Justin Giles

For the Deseret News

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Commentary: BYU and Utah football programs aren't all that different

By Justin Giles

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Aug. 23 2013 10:18 a.m. MDT

Going into the football season, football fans like to rally behind their respective teams, believing this is the year for that breakout season. Before the first game is played, fans and the media carry expectations into the season.

Fans of rival schools point out why their team is better than the rest. A look at recent history however, shows that the football programs at Utah and BYU are quite similar.

After the 2004 season, Bronco Mendenhall and Kyle Whittingham, who were serving as defensive coordinators for their respective schools, took over the head coaching positions for the 2005 season. This upcoming season will mark the ninth year for both head coaches.

So what else do these rival schools have in common? Let's find out.

Justin Giles is a recent graduate of the University of Utah. EMAIL: justingiles22@gmail.com

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Christopher B
Ogden, UT

Same number of head to head wins? No

Same number of NFL draft picks? No

Same number of power conference invites? No

Same number of BCS wins? No

Same number of undefeated seasons? No

Same number of top 5 seasons? No

Same number of bowl wins over SEC powerhouse teams? No

So similar it's uncanny!

Funny/witty screen name
Orem, UT

Same number of National Championships? No

Same number of Heisman winners? NO

Same number of Top 25 seasons? No

Same number of consecutive bowl appearances and wins? NO

Same number of bottom of conference seasons? No

Crazy how the most important things in college football are left off of Utah's list...

spudman
Cottonwood, AZ

Same number of National Championships? Nope.

Same number of HeismanTrophy winners? Nope.

Same number of Sammy Baugh Trophy winners? Nope.

Same number of Outland Trophy winners? Nope.

Same number of Coach of there Year award winners? Nope.

Same number of Super Bowl Champions? Nope.

Same number of Super Bowl MPVs? Nope.

You're right Chrissy. So very similar indeed.

VegasUte
Las Vegas, NV

Come on August 29! Football can't get here fast enough!

Go Utes! Go Ags! Go Cougs!

STuFOO
Korea, AE

You know, if my football team and all the other sports at my school stunk as bad as the u's, I would beat chris b's drum too.

I mean think about it,

what else is there?

No bowl, no respect, losing seasons, no one cares anymore about their BCS wins, and the media doesn't give them the time of day...

I guess I would beat that drum all day long too.

It would make me feel better to name drop big time programs in order to help me feel like I was just like them. I would hold that I beat my rival and rushed the field as if it were my bowl game, I would name drop coaches names the way a used car salesman does at dinner parties, because it would make me feel better too.

I would beat that drum right up until BYU spanked my team. then I would go silent, hide and suck my thumb.

I get it now, chris.

U 90
Corona, CA

"it is hard to remember a time when both BYU and Utah were so stacked at the wide receiver position."

Really? I don't see it that way. Utah's receivers are bleh.... Anderson led the team with 350 yard last year. While BYU has by far the best receiver in the state in Hoffman, there really isn't much else. Apo has been a disappointment and I wouldn't call Faslev a game changer by any stretch.

Gorum The Old
Madison, AL

Chris B

Normally I don't reply to trolls like you, but this time you have made some amusing mistakes.

"Same number of NFL draft picks? No" This statement is correct. BYU has had 116 players drafted into the NFL. Utah has had 86 drafted.

"Same number of top 5 seasons? No" Actually the answer is yes. Both schools have 2 top 5 finishes.

"Same number of bowl wins over SEC powerhouse teams? No" True, but BYU does have more wins against ranked teams in bowl games.

"Same number of head to head wins? No" Pick your time frame. Over the past 60 years, the series is exactly 30-30.

continued in next post.

Gorum The Old
Madison, AL

"Same number of power conference invites? No" Technically true. However, Utah got its invite when the PAC 12s top 5 targets declined and they were left with 11 teams. BYU Lost its invite due to the political wranglings of a Baylor alumni Texas Governer.

Big Eight's expansion is best for all 12 concerned by Randy Galloway (The Dallas Morning News 02/27/1994)

"The big winner, obviously, is Baylor - one church school hanging in with 11 state-financed institutions. And I do want to hear the apologies, like right now, from any Baylor fan who ever cussed Grant Teaff. No way the Bears would have been positioned, athletically, to be included in this without Teaff's long-term guidance. Plus, Grant had the political wheels turning long ago on Baylor's behalf, and that definitely paid off this time. The Big Eight wanted BYU, not Baylor. But it couldn't have Texas and A&M without Baylor."

Gorum The Old
Madison, AL

This article does bring out some good points. The article isn't saying that they are identicle, but that they have many similar situations.

1) Young, athletis, inexperienced QBs

2) New Offenses, new offensive Co-ordinators.

3) Facing the most difficult schedules in their respective schools history.

4) Both are trying to prove that they are more than the past couple of years were the exception and that they do belong in the upper eschelon of college football.

5) Both relied and will likely to continue to rely on their defenses heavily to win games.

Sure there are plenty of differences, but there are quite a large number of similarities as well.

Culbear
Bountiful, UT

Wow, just to describe how inaccurate this is.... Devonte Christopher barely played for last years squad. And he graduated so no he is not playing for the Utes this season.

JohnInSLC
Cottonwood Heights, UT

"BYU has had 116 players drafted into the NFL. Utah has had 86 drafted"
"Pick your time frame. Over the past 60 years, the series is exactly 30-30"

Gorum:

I don't know where you're getting your stats, but your mistakes/slants are equally amusing.

According to pro-football-referencedotcom, since the NFL draft began in 1936 BYU has had 140 players drafted, while Utah has had 137.

As to head-to-head record, why limit it to 60 years unless you want to spin a bit? If you want to pick a selective time frame, how about the last 10 years? Utah leads 7-3. All-time would be more complete. According to College Football Data Warehouse Utah leads 56-34-4, unless you're one of the hard-liners who ignores "The Forgotten Years", then it's 53-31-4.

Itchy
Lehi, UT

I think it's pretty obvious that BYU and Utah have more in common than fans on both sides would care to admit. Both teams are usually mediocre or borderline top 25 at best. Many Utah fans think they are somehow better than BYU simply based on the fact that they are in the Pac-12, while igoring the fact that the U has done absolutely nothing since joining that conference. BYU fans, on the other hand constantly talk about their legacy, which ended the moment Lavell Edwards retired. Both teams glory years are past, and in the case of BYU, VERY long past. I would love it if either BYU or Utah could once again make some noise on the national stage, but I just don't see that happening anytime soon.

Thriller
Saint George, UT

Yeah, an awful lot of credibility for this list went out the window when it was mentioned that Devonte Christopher will be a factor for the Utes this year. That's some top-notch research.

With that said, everyone can now get back to the endless prattle of meaningless claims and statistics.

Less than a week left...

sammyg
Springville, UT

Since all things past don't count anymore since the Utes invitation to the PAC10 and BYU's independence let's now move on.

So with that in mind there's little to fuss about except the bowl-less category.

Utes Bowl-less YES
BYU Bowl-less NO

JohnInSLC
Cottonwood Heights, UT

"Since all things past don't count anymore since the Utes invitation to the PAC10 and BYU's independence let's now move on. So with that in mind there's little to fuss about except the bowl-less category."

Leave it to a cougie "fan" to ignore the obvious. How about this one, sam? Utah 2 - BYU 0

U 90
Corona, CA

sammyg,

Since you are now only looking at the past two years, interesting that you say nothing about the head-to-head results or SOS. Maybe if the Utes would have had a schedule that included Idaho, New Mexico State, Weber State and Hawaii they could have chalked up one more W to get that bowl you are so preoccupied with. Last 10 years, Utah has 8 bowl wins including 2 BSC, BYU has 6.

sammyg
Springville, UT

U90

Still using the same ol' excuses I see of SOS.

And still smarting from going bowl-less last year and being in the shadow of BYU's ranking.

Some things will never change.

sammyg
Springville, UT

Dear John,

I'm not forgetting anything, big deal your team squeaked out a win last year, but come next month I'm betting your head will be your hands, the excuses will be flowing from 'the hill', a stupor of silence will be permeating the Salt Lake Valley, or a rabble calling for Whit, Ericksen, and Bryan to go will be chanting here soon enough.

And you will still be bowl-less come December.

Any of the above will be very entertaining to see play out on these comments.

Go Aggies!

JohnInSLC
Cottonwood Heights, UT

"big deal your team squeaked out a win last year"

sam:

Still can't bring yourself to speak 54-10, I see.

UteMiguel
Go Utes, CA

" Ironically, both of these players play on the defensive line."
I do not think "ironically" means what you think it means. "Coincidentally," perhaps.

indycrimson
Franklin, IN

8 seasons for both head coaches:

Whit. 5 wins
Mend. 3 wins

Have BYU fans ever considered your bowl situation? You agree to bowls way in advance of your season? Kind if like the Harlem Globetrotters selecting there own opponents and games...

Most college football teams enter into the season without a bowl invite and play hard for the best invite they can get. Utah was invited to two BCS Bowls in the past 9 years. Once they didn't get a bowl bid. That to me, is a good way to do it.

To accept the same bowl invite each year and then have your fans brag about bowl invites is like celebrating an undefeated season against the Washinton Generals. To me anyways...

worf
Mcallen, TX

Football season is around the corner. Feels like New Years Day.

Utah State 31
Utah 3

BYU 42
Virginia 9

sammyg
Springville, UT

John,

Still can't seem to get out from BYU's shadow (overall season ranking supremacy). One game does not make a season.

I think I will start calling the Utes the 'Rodney's'... as in Rodney Dangerfield...

"I (we) get no respect."

sammyg
Springville, UT

Well Indycrimson, you first have to start winning enough games to qualify for a bowl game.

And you dismiss the fact that BYU plays for its exposure and fans.

BYU is doing nothing different than what conferences do by having bowl tie ins.

If BYU wins enough games it can be invited to some of the larger bowl games. Very little difference to the Utes except BYU is winning enough games and the Utes missed the mark last season and looks to miss it again this year.

Go Aggies!

Uteology
East Salt Lake City, Utah

@sammyg
Very little difference to the Utes except BYU is winning enough games and the Utes missed the mark last season and looks to miss it again this year.

-----------

Very little difference?

The difference between 2011 regular season 7-5 BYU and 5-7 Utah is:

Hawaii 3-9
Idaho 1-11
New Mexico State 1-11

Don't know why you have a hard time understanding that basic concept. Utah went 33-6 playing your schedule and 9-1 in bowl games. I think we would have handled your schedule just fine.

Duckhunter
Highland, UT

@indycrimson

Your "point" about bowl games didn't make a bit of sense. You need to try again on that one. EVERYONE is committed to a bowl game before the season starts, it is just most are committed through their conference affiliations and a very few, like BYU, make an agreement for themselves.

Where some, like utah, have an advantage is that they have more opportunities for mid tier bowl games, but in reality who really cares? I can tell you I would much rather go to the armed forces, poinsettia, or kraft fight hunger bowls than the sun bowl. But of course that is just a preference because none of them mean much, they are just a bowl game and a place to go.

The chances are that if utah even makes a bowl game this season it will be a low tier, not even mid tier, game, and you, and all other utah "fans", will be ecstatic about it. Good luck.

indycrimson
Franklin, IN

Amazing Sammy...

No college team has taken their first snap and it already looks "like Utah will miss a bowl again this year"..: Do you mind sharing the name of your crystal ball mechanic? Mine is broken, so I'm at a disadvantage in this conversation.

Can you share all of the bowl selections already? College football must be boring for you, since you are omnipotent.

Lucky guy

Uteology
East Salt Lake City, Utah

Gorum The Old
Madison, AL

"Same number of power conference invites? No" Technically true. However, Utah got its invite when the PAC 12s top 5 targets declined and they were left with 11 teams.

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

Wrong. Texas declined, without Texas no PAC-16.

"Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott laid out a host of expansion scenarios to athletic directors on Friday, the first day of conference meetings here. They range from a full merger with the Big 12; to merging with six current Big 12 schools, including Texas; to adding Colorado and Utah; to the status quo, according to one athletic director...Some people see that scenario as a smokescreen to a more modest expansion."
-- Source: ESPN

"In the end, "Texas politics" killed his plan to add Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, Colorado, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State from the Big 12... Texas "leaked" expansion plan as they were going into Big 12 spring meetings in June hoping to keep the Big 12 together.
-- Source: CBS Sports

motorbike
Cottonwood Heights, UT

STuFOO

Re: "I would beat that drum right up until BYU spanked my team."

Based on recent past it seems there could be some drum beating for quite some time.

ExecutorIoh
West Jordan, UT

@IndyCrimson:

"No college team has taken their first snap and it already looks "like Utah will miss a bowl again this year"..: Do you mind sharing the name of your crystal ball mechanic? Mine is broken, so I'm at a disadvantage in this conversation."

Utah has received no attention in the pre-season rankings (not even a single vote). On the other hand, they are scheduled to play five teams that are ranked in the top 25 and another four teams that have received votes. That there is a clear indication that the media and the coaches both favor at least 9 of the 12 opponents that Utah plays. Then with Washington State and Colorado, it could be a toss-up. You really think that Utah has at least six wins coming to them?

Chris B. 4 Prez!
Salt Lake City, UT

@STuFOO:

Your statement: "No bowl, no respect, losing seasons, no one cares anymore about their BCS wins, and the media doesn't give them the time of day..."

*No bowl? We missed a bowl game last year, after nearly going 10 for 10! We'll be back in business this year!

*No respect? No respect is TDS fans getting amped about victories over the Vandals, New Mexico St, and Hawaii!

*No one cares anymore about their BCS wins? Bah ha ha (TDS teams and fans who will never win one sure do!) Who in their right mind (other than TDS fans) respects or cares about TDS' 1984 "Ntl. Championship"?! That TDS gift is what caused the collective football minds to say, we're never letting that happen again! What a joke!

*Media doesn't give them the time of day? If you're referring to when ESPN came to LES and witnessed a complete and utter embarrassment against Florida State, then by all means, enjoy that kind of attention for years!! (ESPN commentator: "And next, we have the proud Cougars of Brigham Young...versus the mighty Vandals of Idaho!") Bah ha ha
GO UTES

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