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Red roundup: Pundits weigh in on Utes' Pac-12 prospects

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  • Itchy Lehi, UT
    June 9, 2011 10:56 a.m.

    I don't think anyone really knows how the Utes will do in the Pac-12. I'm cautiously optimistic, although I wouldn't be surprised if they struggle a bit next year. In any case it should be a lot of fun. Go Utes!

  • billybubba South Jordan, UT
    June 9, 2011 11:05 a.m.

    the new mexico bowl this is great and something to lookforward to yahooo

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    June 9, 2011 11:05 a.m.

    Also, Vegas odds have the Utes winning the South Division AND tied for second over all in the PAC12.

    Yes...it sound like doormates to me

  • bigsoccer Syracuse, UT
    June 9, 2011 11:10 a.m.

    Athlon has BYU ranked 34th in the country, seems to me, BYU is a little more respected.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    June 9, 2011 11:13 a.m.

    So the odds of utah appearing in either the vegas bowl or the new mexico bowl are very high this year, provided they actually make it to a bowl game. Oh the irony. LOL!

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    June 9, 2011 11:18 a.m.

    It's an exciting time to be a Ute. Yes, there is some uncertainty, but that's also part of the excitement. We finally get to do what we've been saying we can do and want to do. It will take a year or two for the analysts to figure out where we belong in the PAC-12. I'm not expecting us to win the Southern division, but I expect us to do well.

  • BaneOfHedgehog Bothell, WA
    June 9, 2011 11:34 a.m.

    Athlon is generous to the Utes.

  • gonefishn Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2011 11:37 a.m.

    Athlon's #48 is followed by the sentimet that if the rb and db units play well the Ute's will be in the Pac 12 south title hunt. Way to go out on a limb athlon! Is the sun going to come up in the east and set in the west too?

  • cheeseman187 Costa Mesa, CA
    June 9, 2011 11:39 a.m.

    Also, Vegas odds have the Utes winning the South Division AND tied for second over all in the PAC12.

    Yes...it sound like doormates to me
    -----------------------
    2nd overall in the PAC? HAHAHA

  • crowntown1 Corona, CA
    June 9, 2011 11:43 a.m.

    BYU fans don't you get tired of running your pre season hype smack? YOu always end up in Las Vegas or whatever.

  • Ravenal Somewhere in, Utah
    June 9, 2011 12:01 p.m.

    Unlike my fellow cougars, I think the Utes will be in the top half of the league most years. USC is the dominant team in their division but with them ineligible for post-season, Utah has a realistic chance at the Pac-12 title game. I wish them luck.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    June 9, 2011 12:10 p.m.

    cheesman,
    Vegas odds:

    To Win The Pac-12:
    Oregon +175
    Stanford +250
    Utah +250
    Arizona State +650
    Oregon State +650
    Arizona +800
    Washington +1000
    California +1500
    UCLA +1500
    Colorado +1800
    Washington State +7500

    To Win the Pac-12 South:
    Utah Utes +175
    Arizona St. Sun Devils +200
    Arizona Wildcats +250
    UCLA Bruins +650
    Colorado Buffaloes +800

  • gonefishn Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2011 12:29 p.m.

    Duckhunter,
    It is more than amusing to hear you mock the Utes bowl tie ins when you consider BYU will play in the Bell Hellicopter Bowl or is the Fighting Hunger Bowl? I cannot remember? Even if you win, you lose.

  • bigsoccer Syracuse, UT
    June 9, 2011 12:32 p.m.

    I can't wait to watch Utah in the New Mexico bowl in upcoming seasons, its going to be great to get to watch them on ESPN for maybe the 2nd time all season.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    June 9, 2011 12:44 p.m.

    @gonefshn

    Obviously the irony escapes you. Have fun in Albuquerque.

  • govt rocks Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    I am cautiously optimistic about Utah. I am very anxious to see how the offense comes out to start the season. So happy that I do not have to watch New Mexico, Wyoming or UNLV on a weekly basis.

  • gonefishn Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2011 1:20 p.m.

    Duckhunter
    I do not think you understand the definition of irony? In the MWC the #1 goes to vegas bowl unless you go undefeated. In the pac 12 it is the #5 / #6 team that goes to vegas but you have the posibility of playing in the rose, alamo, holiday or sun if you finish higher. Irony? more like an incredible opportunity!

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    June 9, 2011 1:41 p.m.

    @gonefishen

    Oh no I understand it perfectly. When utah is playing in either the vegas or new mexico bowls this year, if they even make it to a bowl, the irony of it will perhaps not be beyond your comprehension. Considering that utah's chances of a bcs bowl are slim to none they will more than likely appear in one of those bowls. Since BYU is not in the MWC neither the vegas bowl or the new mexico even applies to them.

    Of course the irony is utah "fans" like yourself telling us how going to the pac10 was going to get you out of playing in the vegas bowl, the new mexico bowl or playing on versus but now all 3 are your reality.

    It is a beautiful bit of irony. LOL!

  • Duckhunter Hunter Alpine, UT
    June 9, 2011 2:03 p.m.

    I'm not putting too much weight in what Athlon predicts. In fact, I'm not giving their prediction a second thought. I looked at last year's preaseason top 25 and it wasn't very accurate (and previous years haven't been that accurate either).

    That being said, with changes in conference (opponents), personnel, coaching, and schemes I think Utah will finish this year at either 7-5 or 6-6. Any wins above 7 will be a resounding success. Arizona State will win the South, not Utah.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2011 2:10 p.m.

    As an independent, BYU depends on their opponents having good seasons. If they beat Utah, but the Utes finish last in the Pac 12, then it doesn't look like much of a win. If they beat Texas, but Texas finishes the season 7-5, then it doesn't look like much of a win.
    They'll still play it up though "Sure Ole Miss finished last in the SEC, but we beat an SEC team. The SEC! You know, like Alabama! We are Alabama-good!" The national polls won't buy it.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 9, 2011 2:24 p.m.

    I've always had a lot of respect for Athlon Sports. They spend a lot more time doing their own research on the teams.

    hedgie;
    before you pat yourself on the back too hard(maybe hurting yourself)all the games actually have to be played, you know, on the field. Victories must be earned my prickely little friend.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    June 9, 2011 2:38 p.m.

    "I've always had a lot of respect for Athlon Sports. They spend a lot more time doing their own research on the teams."

    TJ,

    You might want to try the most unbiased source out there - Vegas baby. Simply the most reliable predictor going. You need only look at how Vegas ranked Auburn and TCU (last year) in comparision to biased sports writers.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, Utah
    June 9, 2011 3:48 p.m.

    hedgehog,

    If Vegas's predictions are as good as your predictions or Chris B.'s predictions, then you can expect the Utes to finish in the bottom half of their division.

    By the way, did you think that Vegas's predictions might change at all in the next 4 months? Pre-season polls are the least accurate of all the polls out there.

  • nottyou Riverton, UT
    June 9, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    I would rather be a BYU fan and cheer them on in the Magna Bowl, than be a Utah fan and cheer them on in a BCS game. I have been, and will continue to be a BYU fan and season ticket holder. The majority of the Ute fans, as soon as the poundings from PAC10.2 opponents come (and they will come), will bail on the Utes. Mark it down.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2011 4:28 p.m.

    Rose Bowl 2011.

    Mark it Down - Vegas already has.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    June 9, 2011 4:39 p.m.

    @wedgie

    So were you consulting the vegas bookies when you predicted 36 losses for BYU in basketball last year? Or was that just wishful thinking?

  • TheHailstorm South Weber, UT
    June 9, 2011 5:39 p.m.

    Nice.. a share of the 7 bowl game revenues.
    BYU did really well with Utah winning the two BCS games. BYU came out 1.5 million dollars richer from the MWC conference schools share of the Ute bowl games in '04 and '08 and did it without so much as a thank you from the blue bloods. They were better off financially by Utah playing those two BCS bowl games. Despite the crude tantrums and degrading comments that continue today from some of their fans, I am sure that someone in the athletic department down in Utah County was happy to take the cash.

  • Swoop Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2011 6:15 p.m.

    With a wounded QB who was awful against decent teams last season, no experience at running back or wide receiver, and a thin offensive line, a #48 ranking by Athlon is generous.

  • wardu Fallon, NV
    June 9, 2011 6:30 p.m.

    I am very confident that the u will do quite poorly in the new PAC 10.2

    One of the "cupcakes" on this season's schedule for anyone that plays them.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    June 9, 2011 8:35 p.m.

    Duckhunter:

    If the cougars are bowl eligible, the best they will do is play in a $750K bowl game. Period. Whether they go 12-0 or 6-6, it's a lower-tiered nobody-cares bowl in Ft. Worth vs. an also-ran C-USA team that nobody cares about either.

    If the Utes are bowl eligible, the worst that we'll do is play in a $750K bowl game vs. a MWC team. MWC > C-USA. The next step up for us would be the Kraft Fight Hunger bowl, which pays the Pac-12 representative $900K. And that's the only bowl game the Pac-12 is contracted to that's below $1 million.

    Since every preseason publication and media prediction places the Utes at no lower than 3rd in the South, and no lower than 7th overall, Utah is most likely bowl bound. So there would be no way the tdS will fare better than a bowl eligible Utah team. And the most likely scenerio would be that Utah's postseason destination would be the preferred venue. So I really don't know what it is you're giggling about.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2011 8:52 p.m.

    So I was reading the comments to a BYU football article recently. There were lots of Cougar fans complaining about Ute fans commenting on a BYU article.

    Cougar fans: pot meet kettle.

  • Marked it Down Park City, UT
    June 9, 2011 9:08 p.m.

    Utes Fan

    "So I was reading the comments to a BYU football article recently. There were lots of Cougar fans complaining about Ute fans commenting on a BYU article.

    Cougar fans: pot meet kettle"

    That's it?

    FOUR references to BYU and only one to Utah in your post whining about BYU?

    ---------------

    Utah could be decent IF Wynn is health, IF he can learn the new offense, IF he and his receivers learn their reads and timing working smoothly, IF Utah's new running backs learn quickly, and IF Utah's thin offensive line can stay healthy enough to protect and keep an injury-prone Wynn healthy through an entire season of PAC 12 football.

    That's a lot of IFs.

  • T-spoon West Jordan, UT
    June 9, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    Naval Vet:
    If BYU goes 12-0, they will go to a BCS bowl.

    Utes Fan:
    Yeah, it's basically the same people that go back and forth on these articles, whether it's a BYU or a Utah article (see Hedgehog, Chris B, Duckhunter, etc).

    Good luck to the Utes this season.

  • Uteology Fort Worth, Texas
    June 10, 2011 4:14 a.m.

    Utah's is looking at an 8-4 year... anything better is a bonus. We don't have the depth yet to compete for the Rose Bowl, in 3-4 years I hope so today no.

    Go Utes!!

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    June 10, 2011 7:48 a.m.

    "If Vegas's predictions are as good as your predictions or Chris B.'s predictions, then you can expect the Utes to finish in the bottom half of their division."

    riverton kewg,

    yea, I'll admit I'm biased toward my team - as are you. Although the attempt not to; Sports writers/Polls are biased as well.

    Vegas odds makers? Well, here and only here do you find a truly an un-biased, most accurate projection. Unlike writers like Harmon who let emotion get in the way, Vegas is looking for action on both sides of the bet and the only way to do this is to produce the most accurate odds.

  • DD JayMario American Fork, UT
    June 10, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    Great news about the New Mexico Bowl tie-in with the Pac-12. I'll start my vacation plans for this December.

  • Dave S Holladay, UT
    June 10, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    Sorry jealous little brothers but that's the kind of respect the Utes have earned nationally with two BCS victories and undefeated seasons in the past seven.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 10, 2011 9:49 a.m.

    Hailstorm,
    For 30 years your team has been riding big brothers coattails. They know it and big brother knows it. Do you think they said thank you for that?
    What position do you hold that you know all the conversations that took place between BYU and Utah officials regarding bowl payouts and thank you's? Do you acutally think that any school in the country would not have the class to express their gratitude to any other institution or individual who was responsible for money being donated?

  • billybubba South Jordan, UT
    June 10, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    @TheHailstorm Despite the crude tantrums and degrading comments that continue today from some of their fans

    The same crude tantrums and degrading comments come from both sides.so why keep throwing gas on the fire

  • bmoncur RIVERTON, UT
    June 10, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    As a Cougar fan, I wish Utah success in the Pac 12. I really believe that, despite the animosity between the two teams (really, more between the two fan bases than the teams), when one school has success it reflects positivly on the other school. Right now, voters, the media, etc. will look at both teams under a similar microscope because they are both former MWC members that recently bolted for better situations.

    The realist in me thinks that BYU and Utah are pretty evenly matched and will both end the season with 8-4 or 9-3 records (BYU might have 1 more victory due to a softer schedule)

    My hope is that the BYU/Utah rivalry will remain strong and spirited, but will take on a more positive tone. Imagine the positive press if both BYU and Utah were to play themselves into BCS games.

    Regardless of the final results, 2011 is destined to be a memorable year for both programs.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:26 a.m.

    Are byu fans really making fun of going to the New Mexico Bowl?
    That is funny on so many levels.

  • bigsoccer Syracuse, UT
    June 10, 2011 11:57 a.m.

    Ernest T. Bass | 11:26 a.m. June 10, 2011
    Bountiful, UT

    Its probably because BYU fans were made fun of last year, so its coming back to you guys now. But at least BYU won its bowl game.

  • billybubba South Jordan, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:25 p.m.

    @ Ernest T. Bass 11:26 a.m. June 10, 2011
    We are not making fun of the NMB..........it is just ironic that you all (utes)went to the pac whatever to get away from such low end bowl game but low and behold it follows you

  • 2020 Herriman, UT
    June 10, 2011 12:34 p.m.

    Its hilarious when any Y fan says anything that even implies that life in PAC 12 will not be a better situation for Utah than where they are now. No matter what happens, Utah wins. if Utah goes winless, We are still better off in the PAC 12 than the Mtn West. ASU left the WAC, which they dominated, and has only gone to the Rose Bowl twice since then. AZ has never been. I never heard them saying , Maybe we should join a weaker conference, like the Mtn West, or the WCC, or go independent. No matter the results, the U is better off. Y fan, you just keep saying whatever you need to to make yourself feel better because nobody significant wants you.

    As far as TV goes. The first year could be rough for Utah, because it is the last year of the old PAC 10 contract. Every team in the conference will have lots of national exposure every year after that, from USC, to Utah to WSU. Every team, lots of national exposure.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    June 10, 2011 4:27 p.m.

    My feelings are up and down about how the Utes will do in football in the PAC-12 this upcoming season.

    There are many positives and negatives in my view. The coaching staff is a huge positive for me. Whit might continue to be hands on with Sitake, perhaps even more so if he gives Chow heavy independence on offense. That's likely. Tim Davis is a great O-Line coach relative to the pro-style offense the Utes will be running. Don't forget that Davis and Chow had successful chemistry at USC. The Utah (instate) connection adds pride and loyalty. That is much needed in college.

    As for the players. There is solid talent but much inexperience. Depth could be a factor and Utah will need to have the PAC-12 identity for a few more seasons relative to recruiting.

    Inexperience factor: A new offense, even with Chow in charge, needs experience to increase chances for success. Plus Wynn has sat out (shoulder) thus far, so the reps under the new scheme for him, have yet to take place. Don't underestimate the challenges of a new Center and trying to work in talented but young RBs.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    June 10, 2011 4:44 p.m.

    I believe in Wynn if his shoulder will allow him to sling it.

    Wynn is older now and has matured a great deal. Now all he needs to do is keep the peach fuzz cleaned up.

    The new pro-style offense plays to Wynn's talents. That said, Jordan sure could have used the reps with his new mates and coaches during spring ball.

    Wynn's arm strength has been vastly underrated by the media and fans over the last year. The shoulder factor was huge when the schedule got tough during the second half of last year. Jordan and the Utes did a good job hiding his injuries that took place early on in the 2010 season.

    If healthy, Wynn will throw a good ball. Unfortunately, the likelihood of him being healthy has become a big 'if' over time.

    Besides the shoulder, Wynn has also struggled being put in situations that haven't catered to his strengths. Wynn chose Utah, and although the offense was what it was, I still was baffled at how much the Utes misused Wynn last year. Chow will hopefully change all of that.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    June 10, 2011 4:56 p.m.

    Under Whit, the offense has struggled to play to its' strengths. The Utes will likely be better in using the talent of their players under Chow.

    Even during the Sugar Bowl year, the defense carried that time. Brian Johnson was miraculous when he had to be, but he and his offense were very inconsistent. Johnson's success often came during the two minute drill, when he could call his own shots under center.

    The problems with consistency on offense in 2008 were with Ludwig. I am NOT a Ludwig critic either. The issue was Andy Ludwig was hired to run an offense he had no background in.

    The last couple of years, the Utes have had Schramn and Roderick. They are both coaches I am grateful to have as position coaches at this time, but they were both in over their heads as coordinators of the offense.

    Chow has got to work a miracle in his twighlight years for the Utes to win the conference and build momentum for years to come in the PAC-12

  • BYU = Best Little Brothers Utesville, CA
    June 10, 2011 7:54 p.m.

    I am hearing SoCal picks BYU third in Independent --just ahead of Army.

    Yahoo!!!!

  • hohum Saint George, UT
    June 13, 2011 11:15 a.m.

    HH:

    The article has the following teams ranking:
    Pac10.2 Independent MW
    Oregon # 3 Notre Dame #6 Boise State # 5
    Stanford # 13 BYU #34 AF # 29
    USC # 20
    ASU # 28
    Washington # 44
    Utah # 48
    Arizona # 52
    Oregon St # 53
    Cal # 54
    Colo # 76
    WSU --
    UCLA --

    Go figure