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Utah Sports Ruckus: College football in Utah has the flu

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  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 12:52 p.m.

    "If you doubt it, look at the recruiting rankings on ESPN.com, Scout.com or Rivals.com for the past few years. Take note of which teams are consistently near the top, which are near the bottom and which are somewhere in between. Compare the recruiting rankings to the annual BCS standings and you will find undeniable evidence that recruiting rankings translate to on-field success at a high level.

    The programs and fans that want/need to will point to the occasional exceptions and proclaim that recruiting rankings are worthless. Unfortunately for college football fans in the state of Utah, the evidence overwhelmingly suggests otherwise."

    byu fans are not going to like this. I've been saying this for years and many of them still try to convince us that stars don't mean anything.

  • logancoug Layton, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 12:53 p.m.

    Nothing to see here. Move along.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    There isn't a single Ute fan who wishes we were back in the MWC with lesser programs. We all love the Pac 12 and playing with the big boys. We'll gladly take some rough seasons no in exchange for improving the program and all the benefits that come from the Pac 12.

    Utah's Pac 12 membership has led to more money, better athletes, better competition...

    Its also led to fewer wins, but lets be honest, getting excited about beating nobodies like Wyoming, New Mexico, UNLV, and the rest of the MWC just wasn't that exciting.

    Once every several years we'll have a great season in the Pac 12, and that will be worth countless MWC years of playing nobodies.

    And remember, all "fish" should try to be as big as they can, and a small fish in the Pac 12 is still bigger than a big fish in a small conference.

    Need proof?

    See the Pac 12's 14-1 record against the MWC(including byu) last year.

    Recruiting?

    Every Pac 12 team beat EVERY mwc team.

    So yes, the bottom of the Pac 12 is better than the "top" of the mwc

  • wazzup Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 1:06 p.m.

    @ ChrisB. And I can assume you have one of those Pac-12 stickers on your car, home, parka that the author spoke about. It appears Utah fans are just happy being in the Pac12 regardless of their records. Perhaps when they figure out that it's about Utah and not the Pac12, perhaps their success rate will improve.

  • DresdenBalla Germany, 00
    Feb. 10, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    I don't always read college football articles, but when I do I prefer objective ones. The football fans in my office will not be happy about this article but it is clearly the truth. This may be the best sports article I have read since I lived in Utah.

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Feb. 10, 2014 1:30 p.m.

    This is article is very true.
    Sad to say but football in this state has probably been the best we will see.
    In my opinion Utah will struggle to be bowl eligible every year like all the bottom quarter of the Pac.
    BYU will go to a bowl every year and occasionally get a national ranking but will never be in the hunt for the four team playoff.
    USU could realistically win the MWC consistently and be the most talked about program in Utah.

  • souptwins Lindon, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 1:53 p.m.

    Chris B--Thanks for providing exhibit A for what the writer is talking about. So many of the tit-for-tat nonsense on these boards is nothing more than fans of mediocre teams trying to justify who is less mediocre than the other. Utah fans rave how happy they are to be in the PAC-- great! BYU fans rave about how much better being indy is than being in the MWC. Both are probably right but there's a whole lot of room for improvement and I agree that things will probably continue this way for some time. That doesn't mean any of us should or will give up on our respective teams. I'd settle for just more realistic recognition of the two positions and a bit more civil discourse between the fan bases. The arguing is really about very little difference in the end and it's not hard to make your case for supremacy by moving the ruler.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    I think also that we can look at many of those more "nationally relevant" teams and find another commonality: NCAA violations and investigations of a serious and or criminal nature. In college football, if one of your players is not under review by the NCAA for criminal behaviour or your recruiting office is not being investigated for some illegitimacy, then you are not a championship team. Sad but true. Maybe the cleanest team in this is Alabama......?

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 2:28 p.m.

    "After the two victories, the Utes have an impressive ESPN BPI ranking of No. 38, nine spots higher than the Cougars, which would seem to put them within striking distance of the NCAA Tournament bubble."

    Shhhhhhhh...don't tell byu fans about this. They are the best team in the state even though the Utes blew them off the court and have a far more challenging schedule.

    wazzup
    Cottonwood Heights, UT

    "It appears Utah fans are just happy being in the Pac12 regardless of their records. Perhaps when they figure out that it's about Utah and not the Pac12, perhaps their success rate will improve."

    Yes, WAZZUP, we are thrilled about being in the Pac-12. As Larry Scott was recently quoted in the Des News, there was no metric for wins when Utah joined the Pac-10 (12) and they will have their share of success. btw...in that interview, Scott also said that the University of Utah is an excellent fit culturally and academically in their elite conference. Yeah, we're proud of being in the Pac-12...it's a great crowd to run with.

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 2:30 p.m.

    souptwins
    Lindon, UT

    "I'd settle for just more realistic recognition of the two positions and a bit more civil discourse between the fan bases."

    Interesting comment coming from you. Perhaps you could try hard to set the example for the tone of civility that you would like to see in discussions between fan bases. There's a worthy goal.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Feb. 10, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    so, what, if I can't be Alabama, I'm supposed to cry and go home?

    And, Chris, don't look now, but he was talking about you, too.

  • SoCalUte Trabuco Canyon, CA
    Feb. 10, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    While it is true that recruiting top level talent is very important, it is also true that Utah's first and worst year in the PAC12, they also had the #24 recruiting class in the country. Therefore, while it is vital to have a top recruiting class, it is also imperative to have a top level Head coach. Unfortunately, I don't believe that Coach Whit is that Upper level coach that we need to be a contender in the PAC12. You need to have a winning program to attract top level players, unless you are Alabama, LSU or USC or Texas. They all have a history that gets them the top player. If the Utes want top players, they have to do it like Oregon and Stanford did. Win consistently over a several year period of time. That is the only hope our Utes have to get top level players and be a winning program in the PAC12.

  • JoCo Ute Grants Pass, OR
    Feb. 10, 2014 3:25 p.m.

    Gagon's article is mostly right on. But he misses in blindly accepting the ranking from Scout and Rivals. The team are ranked by total points and total point is a function of the rating of the players who signed LOI's and the number of players signing w/ a school. The best way to get a handle on the success of recruiting is to look at the average rating for the whole class. When you do this Utah moves from 69 to 55 in Scout's rankings and from 74 to 56 in Rivals rankings. Ranking by this method puts Utah's class ahead of TCU, Syracuse, Oregon State, Minn., Rutgers, Colorado, Boise St. etc. The 2014 class is an unusually small class. Although I understand Gagon's POV it's too limited and distorts the real strength or weakness of a class. Utah still has a way to go.

  • Trevvor Sandy, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 3:46 p.m.

    @myperspective.

    "Interesting comment coming from you. Perhaps you could try hard to set the example for the tone of civility that you would like to see in discussions between fan bases. There's a worthy goal."

    Interesting suggestion coming from someone who could do the same. Nope, no holier than thou hypocrisy there. Ute "fans" are one of a kind.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 3:52 p.m.

    @no perspective

    "the Utes....have a far more challenging schedule"

    Uh.....as of today, February 10th 2014 BYU's has the 30th ranked SOS and utah has the 140th ranked SOS. That includes all games played this season through this date. Fail.

    LOL!

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 10, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    Great article, it's spot on.

    Forget the top 300 players, Utah needs to start landing the top 5 in-state players. Players like Shultz (Stanford) and Frison (Oklahoma).

  • Born in Provo Logan, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 4:50 p.m.

    Wow, Nate, seems like you have found the fountain of negativity. That's ok. I'm still going to enjoy college football in the state of Utah, no matter what you or the thermometer have to say about it. I will acknowledge that you accurately group the 3 major Utah programs in the same tier. There is no major separation between them. Even though Utah has won 4 straight, there has only been one blowout in the Holy War of late, and USU has been very competitive. So glad Anderson turned them around. I sat through 3 seasons (2007-10) in Logan watching the Aggies struggle.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Feb. 10, 2014 4:54 p.m.

    For the record, Devon Blackmon was the 39th ranked player on the ESPNU Top 150 out of high school. I guess the author doesn't count JC transfers.

  • Truebluecoug Park City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 5:30 p.m.

    Yes, just to clarify, in ESPN's Top 300, does that include JC Transfers like Kurtz and Blackmon? Just dropping a few names of a couple of players that could easily be Top 200 guys,not to mention Leslie, a 3 year WR starter at UTEP with 15 TD's to his credit. Both the Cougs and the Utes will be okay. And, with Wells at State, they should be okay too.

  • I<3tennis Sandy, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 5:45 p.m.

    I think the article is unfortunately accurate. Hopefully though all the fans will continue to cheer for their respective schools, keep watching and attending the games, and always believe the future can get better!!! Meanwhile, maybe somebody can figure out how to fix the problems!!!

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 10, 2014 5:54 p.m.

    Hey ChrisB, Arizona State was ranked 21 by ESPN. I guess that means Utah shouldn't even show up to the game. It's going to be in Tempe anyway, so that usually solidifies a Utah loss as they don't exactly have a sterling record outside of Utah.

  • JayDee West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 6:02 p.m.

    Here's MY (medical) perspective.

    Utah football is a jogging tourist with amnesia stumbling down Rodeo Drive. He can't remember where he came from or how he got there. The primary care physician has lost his confidence and now expects rotating interns to have a miracle cure. Consensus is let the patient wander for a few years and he will eventually stumble his way to Pasadena.

    BYU football is a patient on a treadmill at ESPN Medical Center. He is in a long rehab after an emergency Crowtonectomy. Many eyes are on the patient hoping he will improve. The treadmill keeps going, but the runner never seems to get anywhere. The same Dr. who performed initial surgery, after a sabbatical, has returned to try unproven radical treatments.

    Utah State football is a sprinter who after a long convalescence appears to have regained vigor and speed. His medical staff, while young, has been well trained. He is cleared to compete and has taken first or second in his heats. Sadly, despite his performance, he seems destined to never run in a race beyond his current amateur status.

  • Adirondack Cougar Loon Lake, NY
    Feb. 10, 2014 6:28 p.m.

    At the moment the article is correct, but going forward I see changes. If Utah continues to lose, their recruiting will decline, because even thought Chris (a fan) likes being in the PAC-12 the better recruits will find a winning PAC-12 program. BYU will slowly increase their average star recruiting number due to better exposure and winning seasons. That is the beauty of independence, you can make your schedule as hard as you want it to be. So BYU is starting slow (like Utah b-ball) and will build it as the recruits come and the rooster gets deeper with talent. In the mean time Y fans will see competitive football and bowl games while Utah fans will become more frustrated.

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 10, 2014 6:42 p.m.

    Adirondack Cougar, I think I'm going to have to agree whole-heartily with your assessment. Thank you for your thoughts!

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    Feb. 10, 2014 6:50 p.m.

    Dear Mr. Gagon(or anyone else for that matter) in your valued /educated opinion, has college football in Utah ever NOT had the flu?

  • LoveTheKittens Central, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 7:18 p.m.

    I don't know why I read this drivel

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    Feb. 10, 2014 7:46 p.m.

    Nate Gagon,

    Weather I agree with you or not is unimportant. You either have courage or ????
    My guess is that you will get a lot of flack from those in power because of the article.

    Pack 12 vs. Fireside Chats. (Humm) let me see, what are real football fans really most interested in during football season?

    Playing USC, UCLA, Stanford, Cal, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and all the State schools, AZ,,Wa,Org, okay, you can even throw in Colorado Vs. playing schools like Sacred Heart of Mary, San Franciso, NE Middle Montana or SW Wyoming. etc. Which school really has the most fun games to watch on TV or attend at the stadium or even read about on line?

    Happiness with recruiting ranked 60-70 out of 125. Are the powers that be (lying) to us about their happiness to cover up that which is lacking, or are those powers that be really happy with mediocracy?

    Are fireside chats really ranked above the next football game, during football season, or are the coaches just covering their bases in case we lose. Winning really isn’t as important as attending fireside chats?

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 7:47 p.m.

    I don't care much about the content of this article because the fact is none of the instate schools are ever going to consistently have top 10 rated recruiting classes. That makes it a non issue. They have to get the best recruits they can get and coach them into being better as a team than those other schools, it is the only thing they can do.

    Of the 3 BYU has the best chance of having top rated recruiting classes if they could somehow find a way to get just about every single top ranked LDS recruit. They have a connection to these kids so now they have to get them. Unless one of these kids just happens to be from the state of Utah, and is not an LDS kid with a connection to BYU, utah has no chance of ever getting any of them. Why would a top 300 recruit choose to go to utah over any of those top schools? He wouldn't. BYU is the only one with a chance at any of them and that is because of the LDS affiliation. I'm sure that angers utah "fans" but it is simply the way it is.

  • tinplater scottsdale, AZ
    Feb. 10, 2014 7:47 p.m.

    What nonsense…Utah State is never going to be a "nationally relevant" football program. I am a rabid Aggie fan, but realize that Logan, Cache Valley, and Utah in general will not attract the caliber of player to compete, consistently with Utah, BYU, not to mention Power conference schools like USC, Oklahoma, Auburn, Florida State..Where would you rather compete as a star athlete..Salt Lake City, or say…Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Berkley, anywhere in Florida? The Utah schools are doomed by location and financial resources. Considering everything, the Utes have the best chance of gathering national attention because of their conference affiliation. But their chances of even being relevant in their conference are small. The goal for my Aggies is to rise above mediocre and win its conference championship. So far, without question USU is the most improved team in the state, and that is what is relevant.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Feb. 10, 2014 9:58 p.m.

    Ronald Uharriet

    You do a nice job of trivializing a value so you may mock it with impunity, but put the correct choice on the table: (wait for the Ute outrage in 4, 3, 2) values -vs- winning football games.

    I believe that BYU will do everything that it can to win football games, but supporting the institutions values will always come first, inculding fireside chats, in the middle of football season, if you can believe it.

    No, I do not believe that Utah has "no" values, or that they place winning above whatever values they have. But BYU WILL have an Honor Code higher than most, and BYU WILL do things consistent with a private, religious university, and which a public school may not be able to do, let alone want to do.

  • Ken Lee Pasadena, CA
    Feb. 10, 2014 10:24 p.m.

    it's cool being a Ute because we get beat by a higher caliber team week in week out. Someday, if we lose enough, the losses will feel like wins and then we'll be really good again.

    Who does this sound like?

  • JD Las Vegas, NV
    Feb. 11, 2014 12:37 a.m.

    This article is pointless. If you look up Stanford's recruiting class ranking for the 2013 year, they were near the bottom of the PAC-12 and way below where the Utes ranked this year. Last I checked, they were the best team in the PAC-12 this year. Utah's ranking is low because we didn't sign as many players as we usually do. This year Utah got quality, not quantity. Some years are like that, just ask Stanford about last year........

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 9:06 a.m.

    Mr. Gagon wants Utah and byu back in the MWC so the "nationally irrelevant brothers" can have a "relevant rivalry game". Not me!

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    "Ute fans rightfully enjoy the Pac-12 money and window stickers."
    Why don't we see WCC window stickers around town? Is it a social stigma, or fans not embracing their basketball home?

  • haunyocker Springville, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    Nate: So the fans of our Utah schools should just dump the whole system and their favorite teams and only watch "relivent" sports program. It's kind of like your journalistic skills. You are in an irrelavent journalist market (as you define it) and apparently don't have the talent to get into the big markets such as LA, NY or Chicago, just as you suggest these student athletes don't have the skills to go to the NFL or championships. Thus, like the sports teams you want we viewers to dump, your argument can be applied to you. Be careful what you're writing because you just might be writing about yourself.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Feb. 11, 2014 9:55 a.m.

    @CougfaninTexas

    I wonder if the ASU students will spit on the Utah coaches, like they did the Oregon Coaches? Lotta class there.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Feb. 11, 2014 10:08 a.m.

    Correction; question directed toward my friend, cougarsundevil

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    "Of the 3 BYU has the best chance of having top rated recruiting classes if they could somehow find a way to get just about every single top ranked LDS recruit... I'm sure that angers utah "fans" but it is simply the way it is." -- Duckhunter

    That doesn't anger me; it puzzles me. Manti T'eo was a 5 star LDS player. Notre Dame landed him in 2009 to earn a #21 recruiting class. One player doesn't help much, so to get a top 10 recruiting class, BYU must be missing quite a few great LDS players. When you say "every single top ranked LDS recruit", how many is that?

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 11, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    @Duckhunter

    Why would a top 300 recruit choose to go to utah over any of those top schools? He wouldn't. BYU is the only one with a chance at any of them and that is because of the LDS affiliation. I'm sure that angers utah "fans" but it is simply the way it is.

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

    BYU is the only one with a "chance" to land a ESPN 300 recruit?

    Lealao, a LDS kid from Utah, picked Vanderbilt over Utah, BYU wasn't even considered:

    "Lealao, the nation's No. 243 overall prospect and No. 20 defensive tackle, said he will now choose between Cal, Oregon State, Utah and Vanderbilt.... Utah, on the other hand, already has four defensive tackles committed in the 2014 class. However, if he does land in Salt Lake City, it wouldn't be surprising to see Lealao jump up the depth chart and eventually pair with top 2013 signee Lowell Lotulelei to form the interior of the Utes defensive line."

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    Well, we skimmed through the article, we're having the same old irrelevant conversation and the DN site is getting hits...mission accomplished.

    I still see the Block U and Y stickers and flags around town the same as always but honestly I've never noticed a Pac 12 sticker but I'm sure that I can get some for the byu "fans" that are obsessed with them.

  • tinplater scottsdale, AZ
    Feb. 11, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    Hauneyrocker...right on! Couldn't agree more about your assessment of small market journalism. Doesn't mean it can't be good, just not going to be at the level of the New York Times. USU is in the perfect spot...a conference with teams that share relatively the same recruiting, financial, and fan base potential. MWC is not going to produce a national champion, but it can produce exciting, competitive football. Love it. GO AGGIES

  • Chris B. 4 Prez! Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 12:23 p.m.

    @ duck

    Have you ever considered that despite being LDS, a player might want to be as far away from happy valley as possible? There are huge social pressures within the LDS church. People generally don't gravitate to things they are told they "have" to do, or "should" do. I've talked to many LDS athletes that actually cringe at the thought of playing for the y. Many want to keep church and football separate. Several friends who played at the U, said they enjoyed attending the huge LDS Institute at the U, while being allowed to focus on football and school in a more balanced style. Moderation in most things is good, whether it be school, church, or football. Too much of anything can be a negative. So, just because an athlete may be LDS, does not mean he/she should feel obligated or pressured into playing at the privately funded, LDS church affiliated school. For what it's worth.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 12:24 p.m.

    @soonerute

    I'm sure it would vary from year to year, but that was the point. For BYU to get a top 10 class it would have to be a year where there are enough LDS athletes rated that highly and BYU would have to get pretty much all of them. I don't think that is likely, certainly not with any consistency but it is possible however unlikely.

    BYU has some recruiting disadvantages but they also have some advantages when it comes to LDS athletes, it gives them an in and a chance they just need to capitalize better on those chances when they are there.

    I think a more likely scenario is top 25 or 30 classes where BYU gets most of the top LDS athletes available. They've only done that a couple of times but that is something they should be able to do more frequently than they do. It is going to take some work to get there that is for sure but it is at least a possibility.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 12:34 p.m.

    @uteology

    I'm confused, did utah get that kid to sign? I don't see him anywhere on any of the rosters or lists, in fact it appears utah wasn't much more than a school that offered him and not any sort of serious contender to sign him. But of course he is what I said utah might have a chance at, a kid from utah that apparently didn't have any ties to BYU. If it is an instate kid that wants to stay instate and they have no ties to BYU then that is where utah might have a chance at one of them but what out of state top 300 kid has ever considered utah seriously?

    You, apparently more than most utah "fans", struggle to understand what utah is. They are a regional commuter school with negligible accomplishments and little history that is located in a sparsely populated area with cold winters and a homogenous population. That is not the type of school top 300 recruits consider signing with. BYU is similar but has the advantage of the LDS connection and a better national reputaion for football.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 12:44 p.m.

    @chris b 4 prez

    That is exactly my point, BYU doesn't get all of the top LDS recruits and would need to get them all to have a top class. But those top LDS recruits aren't going to utah either, in fact I don't think a single one ever has gone to utah, if one has please tell us who it is. The top LDS recruits, if they don't go to BYU, generally go to Stanford or USC, top notch private schools that offer not just great football but an education that is among the best. utah offers none of that. It is a regional commuter school with average academics. Sure some mid tier LDS kid that wants to have long hair or a beard considers utah but that is about it. utah can't offer them what Stanford offers them, or USC. BYU actually has something different to offer those kids, which is why BYU occasionally gets some of them, but they don't get all of them, or even enough of them. They have to find a way to get them if they want to be better than they are.

  • ekute Layton, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    Yea Duckhunter, Utah has nothing to offer and it was the mid-tier, longhaired, bearded LDS athletes that got them in to the Pac 12. geeze!

  • Chris B. 4 Prez! Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 1:42 p.m.

    @ duck

    You missed my entire point. byu will NEVER get every lds athlete going there, top recruit or not. And I never mentioned Utah landing those LDS kids, so not sure your point there. Having requisite religion classes and stricter dress/grooming code is not exactly "something different to offer." And since I've attended classes in both happy valley and salt lake, I can tell you that the biggest difference comes down to being more open minded about life in general. And since you mentioned it, Stanford probably takes the cake on accepting all walks of life and ways of thinking. For the record, I knew plenty of long haired, bearded kids who were proudly attending the y after cutting their hair and their beards. Bearded or not, students will be students. You're right, Stanford and USC offer more than Utah or byu ever will. But stating that the U offers neither a top-notch education nor anything special, especially compared to byu, really illustrates some deep-rooted ignorance. Particularly the football aspect. In the past decade plus, Utah football has offered so much more to their fans. Your bitterness is understandable, though.

  • AZguy Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 11, 2014 1:51 p.m.

    I have been saying the same thing as this article for weeks. Well played and coached, defensive and offensive schemes can help BYU to play up 25 notches, but that still puts BYU on the outside of the Top 25 with consistency. We have to land the heavily recruited players regularly while still finding the gems in the rough.

    I am not saying I am sad or hold anything against the recruiting class. I hope for their success, but if BYU wants to run with the big dogs, they must land the top recruits regularly.

    Stanford makes it work for their academics. BYU should be able to make it work for the Honor Code.

    Oh yeah, and hire Lance Anderson from Stanford!!! I have not said that in almost 10 days.

  • AZguy Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 11, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    I would hazard a guess that there are 4-5 four star recruits a year that are LDS. If BYU picks up four of them, adds them to the two they got, and adds the 10-three star recruits, and continues to find some gems in the rough, that would put BYU in the top 30 of recruiting.

    Not all LDS kids want to come to BYU and I don't blame them. I was very happy to read stories about Manti Teo before his fake girlfriend, Jabari Parker in BBall, and even Bryce Harper. BYU needs to make themselves more attractive than those other schools including learning the skills to make to the NFL in addition to winning on the big stage.

    It is a tall order, but must be filled if we are going to hang with the big dogs on a regular basis.

  • tinplater scottsdale, AZ
    Feb. 11, 2014 2:23 p.m.

    All Utah can hope for, I suspect, is an Oregon type of miracle, rising from non contender to a national power. How Oregon pulled that off still baffles me...it has weather almost as bad as Salt Lake, Eugene is about as cosmopolitan as Logan, and the studentbody is considerably less than that of the U. I do not see that happening with the current coaching staff. And the Chipper is staying on in Philly.

  • Old But Not Stupid Moorpark, CA
    Feb. 11, 2014 2:39 p.m.

    Chris B (and other PAC 12 lovers)

    Utah will NOT make it to the Rose Bowl in your life time--except when they play my Bruins every other year.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Feb. 11, 2014 3:36 p.m.

    @ Chris B - Salt Lake City, UT - "If you doubt it, look at the recruiting rankings on ESPN.com, Scout.com or Rivals.com for the past few years. Take note of which teams are consistently near the top, which are near the bottom and which are somewhere in between. ..... Unfortunately for college football fans in the state of Utah, the evidence overwhelmingly suggests otherwise." byu fans are not going to like this. I've been saying this for years and many of them still try to convince us that stars don't mean anything."

    What's this "BYU fan" stuff? Read the article again more closely, Chris B.

    The article clearly said that BOTH BYU and Utah had recruiting classes ranked between 60 and 70 among all major colleges.

    You're welcome.

  • UYU Evans, GA
    Feb. 11, 2014 3:37 p.m.

    There is no doubt that the best schools in the power conferences have recruiting advantages over the Utah Schools. That said, I would hope the Utah schools do not resort to some of the tactics used by some of those schools if the information coming out about the SEC, ACC, etc. is true. Still, while not perennially contending for national championships will always be the norm, being good enough to periodically beat some of those schools and making it to a major bowl game is what makes the sport fun for many fans. If, as it appears to be going, college football becomes a 50-60 team version of the NFL with players limited to 4 playing seasons, it will lose its appeal to many. Perhaps it would be better to take the sport out of college and just have professional farm teams like baseball.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 4:04 p.m.

    @chris b 4 prez

    I didn't say utah has "nothing to offer" LDS recruits, just that it doesn't have anything unique, different, or better to offer than those other schools and that is why they will not be getting to top LDS athletes nor will they be getting the top non LDS athletes.

    If you are a top LDS athlete you are probably going to get offers from USC, Stanford, and BYU, as well as utah and some of the other lesser pac12 schools. On top of that you may be getting Notre Dame, Wisconsin and some other schools from across the country offering.

    Now what does utah have to offer those kids that is better than what they can get at those other schools? Nothing really. BYU has the LDS connection and a better football history so they can at least offer that but utah really doesn't have anything.

    Sure it can offer a good education, sure it can offer some LDS instruction and socialization, but it is inferior to those other schools those things, nothing about it stands out. Just the way it is.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 11, 2014 4:08 p.m.

    @Duckster

    BYU can no longer land top in-state players, even with deep BYU ties (see Chase Hansen).

    Even in a bad recruiting year Utah had a chance to land ESPN 300 Shultz and Frison. BYU wasn't even considered.

    Utah the commuter school has more out of state athletes than the legacy program down south. And Utah has better talent overall according the NFL and class rankings.

  • Protecting This House Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 4:18 p.m.

    @ old but not stupid

    My Utes have had your Bruins' number before, and they will again. Yes, in your lifetime as well as mine. They will make it to a Rose Bowl, with or without your Bruins. Your Bruins needed all 6 picks to get the job done at RES. Looking forward to both Wilson and Hundley being healthy when they go head to head in the Rose Bowl on October 4th.

    Here's to hoping that through the years, your Bruins will appreciate playing against my improved Utes, like my Utes appreciate playing against your storied Bruins.

  • tinplater scottsdale, AZ
    Feb. 11, 2014 4:52 p.m.

    The important issue, I feel, is to be competitive with your peers. As I have stated before, Harvard is perfectly content beating Yale and competing for the Ivy League championship. Best football game I ever saw was Harvard Yale 28 28 (the H's scoring 16 points in the last minute with a 3rd string QB) tie, and I have seen two national championship games, one Rose Bowl, and numerous Fiesta Bowls. Second best game I ever saw was Boise State upset Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Third best USU losing to Utah 1963 Saturday after the Kennedy assassination. If your goal is to win the Pac 12, Utah is probably going to have to wait a long, long time. USU, on the other hand, may very well win the MWC next year. GO AGGIES.

  • Chris B. 4 Prez! Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 5:37 p.m.

    @ duckhunter

    I will say, this may well be the friendliest exchange I've had with you, and I genuinely appreciate it. While I know our preference in college football teams differ, I just want to thank you for sharing your perspectives with me in a civil, informative way. I really do appreciate exchanging opinions with you today.

    Both BYU and Utah have enjoyed moments, even years of glory. BYU's Ntl Championship, Utah's two BCS Bowl victories, BYU's Heisman Trophy winner, and NFL standouts from both schools. It would be really great to see both programs elevate to a new level, in terms of recruiting and wins, beating big time opponents, and putting the great State of Utah on the map. I genuinely hope both programs enjoy success over big name opponents this upcoming season.

    As for missing out on star LDS athletes, I think Jake Murphy not getting picked up by BYU like his Dad was a huge, huge miss. I am glad he played well for the Utes, though!

  • JayDee West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    This Chris B 4 Prez! is not Chris B.

    Uhmmmm..... Go Cougars!

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 8:57 p.m.

    @Duckhunter "I think a more likely scenario is top 25 or 30 classes where BYU gets most of the top LDS athletes available."
    Agree that is more likely, but can BYU handle it?

    Highly praised when he signed with BYU, Jake Heaps was later reviled by "fans" who didn't like his attitude. Guess what? Talented players come with attitude. That's why Saban, Stoops, Meyer, Miles, etc are paid the big bucks -- because they can handle attitude and develop talent. Do I recall correctly that BYU didn't have a quarterbacks coach on staff during the Heaps' time with the Cougars?

    As Bronco casts a wider net to improve recruiting, he needs to be ready for the challenge. Yes, one way is to throw up your hands and declare a player's attitude too much to handle. The other way is to realize you're working with kids, help them reel in their attitude, and focus that energy into great play.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 9:06 p.m.

    @uteology

    Interesting you would mention Chase Hansen considering the #1 instate recruit that year was an LDS kid named Troy Hinds. e signed with BYU. That inconvenient fact doesn't quite match your narrative.now does it?

    @Chris B 4 Prez

    I have enjoyed the conversation as well, and you are right we aren't going to agree much but that doesn't mean we have to be antagonistic. I look forward to the next exchange. But even uteology inadvertantly made my point which is that BYU needs to get almost all of the top LDS recruits to get themselves to where they want to be. They haven't been able to do that so that needs to be their goal. They may lose a few instate to utah but there are increasingly more LDS athletes out of state than in state and that is a group BYU will probably always have the advantage over utah. Those kids have options and utah really isn't one of them, at least not for the very best ones. I'm not sure why that offends some utah fans but it is a reality.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 11, 2014 11:50 p.m.

    @Duckhunter

    If it is an instate kid that wants to stay instate and they have no ties to BYU then that is where utah might have a chance at one of them but what out of state top 300 kid has ever considered utah seriously?

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

    Hmmm, how about:

    "Four-star defensive end Joe Mathis (Upland, Calif./Upland) is one of the more sought-after uncommitted defensive prospects in the West, and the 6-foot-4, 255-pound standout will give two schools a chance to make a big impression in the coming weekends."

    Joe Mathis committed to Washington over Utah in 2013, he visited only two schools Utah and Washington.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    @uteology

    Funny you bring up Chase Hansen since the #1 instate recruit that year was Troy Hinds who signed with BYU. The facts don't really support you claim.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    @uteology

    I didn't say no good players would consider utah, we are talking about elite players here, ESPN top 300 types. Can you show us any of those types that have given utah serious consideration or are currently giving utah serious consideration?

    For the record I don't think those kids are going to give BYU serious consideration either UNLESS they are LDS. And yes BYU has actually signed some of those kids in the past and yes others have considered them seriously including this year with Damien Mama. But BYU hasn't gotten them often enough, that is what they need to do.

    Emotionalism over this issue doesn't do you any good, I don't consider this a contest really although most of the stuff on here is of the "my dad can beat up your dad" variety. I'm trying to look at this realistically.

    If you disagree then I'm willing to listen to why you think the elite kids are going to consider utah?

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    @ Uteology and Duckhunter
    Actually according to rivals BYU and Utah both pulled in a top 300 guy.
    Fred Warner for BYU-223
    Jackson Barton for Utah - 70
    The problem is Big time programs get 10-12 of these guys 1 or 2 does not make a huge difference.
    Isaiah Nacua was a top 300 ESPN guy until the last round of revisions, he was there in the first place because he dominated a nike camp, but did not play at the top 300 level.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    @haunyocker

    "...Nate: So the fans of our Utah schools should just dump the whole system and their favorite teams and only watch "relivent" sports program. It's kind of like your journalistic skills. You are in an irrelavent journalist market (as you define it) and apparently don't have the talent to get into the big markets such as LA, NY or Chicago, just as you suggest these student athletes don't have the skills to go to the NFL or championships. Thus, like the sports teams you want we viewers to dump, your argument can be applied to you. Be careful what you're writing because you just might be writing about yourself...".

    Exactly.

    As one lyricist opined...

    "...When you can't be with the one you love...love the one your with...".

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 11:48 a.m.

    @BeSmart

    But that is exactly the scenario I said would have to be the case. Warner was an out of state LDS kid so his tie to BYU was the LDS affiliation. Barton is an instate kid with no ties to BYU. When those type of kids are available those are the ones they can get. My point remains the same, there will be more highly rated out of state LDS kids for BYU to have a shot at than instate kids with no BYU ties for utah to have a shot at. Just a numbers game.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 12, 2014 3:15 p.m.

    @Duck

    In 2012 Utah landed 5 top instate players, BYU 2.

    Yes, BYU has the LDS connections but overall Utah has the better talent, according to class rankings and NFL draft over the last decade.

    @BeSmart

    I never claimed Utah can compete for top talent against the big boys. I agreed with article, I disagree with Duck about Utah having "no chance".

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 12, 2014 3:47 p.m.

    @Duckhunter

    @uteology

    I didn't say no good players would consider utah, we are talking about elite players here, ESPN top 300 types. Can you show us any of those types that have given utah serious consideration or are currently giving utah serious consideration?

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

    I did, his name is Joe Mathis (ESPN #268 class of 2012).

    I'm being emotional and your being realistic? Yet you did no research to find out who Joe Mathis was?

    Overall Utah has the better talent, that's not debatable (see NFL). This is was our worst class ranking, which is where BYU has been ranked the last 5 years.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 9:51 p.m.

    @uteology

    Ok, great, one guy. Now let us know when they actually sign one.

  • oldtimeftballer Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 10:39 p.m.

    Re Uteology

    You can argue all you want ...Utes are a beating stick in the PAC. How many games you pencil in this year as W's? In a glorious perfect next season they may go 7-5. I say 5-7 again. One word..irrelevant in the PAC and especially the nation. Like we here think of Buffalo University. No big deal.

    Re Duckhunter

    Agree, BYU does need to get every LDS Blue Chip top guy. But they never will. Why would you go to BYU when you can go to Stanford or Wisconsin or say Oregon or Michigan? You understand and have pointed it out. If BYU was in the PAC...they are right with Utah, Colorado and WashnSt. They gt worked by a 6th place PAC team that had an interm coach and still cruised easily. And honestly, the staff at BYU isn't good enough to lure the best LDS kids there.

    So sorry fans, but get used to it. Utah will take its lumps the next 10 years...and BYU will beat its chest with a 10-2 record over Savannah st and Idaho St. Season tickets? No thanks. College football is fun- but keep it what it is people...

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 13, 2014 2:18 p.m.

    Duckhunter
    Highland, UT

    @uteology

    Ok, great, one guy. Now let us know when they actually sign one.

    ----------

    We have, Jeremiah Poutasi is one. Can't you do your own research?

    @oldtimeftballer
    Salt Lake City, UT

    Where is Buffalo University? Is that a new school in Salt Lake? And why do you care how Utah does next year?

  • PM64 Orem, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 9:24 p.m.

    There are some "LDS" kids who should NEVER go to BYU. Just because a kid's family is LDS doesn't mean he has any interest in going to a college that requires he abide by an honor code, or to abide by the honor code if he DOES go to such a college. I had the dubious pleasure of having a redshirt running back as a roommate at Ricks College back in the day. He had girls sleeping over, beer in the fridge, and threatened to beat up any of us who reported him.

    He quit going to class when it started snowing, since his Hawaiian blood wasn't quite up to Rexburg's climate, and he flunked out at the end of the year. We cheered to see him go. He wasted a football scholarship that could have gone to someone who actually wanted to get an education and live the honor code, not just bask in the perks that go with being a football player.

    So don't feel bad if BYU doesn't sign all the "LDS" athletes. There are some that aren't a good fit, so wish them well wherever they go.