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Commentary: To save job, Utes coach Whittingham should bench quarterback Travis Wilson

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  • hedgelog Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 16, 2013 6:55 a.m.

    So now the elephant in the room had been acknowledged. Whit can't just beat BYU and keep the hoards happy. The search committee has been activated.

  • UoU 1991 Park City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    If Kyle manages to save his job, he should start leveling with his fans about the true quality of his quarterbacks. Either Kyle is totally clueless about evaluating and recruiting quarterback talent, or he can see that he's been a miserable failure and has just been blowing smoke in praise of the quality of his quarterbacks.

    As far as the health of his quarterbacks, Kyle has been far from candid and it's destroyed his credibility with his fans.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    A scathing but honest article written by an Aggie. This won't bode well in Uteville.

  • Rockwell Baltimore, MD
    Nov. 16, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    Not to make light of the seriousness of concussions, but it seems a bit strange that Travis suddenly sustained a concussion on the eve of the Oregon game.

    We've heard a lot about Wilson's hand injuries, but nothing about a concussion, and nothing that happened during the Arizona State game gave any inkling that Travis has suffered a concussion. So, how and when did this mysterious "concussion" occur? Is this legit, or is Whittingham just playing games and trying to manipulate public opinion to save his job?

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 16, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    Tough being a quarterback. You're either in the penthouse, or doghouse.

    Work with what you have. Wilson is a good QB.

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 9:57 a.m.

    Only in your dreams, hedgelog, does Utah's definition of success hinge on their continued ownership of byu and Provo. You and the rest of the byu fan base don't realize it but elite pressure to win goes hand in hand with an elite conference. Coach Whitt knows it and so do Utah fans.

    Your cougs scheduled a bye before the Utah game, pulled out the magic uniforms, and motor mouth KVN made his "blood bath" predictions about the "Superbowl" with Utah and got the same result...utter disappointment of byu fans.

    This team has demonstrated enough this year that Coach Whitt has nothing to worry about. However, his loyalty to assistant coaches has to end, now. If they aren't getting the job done, they need to be replaced. Start with the Offensive Line and evaluate each skill position.

    byu fans will love this article today as they head into their mid-November slug fest with Idaho St.

  • UteNationAlum Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    I agree with everything written in this article. Travis has been awful and if whit can't figure this out, then we need a new coach!

  • Marked it Down Park City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    MyPerspective

    LOL at your blind denial of reality.

    Even the "home of the Utes" radio station was saying just this morning that Utah's only meaningful wins were against their biggest rival and against Stanford.

    The constant chest-beating from the kids on the hill about Utah's four-game winning streak versus BYU is proof positive that Utah fans still consider beating BYU their #1 goal every season.

    btw, there is no "elite pressure" on perennial conference bottom dwellers, even when they're in a supposedly "elite" conference.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    MyPerspective:
    "Only in your dreams, hedgelog, does Utah's definition of success hinge on their continued ownership of byu and Provo. "

    I don't think that's what hedgelog was saying. I think he was saying that is what has made Chris Hill have patience with Whit and not fire him. I think you'd be hard pressed to find any other reason for Whit to be in Hill's good graces. I mean, the Utes are going backwards, not progressing in terms of record in the PAC12. If not for wins against BYU, what else can possibly be saving Whit's job?

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Nov. 16, 2013 11:42 a.m.

    What if the utes win today?

    Doghouse to penthouse.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    Let's get over this "elite conference" garbage. The problem with the University of Utah athletics programs ever since their conference upgrade has been that their identity has switched to PAC-12 member first, and University of Utah a distant second. Until the athletic department and fans step up and be proud of their team first, they will always be a bottom dweller in the conference. If you keep identifying your team as a member of a "tough, elite conference," you will always have an excuse for the teams' losing records.

    Put the team first. Forget about the conference, and focus on winning your games. Forget about the excuses, and turn around the team. I would like to see all of our major teams in the state represent us well--regardless of whether they belong to an elite conference or are an independent. Believe it or not, that PAC 12 logo that is displayed everywhere means very little when you have a losing record. Honestly, it means very little when you have a winning record.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    I disagree, I see improvement from the last few years.

    I can only see Kyle being fired if he loses out. Losing to Colorado 2 of the last 3 years will do it.

    I think even if we go 5-7 it gives Kyle at least another year. One just has to look at Gary Patterson at TCU (4-6) and the struggles they are having in the Big 12, and they're playing the #34 SOS not #1.

    If we go 4-8 who takes over? Dennis Erickson? Or do we go hire someone like Gary Patterson? NOPE! So Kyle won't be fired, but I would expect position coaches like QB Coach BJ and OL coach Dan Finn to be replaced.

  • mindgames Aurora, CO
    Nov. 16, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    WHOA!!

    Let's not go overboard with the "Can Kyle" talk.
    He will have this job until he loses to BYU, and that won't happen for years.
    There is only one of the team goals that is a guaranteed job saver...Beat BYU.
    The other goals are unattainable for the next decade.
    So Utes hang their hats on the "four in a row" dominance.

    MARK IT DOWN

  • JoCo Ute Grants Pass, OR
    Nov. 16, 2013 1:06 p.m.

    A real "stir 'em up" article. Kind of like the talking heads on the celeb shows on TV. Say something outrageous and get the audience to pay attention.

    The fact is that Coach Whit is one of the best coaches in the country and he's gotten the team closer and closer to where he wants them to be. Three losses by less than 4 point each this season. Chris Hill is way to smart to let Whittingham go anywhere.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Nov. 16, 2013 1:31 p.m.

    If you can't see significant improvement from last year to this year, then you don't know football. Whittingham is not on the hot seat yet. Letting him go now would likely set the program back several years. Look what happened with basketball for the last 3 coaches. Whittingham should get two more years to get this team to a winning record in the Pac-12.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Nov. 16, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    "[Wilson] has been so awful, many backups across the league probably would have done better." This is true. I think Jon Hays would have gotten us a couple more wins this year.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Nov. 16, 2013 1:36 p.m.

    Whatever happens, we should not burn Manning's redshirt year. If Schulz goes down, we should just go to the wildcat -- direct snap to Bubba Poole.

  • IFIUTE Berryville, VA
    Nov. 16, 2013 1:50 p.m.

    I realize that the author of this article is just a kid, but there is no excuse for any decent editor to allow rank insulting speculation to run as supposed meaningful commentary. For example, the lame insinuation that Wilson's concussion is fabricated. If you don't have actual information, don't make baseless allegations. This is just amateur hour for a writer and a publication. If you write for publication you have a responsibility. Fulfill it, or find another profession.

  • Cletus from Coalville Coalville, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 3:01 p.m.

    The only thing we have left this year is to bash byu about how we won them again and that makes us feel better. But we are still in a bcs confrence and that makes us more prestegous than byu even when we lose.

    Go Utes!

  • CJHR Springville, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 4:05 p.m.

    I agree with IFIUTE, this is irresponsible journalism. To say, Chris Hill may fire Whit is absolute speculation lacking any substance. People who don't understand football and coaching are the only people sitting and criticizing Whit's every move. Almost no fans actually understand his decision making process and the information on which it is based, myself included. Impatient and whiny fans want everything now, without considering the challenges. To throw Whit out would be a huge mistake, and the first ones to point it out would be the same current nay sayers, except they wouldn't admit to it. The author knows this story is fabricated opinion...but it got a reaction, so who cares if it is baseless, right?

  • Joekick Logan, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 5:23 p.m.

    If Utah gets rid of Whittingham, they run the risk of having their football program go the way of their basketball program. They are fortunate to have him.

  • Buck49 Washington, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 6:40 p.m.

    I think it's time we move on. Kyle has had his chance and doesn't seem to have what it takes

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 6:48 p.m.

    Lotsa Utah "fan" angst in these comments. LOL!

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 7:31 p.m.

    .Let's get into reality right now. Whittingham isn't going to get fired any time soon. He will tweak his staff as needed. End of story...

  • Down under Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 7:52 p.m.

    Ute fans,
    Whit says he has pac two top tier qb's. So i'ts either that Whit does not know how to manage his so-called talent or he does not know what it really takes to compete in the pac. SO he either lied to the fans or is clueless.

    Another question: How did Wilson get a concussion when he left the game without one? It could have been from smacking himself in the head for being the worst qb in the league. My opinion; Whit was juts making excuses to keep his job.

  • Alpiner Alpine, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 11:14 p.m.

    I doubt Rhett would find many others who would support his hyperbole about Matt Barkley being "one of the greatest" USC quarterbacks "of all time". Maybe one of the greatest of all time if you consider the last 3 years.

  • Tomahawk Red North Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 17, 2013 12:46 a.m.

    JoCo Ute
    Grants Pass, OR

    The fact is that Coach Whit is one of the best coaches in the country.

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

    You have got to be kidding.

    Whittingham isn't even close to being among the best coaches in his DIVISION.

    Country... what a laugh.

  • Tomahawk Red North Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 17, 2013 12:49 a.m.

    IFIUTE
    Berryville, VA
    I realize that the author of this article is just a kid, but there is no excuse for any decent editor to allow rank insulting speculation to run as supposed meaningful commentary.

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

    Disagree. This article is spot on. And I'm a Ute fan.

    About the concussion, Whittingham said after the game that there's more to the story and he will address it Monday. So it appears there is plenty of basis for the writer's speculation.

  • Tomahawk Red North Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 17, 2013 12:51 a.m.

    eagle
    Provo, UT
    .Let's get into reality right now. Whittingham isn't going to get fired any time soon. He will tweak his staff as needed. End of story...

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

    You mean like he has(n't) over the last five years?

    Whittingham doesn't adjust or tweak jack squat on his staff because he chooses to pretend the problems don't exist.

    He's a very good MWC coach, but he's a terrible Pac 12 coach and he should be fired at season's end.

  • BYU DUDE Provo, UT
    Nov. 17, 2013 12:53 a.m.

    What is Kyle's next move Bobby Bowden ?

  • wazzup Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 17, 2013 3:26 a.m.

    Utah is eventually going to have to be judged on results rather than Pac12 this and Pac12 that. Right now you don't represent the Pac12 very well so quit trumpeting....errr.....whining about how great the conference is ..... implying somehow that is why they can't compete.

    How many times did Utah win the conference in the MWC?

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Nov. 17, 2013 6:31 a.m.

    I think Whit will get one more year, but a losing season in 2014 will send him packing.

    With Stanford's loss, there is no hope that a PAC team gets in the NC game, meaning even with a 6-6 record, it's unlikely the Utes go bowling for a 2nd consecutive year.

    WSU looked good against AZ. Utes will have their hands full with "the other Cougars".

  • I Still Can't Say It Holladay, UT
    Nov. 17, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    Wowsers, I have a feeling the writer of this charming little column is going to look pretty bad after Whitt's press conference on Monday. I thought I was on Bleacher Report when I started reading.

    Embarrassing...

  • Utahute72 Tooele, UT
    Nov. 17, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    I'm in Oregon and was at the game yesterday. I can tell you the Duck fans absolutely see that Utah is a team that within two years will be competing with the best of the PAC. The defense is there now and if Dennis Erickson stays and creates an offensive identity this team will be there year in and year out. The entry into the PAC 12 coincided with a low point in talent (all things in college football are cyclical), it was a perfect storm for struggling. It was apparent to Kyle and those of us that actually understand the sport. This article is just som much drivel from someone who is envious of where Utah is headed, promulgate by a new source that is determined to pander to the BYU fanbase.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Nov. 17, 2013 10:20 a.m.

    @tomahawk red

    It has only been a few months since you, and almost every other utah "fan" on these boards, was proclaiming whittingham's greatness to all who would listen. Funny how wrong you all were about that. lol

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Nov. 17, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    Even if that is true what makes oregon "fans" any more capable of knowing anything than any other fanbase? Please spare us the arrogant "those of us that actually understand the sport" drivel, I doubt you "understand" anything more than any other "fan" around here. Please list your qualifications of "understanding" so that the rest of us can "understand" why you are so much more knowledgeable than we are.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Nov. 17, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    I wouldn't worry too much about Coach Whit. He's building the team the right way. The wins will come. Welcome to life in the Big Leagues.

  • play by the rules SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Nov. 17, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    Whit has a real problem becuase he is running out of potential OCs. He has chased them off. Consider this Ludwig, Chow, Erickson, Johnson. I cannot think of a solid OC willing to come to town and work for Whit.

  • IFIUTE Berryville, VA
    Nov. 17, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    Tomahawk Red
    North Salt Lake, UT

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

    Disagree. This article is spot on. And I'm a Ute fan.

    About the concussion, Whittingham said after the game that there's more to the story and he will address it Monday. So it appears there is plenty of basis for the writer's speculation.
    ____________________

    Tomahawk, please reconsider. The writer's thesis, supported only by his speculative insinuation, is that Whittingham sat Wilson down even though he's not injured, to save his own hide. Re-read the first paragraph, then consider the entirety of the article. What is comng out now is much more ominous; just the opposite of what the author was saying. In another message which I am waiting to see Desnews approve, I call for an apology. And it is due.

  • JPro Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 17, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    Nice little hit piece from an Aggie. We even have some pseudo Ute fans trolling the article.

    Nothing like bringing out the best in people with some shoddy "journalism" on the Sabbath huh DNews? Scary that a real print newspaper would let anybody speculate the way this author has about an injury to a player.

    Coach Whit isn't going anywhere nor is this kid's journalism career.

  • Footballfan212 sandy, UT
    Nov. 17, 2013 2:48 p.m.

    Spot on IFIUTE, sorry Tomahawk Red but you're off on this one. This is shoddy journalism and I hope there is an apology issued because this is disgraceful. Not only is the concussion not faked, it sounds like there may be something much worse going on with Travis Wilson. Disgraceful journalism Rhett.

    Thoughts are with the Wilson family, hopefully everything is ok.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 17, 2013 3:53 p.m.

    Duckhunter
    Highland, UT

    Even if that is true what makes oregon "fans" any more capable of knowing anything than any other fanbase? Please spare us the arrogant "those of us that actually understand the sport" drivel, I doubt you "understand" anything more than any other "fan" around here. Please list your qualifications of "understanding" so that the rest of us can "understand" why you are so much more knowledgeable than we are.

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

    This coming from a "fan" who thinks that it is "obvious" that the PAC-12 overrated.

    LOL!

    I can't see Kyle being fired, unless he goes 4-8. If he loses to Colorado then he might as well resign.

    Again, who do we hire? I think you'll see position coaching changes.

  • Footballfan212 sandy, UT
    Nov. 17, 2013 4:11 p.m.

    I see Mr. Wilkinson has changed the headline and his article. I guess that's easier than apologizing, try to cover it up.

  • truthsandwich RANDOLPH, UT
    Nov. 17, 2013 11:12 p.m.

    Utahute72

    "It was apparent to Kyle and those of us that actually understand the sport. This article is just som much drivel from someone who is envious of where Utah is headed, promulgate by a new source that is determined to pander to the BYU fanbase."

    Nailed it brother. And you can tell by the extra angst your comment caused with the trolls.

  • truthsandwich RANDOLPH, UT
    Nov. 17, 2013 11:29 p.m.

    Props to the Desert News for removing the article and apologizing, although it's a shame it was printed in the first place.

    Insinuations of the Ute's faking Wilson's injury are as desperate as they are pathetic.

    When word gets out about the true nature of Wilson's condition, I hope the Ute-obsessed trolls who were salivating over this article are even more ashamed of themselves.

    Thoughts and prayers go out to Travis and his family. Hopefully none of them saw this before it was deleted.

  • Jeff ls Farr West, 84404
    Nov. 18, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    Dear Ute Fans I personally like Kyle and he has done a great job. I would hate to see him gone. I live and die cougar blue but I watch or listen to as many Utah games as your best fans do and I probably know more about your teams than you do. I need to remind you that Your first game in football next year is with Idaho St. Please get over your eliteness. That was a great win against the Geoducks. I constantly ask Utah fans about their teams because I want to know what they think. They wear the garb but they know nothing about the teams, they just like the shirt or sweater or what ever. I find it very disappointing. The womens team had a game against #15 Nebraska. That is a good schedule.
    Jeff

  • mufasta American Fork, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    While repeatedly getting beat by Utah stings badly, I don't think that really does much to help Utah in their current situation. I think that coach Whit is right, the Utes are a better team. They are getting better each year. They seem to fizzle as the season goes on but that could be related to their schedule getting exponentially more difficult game to game this year. Coach Whit is a great coach and needs to be given time to adapt to the PAC-12 style of playing as well as to bring a true PAC-12 recruiting class to the field. The Utes have an exceptional coach and they need to do everything they can do to keep him. I'm a Ute fan all year except when they play BYU. I want Whit to stay and be supported. He gives us an excellent chance of success in the PAC-12.

  • Cordwainer Bird Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 2:23 p.m.

    What is wrong with the Deseret News? Kyle Wittingham is faking a player's injuries to save his job and said player was "mentally ill?" The paper's CEO honestly thinks that simply removing the story from its online edition is enough? It should NEVER have been published in the first place.