Quantcast

Mike Sorensen: Mike Sorensen: Utah Utes should act like they expect to beat BYU

Published: Sunday, July 15 2012 7:18 p.m. MDT

Bronco Mendenhall and Kyle Whittingham shake hands after the University of Utah defeats Brigham Young University 54-10 as they play football Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011, in Provo, Utah.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

Enlarge photo»

SALT LAKE CITY — So Utah doesn't want to schedule BYU for a couple of years, making BYU fans feel like Utah thinks it is too good for them and Utah fans feeling like, well, they are too good for BYU.

I think perhaps Utah may want to throw its Pac-12 weight around a little bit, but is worried about possibly losing to the Cougars, or at least expending a little too much energy against the Cougars along with their nine "tough" Pac-12 games and the game against Michigan.

But I don't understand why Utah should be afraid of losing to BYU. You can make the case that the Utes have been the dominant team over the past two decades. Since 1993, Utah owns a 12-7 record in the series and has only lost one game decisively, the 20-point loss in 1996. The other six losses were all decided in the final minute of the game or overtime, several in what many would call "miraculous" circumstances (the 4th-and-12 in 2000, the 4th-and-17 in 2007, Beck-to-Harline in 2006, etc.). It's not far-fetched for Ute fans to claim they are THIS close to a 15-game winning streak.

So, come on Utes, go ahead and schedule the Cougars and expect to beat them. Let's keep the rivalry going without interruption.

WHO'S THE THIRD?: It's going to be very interesting when Utah announces its non-conference football schedule for 2014 and 2015.

We know Michigan is one opponent and a team such as Northern Arizona or Northern Colorado or North Summit will be the other opponent.

If the third opponent is Utah State, I say fine, the Utes are playing an in-state opponent, which is improving every year.

However, if the Utes end up with some three-letter school like UAB or UCF or SMU instead of BYU, they'll have some explaining to do.

MORE WILLIAMS: The Jazz haven't stood pat this offseason, adding a pair of Williamses to their team to make up for losing another Williams last year. Former Jazzman Mo Williams has been handed the keys to the offense now that last year's point guard Devin Harris has been traded to Atlanta for Marvin Williams.

These moves should make the Jazz better. Mo should be an improvement over Harris, although Harris was finally figuring things out late last season. As for Marvin, he's never quite lived up to his potential as a No. 2 overall pick, something the Jazz haven't had since Darrell Griffith. If he can elevate his game over what he did in Atlanta, the Jazz may have a gotten a steal.

RICK WAS WRONG: Do you remember the statements former Utah coach Rick Majerus made just before the 2005 Draft? Majerus raised some eyebrows when he suggested that the Milwaukee Bucks should draft North Carolina's Marvin Williams rather than Andrew Bogut, a player he had recruited to Utah.

Majerus told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "I think five years out in the draft it will be Marvin Williams who will be the best player."

That certainly didn't happen. While both Bogut and Williams have each started most of their careers, Bogut has surpassed Williams in almost every category.

Besides scoring more per game, Bogut's rebound numbers (9.3 to 5.2), block shots (1.6 to 0.4) and assists (2.3 to 1.4) are all better and he shoots better from the field (52.2 to 45.0). Only at the foul line, has Williams been superior (80.6 to 57.4 percent).

Of course if you were re-doing the 2005 draft, Chris Paul would probably be No. 1 followed by Deron Williams and then Bogut. Other players such as Andrew Bynum (No. 10), Danny Granger (17) and Monta Ellis (40) would probably be taken ahead of Marvin Williams.

COME BACK USGA: Finally, most sports fans probably missed the fact that a big golf tournament was played in the state last week.

The U.S. Amateur Public Links, Utah's first-ever United States Golf Association event, was contested at Soldier Hollow in Midway with top golfers from around the world competing for a prestigious title along with an invitation to next year's Masters.

The people at Soldier Hollow did a fabulous job hosting the tournament, and USGA officials couldn't have been more pleased with Utah's effort.

But the mountainous course was nearly impossible to walk for the average person (players needed transport between some holes) and it was almost an hour drive from the Wasatch Front.

Hopefully the USGA will come back to Utah in the future and the tournament can be played at a walkable course in the Salt Lake Valley where more fans can watch.

email: sor@desnews.com

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS