while Washington was handing it to us after 5 turnovers, most of our fans stuck around.

    I worked for a company out of Knoxville for almost five years and was able to see how they do in the SEC. Most fans stay with the team throughout. It is more than just team pride, it has to do with where you live, your state, community and the pride you have. When the fans leave, they shake hands and look forward to the next opportunity. If you win at least 6 in a good confernece, you have a chance at playing a decent opponent in a decent bowl.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 11:28 a.m.

    Had the U come out on top of the USC game things would be looking pretty "rosy" right now. I think this has been a good year for the U - solid member of the PAC 12. No problem knocking off Colorado - a terrible team. USC will destroy UCLA so Cal and Ari St. will be the big game to watch for the U.

  • Razoo Toquerville, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 11:51 a.m.

    Okay, Okay, Okay...
    I'm a big BYU fan, but I've decided a couple of things. Playing in a conference is great! It gives lots of meaning to November & December games. I really wish BYU had a conference to play in and for! You can knock the Utes a million ways to Sunday, but you can't knock their exciting conference possibilities. The scenario looks more than possible, but for California and Arizona State, but far stranger things have happened. Yes, the win over Washington State was as close to a miracle as I've seen in awhile. Don't care though, they figured out a way to win! I'll say it... GO UTES! Especially kudos to John Hays for overcoming his adversity, kicker too after last game, and the coaching staff for getting the most out of their team and for the team never giving up on themselves. They've done themselves proud for their 1st yer in the PAC-12.

  • Magna Ute Fan Magna, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 11:53 a.m.

    Remember those dreadful days in the MWC when a single loss meant that all of the excitement for the season was over? After going to two BCS games it was BCS or bust. But now the intrigue and excitement lasts all season long.

    It's a great time to be a Ute!

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 12:05 p.m.

    Fletch1027 -

    Your comment is so ridiculously skewed and/or uninformed.
    Saying Utah's opponents and their not so gaudy records compare to the not so gaudy of BYU's opponents is plain silly. Have you compared the schedules of those opponents? Do you think Idaho's schedule comes close to measuring up against Colorado's schedule that was ranked the most difficult schedule in the country?
    Come on, let's get real.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Nov. 21, 2011 12:20 p.m.

    Don't be surprised if Hays comes out strong in a bowl game. He still hasn't had much time in the Ute system. With 3-4 more weeks of practicing in December as the number 1 quarterback preparing for only a single opponent, I think you will see a vastly improved Hays in the bowl.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 12:29 p.m.

    rj,

    Even if the BCS folds the Rose Bowl will always be the PAC 12 champ vs the Big 10 champ. No one in their right mind is advocating doing away with that match up. Actually, some talk right now among BCS pundits is to have the BCS put together the national championship game only and let all the other major bowls go back to their traditional matchups. That keeps the Rose Bowl in the PAC 12 vs Big 10 lineup and it allows for the other big bowls to pick some at large teams of their choosing which probably means that the PAC 12 gets two teams into the big bowls most years.

    PS. I saw something funny while watching college football in prime time on Saturday night. The ticker at the bottom of the screen was going through the scores for the various conferences and when the ticker came to the WAC it mentioned BYU vs New Mexico State and the score. Anyone in the nation would think that BYU was a member of the WAC. So much for exposure. LOL

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    Nov. 21, 2011 12:45 p.m.

    C'mon Buffs....

  • NORCALUTE MoTown, CA
    Nov. 21, 2011 12:54 p.m.

    This season has really been the most pationate exciting season of Ute football in the last 20 years...the intro into PAC 12, the loss of Wynn, the crusher over BYU, the four losses, and now, a real chance to walk into the Rose Bowl...man, I love Ute Football! -- Go Utes!

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 2:22 p.m.

    "Utah Utes football: With a win, magic may happen for U."
    ===

    It's exciting to see Austin Collie quoted on the title of a U article.

  • lvsportsfan Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 21, 2011 2:40 p.m.

    good job utes! are you now firm believers that when you live right off of the field magic can happen?

  • Ibleedcrimson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 3:25 p.m.

    "With Oregon's second loss; the PAC-12 will be sending only one team to the BCS, therefore almost ending Utah's chance for the Alamo Bowl or Holiday Bowl. Makes it fun to watch all games of the conference this week. Good not to be Independent."

    Oregon owns the tie breaker against Stanford so they will have the PAC North bid unless they lose to OSU, highly unlikely.

    Stanford has Notre Dame left, if they win they will be get an at large BCS bid with an 11 and 1 record.

    If Utah wins Friday, regardless of what happens with the PAC South they will have the inside edge for the Alamo, they are riding a 5 game winning streak into the bowl season, while ASU, Washington and UCLA have all tanked in the second half of the season.

  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    Nov. 21, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    >>>Mike Johnson- UCLA would still be bowl eligible in that scenario. They just need 6 wins.

    Ute Fan In Utah, since I posted this, I have seen some debate about this online, such as on the ESPN website with posters taking both positions.

    The rule is very clear, 6 wins are required with 12 games and 7 with 13 games. There are only two legal ways to have 13 games--conference championship games and the Hawaii rule.

    I wonder if a 6-6 UCLA loses the championship game and goes 6-7 if they will be in a bowl. The only way that happens is if both Utah and UCLA lose. I hope we don't find out for sure what happens.

  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    Nov. 21, 2011 4:19 p.m.

    Kenneth Massey has computed probabilities of the remaining Pac-12 games as follows:

    Colorado 6% at Utah
    California 30% at Arizona State
    USC 92% at UCLA
    Oregon State 1% at Oregon
    Notre Dame 15% at Stanford
    La.-Lafayette 16% at Arizona
    Washington State 24% at Washington

    If so, that gives Utah a 26% chance of being in the title game, Arizona State a 60% chance (emerging from a 3-way tie), and UCLA a 14% chance.

    Utah needs to execute, that is the only thing in our control. Keep control of the ball, give it to White, and play great defense. None of this matters if we don't beat Colorado, which despite its record is a lot better team then the parade seen in LaVell Edwards Stadium of late.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 4:28 p.m.

    poyman from Oregon;
    I'm sure everyone in Oregon is rooting for the Buffs. AZ State looks like an easier game for you.

  • IdaUte GARDEN CITY, ID
    Nov. 21, 2011 4:28 p.m.

    There is another small problem... the BCS rule in regards to non-AQ teams (Houston) and how they become automatic qualifiers:
    B. Such team is ranked in the top 16 of the final BCS Standings and its ranking in the final BCS Standings is higher than that of a champion of a conference that has an annual automatic berth in one of the BCS bowls.

    hmmmm, the plot thickens...

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 4:49 p.m.

    IdaUte "There is another small problem... the BCS rule in regards to non-AQ teams (Houston) and how they become automatic qualifiers:" "hmmmm, the plot thickens..."

    That's bad news since Houston already beat UCLA. Any winner in the PAC-12 South could get knocked out.

    For the first time in my life I'm going to cheer against a non-AQ team. But, it feels dirty. Go Tulsa!

  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    Nov. 21, 2011 5:03 p.m.

    From Ted Miller's blog on ESPN:

    "At 6-7 and losers of the Pac-12 championship game, the Bruins still would require a waiver from the NCAA to play in a bowl game, one that the NCAA likely wouldn't grant if there were winning teams not getting bowl invitations."

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Nov. 21, 2011 11:55 p.m.

    @Honest Abe

    "PAC South? WAC with mud flaps and squirrel tail."

    Funniest comment of the day! ROFL

  • Andy Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 22, 2011 9:07 a.m.

    I really love being in the PAC-12. It is so nice to have respected opponents come in week in and week out.

    I love the fact that the boards aren't as filled with stupid comments about BYU. The focus on the game shows more respect for the game and the program.

    I love the fact that our season still matters -- we could be playing in the ROSE BOWL in January even though we didn't have an undefeated season. HOW COOL IS THAT.

    Major props to the Coaches. This team was headed for a tough stretch and they were able to put a game plan in place that maximized the skill the team offered. Simply amazing.

    GO UTES!!

  • Kankles Miami, Florida
    Nov. 22, 2011 10:28 a.m.

    Playing big boy football in November challenging for a division title. That's what it's all about.