Brad Rock: Whittingham should get one more year


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  • Rockwell Baltimore, MD
    Dec. 1, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    The big question is how close to rock bottom will even the most loyal Utah fans allow the program to descend, before they start screaming for Kyle's head?

    2011 4-5
    2012 3-6
    2013 2-7
    2014 1-8?
    2015 0-9?

    How many losing, bowl-less seasons are the Utah faithful willing to endure before RES begins to resemble the HC during the Boylen era?

    Once the Utes hit rock bottom, it could take years, even decades, for the Utes to rebuild - see Utah football 1965 to 1991.

  • bigv56 Cottonwood, CA
    Nov. 30, 2013 9:24 p.m.

    its the pac `12. I know utahns think they can compete with a lot of utah bred players. Cant happen. Its a great place but a small pond with a few big fish. You have arguements about byu and utah, you are the only ones who care. same with bball.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Nov. 29, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    I agree with those on this thread who point to the dangers of churning coaches. A revolving door history of coaches is symptomatic of unsuccessful teams. As I've suggested in other threads, Utah needs to differentiate in order to recruit better and one way to differentiate in the PAC-12 is to have stability at the head coaching position.

    The challenge in the PAC-12 is that it's hard to keep a coach. Win consistently and you lose your coach to the pros (e.g. USC, OR, Stanford), lose consistently and the fan base calls for your head (didn't the PAC-12 churn 5 coaches last year). I believe the longest tenured coach in the conference is Mike Riley and no one else has coached in the conference for more than a couple of years (Sark may be 2nd in tenure).

    Stick with Whit, he and Sitake have the defensive side of the ball in great shape. Let him find someone that will give the Offense an identity (Erickson is a short term, but not long term solution.

  • clehman Sandy, UT
    Nov. 29, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    You'd love nothing more than that, wouldn't you, Rock? Because one more year of Whittingham means at least one more year of bad Utah football for you to gloat over.

  • bigutefan Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 28, 2013 2:43 p.m.

    Your article is insulting Mr. Rock, and ridiculous. Utah would not be in the PAC-12 without Kyle. Do you think he is trying to lose? The man wants to win just as bad as everyone else. He is doing the best he can with the cards he was dealt. There is not a blue print on how to build a team into a BCS caliber, since Utah was the first team in the nation invited to the big leagues. The Utes were in every game this year, with a chance to win 10 of them in the final minutes. The corner is ready to be turned. This team continues to get better every game and every year. I am disgusted with those that want Kyle's head. Stand back and look at the big picture, we are rising. Be patient. Happy Thanksgiving to you Mr. Rock, sure hope Kyle avoids the paper today and your horrible article.

  • Play Nice Herriman, UT
    Nov. 28, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    Sorry Rock Monsta. I have to disagree with you on this one. Kyle W. is a great coach. The persons whose jobs should be scrutinized under a microscope are the ones that put Utah in the PAC 12. Utah was destined to falter from the get go. Football from a small populace heavily recruited by 4 local teams, and a small stadium really is a big challenge. If anyone can overcome those obstacles, it is Kyle W.

    A minority view without a doubt; but, give me a conference with BYU, Utah and Utah State at the center and try to add a view others with strong programs and traditions, possibly Boise St. and others, and I'd be a happy fan again.

  • Jake2010 bountiful, ut
    Nov. 27, 2013 10:29 p.m.

    The history of these two institutions speaks loudly of what can be anticipated in the future irregardless to conference affiliation or the lack thereof... Neither the hill or the valley should even consider getting rid of the head men on the staff. Fire all you want, but these borders will NEVER have an Alabama, so we should NEVER have the expectations of the first several seasons of Whit or even Urban Meyers tenure. Those were like the cougars run in the 80's, a chance of a lifetime. To expect it ever again is simply nefarious. Keep Whit until he retires! This even in the shadow of 4 straight losses to him... He has Cougar roots as does Sarkisian and so we will take our graduated presence in the pac-12 with honor!

    Nov. 27, 2013 8:33 p.m.

    It is difficult for me not to use the term ingrate when it comes to Ute fans calling for Whittingham to be fired. It is very tempting after two losing seasons to get antsy, but Whittingham has shown an amazing commitment to Utah. Given the right support and time, Utah could have a high quality coach for another decade. Drop Whittingham now and you could see a real revolving door as each new coach runs into the same high expectations as the last one, with recruits not his own, and a nervous fan base to boot. This could start a real death spiral and a near permanent basement status for Utah. The Utes were only one winnable game away from going to a bowl this year. If they choose to fire Whittingham they deserve their fate. If that were to happen I predict Whittingham will find a place that appreciates him pronto and succeed wherever he goes.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 7:24 p.m.

    Let's be fair, only one more year is insanity. Next year, Utah has the same PAC-12 schedule and is trading BYU for Michigan. It's only getting tougher. And I am still going to every game!

    In two years, Utah trades Oregon for CAL and Stanford for Washington. I have to give the coach 2-4 more years at least.

  • Time Out Lehi / Utah, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    Coach Whitt is one of the best. He has led Utah to heights never imagined. He beats BYU and hates them with a passion.

    That Brian Johnson promotion to offensive coordinator was a real head scratcher though.

  • Brad E. HERRIMAN, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 4:07 p.m.

    The only guaranteed cupcake wins on Utah's schedule this year: Weber St. and BYU. Next year will be even more difficult without these automatic wins.

  • CougarColby Fort Benning, GA
    Nov. 27, 2013 4:01 p.m.

    As a Cougar fan, you have to hope the best with KW. He seems to be a stand up guy even though he is with the "enemy" now. I don't think its as much about him as it is about the PAC 12. I have been living outside of Utah for the past 5 years and came back to visit this fall. I was amazed to see all the PAC-12 country stuff, EVERYWHERE. From an outside perspective it looked more like people were more crazy abpit the PAC-12 then the U of U. Maybe it is just me...

    The issue is that the PAC-12 is an impressive conference and there is no way that Utah is going to be able to recruit against USC, a much better UCLA program, Stanford and Oregon. Locals will choose ASU, Arizona, WSU and OSU. So what pool does Utah get? Some good Utah high school players and maybe a few from Idaho, Nevada and other border states. After that, you are picking up the 2-3 star guys that were passed over by the big schools. I can't think of anyone outside of Utah that has grown up wanting to play for the U of U.

  • USNGary San Diego, CA
    Nov. 27, 2013 3:59 p.m.

    There is really only one difference from this years schedule to last year or the year previous. Yes Utah added Oregon and Stanford, which both has 2 losses now. they replaced Washington and Cal. Utah probably wins one of the two, so same record as with Stanford and Oregon, not much different in my eyes. Quit using the SOS as an excuse.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    Quoting Brad Rock ... "If it’s bust, Whittingham should go back to his first love — coaching someone’s defense."

    There's some credibility lost by making a comment like that. If Whitt was to be cut this year or next, he'd no doubt land on his feet as a head coach at a quality university in a quality conference.

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Nov. 27, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    It would be premature to let Coach Whittingham go.

    While this year's team will likely finish with the same record as last year's team (please win on Saturday!), this year's team is better than last year's version. They played a tougher schedule this year, and were more competitive against their opponents.

    The team is better, but Utah probably lost ground against the conference because the conference as a whole is much better.

    Let's see what happens next year before coaching changes are seriously considered on the hill.

    Go Utes!

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 2:29 p.m.

    Kyle's biggest mistakes:

    1. Getting rid of Andy Ludwig. Ludwig has occasional misses, but was a solid OC.
    2. QB recruiting.
    3. OL recruiting.
    4. Hiring Brian Johnson as OC
    5. Not figuring out which offensive persona best fits his team. I think he had it more right during the Chow year when he was talking about a downhill/power/play-action type offense, a la Stanford.
    6. Sharreif Shah
    7. Hiring more coaches that didn't play for him. The Utes have needed more diverse background in coaching.

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 2:24 p.m.


    What trophies are you talking about? If you get to count track, then Utah fans can count skiing and gymnastics championships. I'm not sure about the national acclaim that you seem to have heaped on BYU. Wishful thinking at best.

  • TXAfghanVet Dallas, TX
    Nov. 27, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    I don't see it. Since becoming head coach, KW teams have one MW title, one MW second place finish and the rest of the years finished third or lower in the MW.

    Thanks to some political screw-ups in the PAC (Texas invite didn't work) they had to scramble to find an acceptable, non-religious school to invite. There was Utah. Sorry Cougs, unless Cal leaves the PAC, there won't be any invites to any school with a religious affiliation. Since entering the PAC, KW lead teams have 4, 3, and now maybe 2 games in the three years respectively.

    KW teams are always competitive. They just always seem to lose focus during games they should win. They're always up for BYU and the big schools, but then they seem to find ways to lose a game they should win. That's coaching. Especially when the losses come mid season or just after big wins.

    Sorry, either he starts winning and showing that he can maintain team focus, or you would have to conclude he's hit his "Peter Principle". My guess is that some of the potential recruits are starting to figure that out already.

  • WA_Alum&Dad Marysville, WA
    Nov. 27, 2013 2:09 p.m.

    @ Zorro:
    "If you fire him you will get on the ferris wheel of coaches who will come in, go to a bowl game and be gone the next day."

    Dead-on. Utah might be able to attract a top-tier coach on the rise, but will never be able to keep them. There are maybe a dozen and a half football programs and 30 basketball programs in the country considered destination coaching jobs. Utah is not one of them in either sport. Only about 5 of them are west of the Mississippi. No amount of wishing, planning or paying will change that.

  • Lifelong Republican Orem, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    BYU can pull in recruits of its faith. They will get them from all over. Utah can say they are in the pac 12 but any kid wanting to play in the pac12 isn't going to have Utah as their team of choice for that league. People were expecting to see a recruiting bump due to the pac 12 connection but I think as time goes on it will actually hurt them. Losing record back to back years now. No bowl game. Very few real tv appearances. There isn't much to bring a kid to Utah.

    That shouldn't be held against the coach. Anybody the leads this team is going to have the same problems.

  • WA_Alum&Dad Marysville, WA
    Nov. 27, 2013 1:21 p.m.

    "Why don't we have a four-star QB recruit even considering attending the U?"

    The question answers itself: why would a 4-star QB not from the Intermountain West who is getting offers from other power conference schools choose to live in the cold, altitude and "uniqueness" of Utah over USC, UCLA, or Washington? The only reason would be if he were guaranteed to start at Utah, and no other school recruiting him gave him that promise. So depth will always be an issue for Utah

    All this angst about winning in a "big time" conference is part and parcel with the membership. If that is all you want your University to be--the best NFL farm team in your state--then more power to you.

  • Zorro Bakersfield, CA
    Nov. 27, 2013 1:20 p.m.

    Here's the problem: You've seen this before but it doesn't seem to sink in!

    Whitt is a State of Utah guy. He doesn't want to move. He has no greater aspirations like Urban did or Gary Anderson. If you fire him you will get on the ferris wheel of coaches who will come in, go to a bowl game and be gone the next day. IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?

    Whitt is committed! If not, he would at BYU now!

    And whoever thinks Mike Leach is going to retire in Pullman is smoking some really nasty stuff. WSU is a rehab for Leach's coaching reputation. He will be gone in 3 yr.

  • Joe Schmoe Orem, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    Please keep coach Willingham. These past couple of years in the pac 12 have been some of the best seasons. My friends that cheer for Utah keep telling me they are in the pac 12 and the money is good so why fire him now? The money will still be there won't it? Winning isn't everything.

  • Cougs4Life Gilbert, AZ
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    Yes, please keep coach Whit...PLEASE!

  • AltaHawkFan Sandy, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:41 p.m.

    @GoRed If you want to play the 'injuries and one more play' game, the utes could just as easily be 1-10 right now too with your only win over a poor FCS team that just fired their coach.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:33 p.m.

    @Wookie You just nailed all the current problems with the Utah Jazz too. Utahn's are sometimes too loyal.

  • Filthy Kuffar Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:20 p.m.

    I would say keep the coaching staff, but after watching the same plays, over and over again without success is enough for me to want a change in coaching. There is no creativity whatsoever on the offense. It's always line the RB next to the QB, hand it off on 1st, repeat for 2nd, attempt a pass on 3rd, punt on 4th. Any team can easily predict the offense after just a couple of series, ann can then effectively shut it down. Whatever happened to that creative offense Urban Meyer had back in 2004-2005? I'm sorry, but it's time for some new blood.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:21 p.m.

    DraperUteFan said, "Coach Whit is too conservative at times."

    I agree with all you said, Oregon State beat Utah with three 4th down conversions, 2 from mid-field. Their coach has real confidence against the Utah defense.

    The lack of Utah coaching confidence in the Utah offense is felt all over the stadium and most likely in the team.

    Nov. 27, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    Brad Rock and BYU fans,

    We appreciate your concern over our football situation, but we'll be just fine. If not for a few key injuries (Murphy, Wilson, Blechen, etc.) and if we could have made even one more play in either the Oregon State, UCLA, or Arizona State games, we'd be having a whole different conversation here. But that, unfortunately, is the life of a college football team sometimes.

    As far as Coach Whitt is concerned, he's done everything and more to build the program over the past nine years. The guy is tough as nails, and is a class act both on and off the field. He's our biggest asset right now in the football program. There shouldn't even be a discussion over whether or not to keep him. Let's finish out the season, then let our athletes heal during the off season. That, along with welcoming our new recruits, and we'll be just fine.

    Go Utes!!

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    Florida was in this same place a few years ago. Then, they stole Meyer from Utah and boom...BCS National Champions. Yet, where is Florida now?

    Don't start the revolving door of coaches game. A strong program has lasting coaches.

    Thanks Whit!

  • IRS Agent PROVO, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:05 p.m.


    No, Gary Anderson IS the reason the Utes are where they are. Kyle rode Urban's coat tails until he left. After that, Gary Anderson was the reason the Utes continued to succeed. Need proof? Look at what Kyle has done since Gary left, and look at what Utah State did during the same period. Now look at what Wisconsin is doing. It doesn't take much imagination to see who was really driving the success at the U.

  • BYU Fan who also likes Utah Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    I am mostly a BYU fan, but I don't think that just beating BYU is enough of a reason for Utah to keep KW. Also the fluke win against Stanford, as good as it was, is not enough reason. He has done horridly against the Pac 12 overall, and as emotionally important beating BYU may be for obsessed Utah fans, winning against the Pac 12 would be better overall for the program. However I think he should be given 1 more year. See if he can do something to prove himself when he doesn't have his signature game to win, and see if he can do good enough that beating Stanford wouldn't just be a fluke.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    Steven S Jarvis "I'm not convinced the PAC 12 is the second best league this year. Not until the league plays out and wins some bowl games will that be known."

    I'm not so sure the SEC is the best league this year. Sure, they have undefeated 'Bama and two schools with only one loss, Auburn & Missouri (Bama has not played either school). But, to make that mathematically possible they have to have conference teams that really get beat up. So,far 9 SEC teams will not be bowl eligible and Georgia might make it 10. Is that the best conference?

    The PAC-12 is stronger as a conference. Utah beat Stanford, Stanford beat Oregon, Oregon beat UCLA, UCLA beat Oregon State, Oregon State beat Washington, Washington beat Arizona, Arizona beat Oregon.

  • AltaHawkFan Sandy, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    @ChristopherB Bwahahahahahaha You are too funny! Your ENTIRE list of 9 items supporting Whit is based on just ONE season and mostly ONE game. That's hilarious. It's obvious from reading the ute fans' posts here that most are content that the program is getting worse each year and are scared to try for something better. Arizona had a decent coach but replaced him with Rich Rod and are now improving their standing. Same with Arizona St, UCLA, and Wash St.

    Wake up ute fans! Your record next year will be even worse than this year when you trade BYU for Michigan and Utah St for Fresno St. You also won't have the luxury of 5 home pac12 games with only 4 road games. Next year, you'll have 5 road and only 4 home. Your schedule isn't getting any easier.

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Nov. 27, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    You hate to see anyone fired that has invested their heart and soul into a program. I also think Whit is a class act, and by the best coach in Utah. My concerns with Whit is that he is loyal to a fault (something I suffer from as well). The nepotism is a little to much and his observation of talent is suspect (i.e., hiring a 24 yr old OC, strength of team is o-line, deepest QB class, etc...). I think that he needs to step outside and look at his current coaching staff and make a decision on what is best for the team. I don't want to see him go, but unless he can see his mistakes that are all to obvious for the Monday Morning QBs, then it may be necessary to demote him and promote BJ :)

    GO UTES!!
    Happy Thanksgiving Chris B, Duckhunter, et. al.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 11:26 a.m.

    Whit has a lot of bowls ahead of him with or without Utah, either as a head coach at a comparative program or in the top bowls as a def coordinator.
    I'll bet, if Utah let's him go you will see Whit turn around a big school and Utah will say, that could have been us.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    SoonerUte "In the 9 years prior to Utah joining the conference, Arizona had an average finish of 7 while ASU an average finish of 6. In that span, both teams had a 2nd place finish. What is your definition of "cellar dweller"? Anything that isn't first place?"

    Cellar dwellers was too harsh, but the AZ schools are a good example of Utah's future. I was heartbroken when they split the WAC for the PAC-10. Yet, they have still never been to a BCS bowl. In the meantime, they do have respect around the country because of their endurance in the conference and they continue to sell out all their games. They have FUN in the conference, just as Utah is enjoying now.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    Kyle has proven he is the best coach in the state.

    He is the only current coach in the state with ANY of the following:

    Undefeated season
    Top 10 finish
    Top 5 finish
    Top 2 finish
    BCS bowl
    BCS bowl win
    Bowl win over SEC powerhouse
    Win against End of season(only rankings that matter) top 10 team
    2 wins against end of season top 10 team

    He may not be Urban Meyer, but he's the best around

    Coach Whit for life!

  • DraperUteFan Draper, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    Too Smart For You, please read a stat sheet or box score before your posts. Utah was within 4 points of Arizona at 28-24 in the 4th quarter with the ball and a drive deep in Wildcat territory before a decision to attempt a long field goal instead of going for it on 4th down and a chance to go ahead. Only a field goal against Arizona...check the box score.

    They were within 6 in the 4th quarter at Wazzou and had the ball. Obviously you don't watch the games or study the box score or you would know Utah was in both of those games despite multiple turnovers and mistakes.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    Nov. 27, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    I'm not a Ute fan but I don't think Coach W should be fired now as some are advocating. The grass is not always greener on the other side. Ute fans needs to be a little more patient and give Kyle at least 3 more years. Expectations of Rose Bowl appearances and/or conference championships predictions by a few knucklehead fans were ridiculous to begin with. I say give Coach W a little more time. 3 yrs is not a long enough time to be successful in a very tough conference. Some of you have expected way too much way too soon and now you're calling for the man's head? I think it'll be a terrible mistake to let him go but if he is, I'm sure he'll land somewhere else where he'll feel more loved and needed and probably make a whole lot more money than he has now also.

    Go Whit! Go Utes! Go Aggies! And definitely Go Cougars!

  • Serenity Now Highland, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    As a BYU fan, I'd love for Utah to languish back into mediocrity like it was in the 70s and 80s, but Utah would be foolish and short-sighted to fire Whit. He is the best thing that's ever happened to Utah football.

    Isn't it ironic that Rock notes at the beginning of his article that "[t]his marks the first time in 23 years they’ve had back-to-back losing seasons." Utah's 23-year run of success can almost be pinpointed to the day when Fred Whittingham was hired as DC in the early 90s and hired Kyle as a defensive assistant. If Whit were fired, he would essentially become a victim of his own success, or a sign that Utah's PAC 12 ego won't allow it to hang around with its best coach ever, despite a rough transition period.

    If Utah fires Whit, the only joy for this BYU fan will be watching Chris Hill start a musical chairs process with 3-4 year coaches like he has with basketball the last 10 years….

  • Thefullnancy SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    The Sun Bowl? A serious bowl? El Paso? Seriously?

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Nov. 27, 2013 10:10 a.m.


    Nice Post, very accurate.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    @ Max

    Just how was Utah competitive against Arizona, USC or Washington State? At WSU they never were ahead, not even once. In the game against Arizona, they only made a field goal. Competitive? The score is like bowling, not golf. (More points is better.)

  • pleblian salt lake city, utah
    Nov. 27, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    Whittingham is the most powerful part of the UoU program. Look around, where are you going to improve on him? He is the team MVP. Without Whit's calls you lose to USU.

    The only thing that has changed since 2008 is the level of competition.
    UoU still beats a good 7-4 BYU team, a good 7-4 USU team. They can still knock off an Alabama-like opponent (Stanford) every once in while.

    It is the PAC12. It is THAT good. There has been some bad luck at QB, but not nearly as blameworthy as BYU's qb woes until this year.

    UoU needs until 2015 before they have the depth of talent at every position to last a whole schedule like this one, which was arguably the toughest in the nation.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    @ ImaUteFan-- Utah will never see another BCS Bowl. Utah playing in two of them is recent history. Before the BCS Utah didn't make a peep of noise nationally. BYU won a national championship. Some of us actually cheered for Utah to cream Alabama and we were happy to see it happen. (Now I wonder why we did that.) BYU has had a few down years (although they're going bowling again...and Utah is not). Utah is now going through the "down years" just like every program in the country. Are you old enough to remember a powerhouse called Nebraska, who fired their new coach when he won 70% of his games because of no national championships?

    @incrimson-- Sorry, your analysis about beating BYU is NOT TRUE! It is especially true this year because the win in Provo is the ONLY thing Utah has to brag about and they are doing that ad infinitum. PAC 12 defeats are the norm and they're a bitter pill to swallow, especially this year when you thought you had finally arrived. Big Shock---you're 5th or 6th in the PAC 12 Southern Division.

  • 79Ute Orange County, CA
    Nov. 27, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    I like KW, hope he stays forever, but under his leadership the offensive coordinator job has been a revolving door.

    Chow was a good hire; his leaving for Hawaii was his mistake, but we have paid a price with three OC's for just one year each. I hope Erickson stays so we can get some consistency in terms of recruiting, planning, and playing.

    I'm concerned about the recruiting. Why don't we have a four-star QB recruit even considering attending the U?

  • DraperUteFan Draper, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    I'm in support of Whit one more year. Injuries have taken a toll and this was a young team.

    I do have two major issues with coach Whit. First, we run a spread offense without the personnel to run it. You have to have a fast QB and atheletic front. We had a slower QB with a big offensive line. Mismatch in recruiting to style of play. Norm Chow ran a pro-style offense and we had reasonable success with it. I think Utah needs to realize it is not Oregon or ASU in terms of team speed. Run a pro style set to match your front and QB.

    Second issue with Coach Whit was not playing to win on at least two occasions. Late in the Arizona game, team driving, he went for a field goal on 4th down instead of playing for the win (we were down by 6 at the time). Arizona quickly scored and put the game away. Same scenario Saturday at Wazzou. 4th down and short and he punts away and WSU scores the TD to put it away.

    Coach Whit is too conservative at times.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 8:53 a.m.


    Well 6th place and 7th place are both bottom half of a 10 team conference. Maybe that isn't perrenial cellar dwelling but it sure isn't good.

  • Rational Animal Independence , UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    KW is a great coach and deserves at least a couple more years. Utah needs to understand that sewing the PAC12 logo on their uniforms did not bestow on them supernatural collegiate athletic powers. This skewed expectation was largely fueled by local media pundits clamoring to be first to predicate the exact date and time of the Utah ascension to collegiate athletic dominance. Instead of replicating one magical game against Alabama that took over a month of preparation, Utah's new reality is competing week in and week out with teams that would all compete for MWC champion year in and year out. Utah simply was not and is not acclimated to the weekly demands of PAC12 competition. That's not KW's fault. They find themselves competing against collegiate brands like USC, UCLA, Oregon, Stanford, Washington, all with decades of recruiting inroads. The few Utah blue chip players will be tempted to move West, whereas there is no significant draw for a West Coast 3 or 4 star player to come to freezing cold, snow and smog 5 months out of the year. Be patient Utes, KW is your guy.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 8:46 a.m.

    Personally I think this is absurd. Kyle IS the reason the U is where they are right now - in the PAC12 conference. He started the ball rolling long before Urban Meyer got there and he has continued a rising program ever since. History shows that every program has a string of tough seasons but Kyle has all the makings of a great coach and I think the U would be making a big mistake in letting him go. A coach can't compensate for injuries and the U had there share this year plus the U was close in beating several Pac12 opponents this season even with the injuries.

  • Ironman SANTA CLARA, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    Kyle can do as well as anyone else they might hire to replace him. Utah's financial and recruiting disadvantages in the PAC 10.2 will still remain if Utah hires a new coach.

    That said, I am surprised that they haven't given him a contract extension. They beat BYU again this season. That is all that really matters to most Ute fans, right?

    Now that I think about it, Kyle may be at risk next season because they don't play BYU.

  • technonerd7 orem, ut
    Nov. 27, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    I am a BYU fan. I am not a Whittingham fan. Up front I will admit that. However, this is football, and there are stats to back up what Brad Rock and I have been saying all year. Beating a team, that you no longer feel is on your level, and you have proven it by removing the "rivalry game". Here are the stats:

    2011- 4-5 Pac12 record.
    2012- 3-6 Pac12 record.
    2013- 1-7 Pac12 record so far. Probably ends up being 2-7 this year.

    That makes his total wins/loss ratio in the Pac12 8-26 (30%).

    30%. I totally get he took you to the Sugar Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl. But in the Pac12 if you are not winning 70% of your games, you don't stick around as a head coach. I never want to see someone get canned, but he has proven he cannot coach in the Pac12. For the record, I don't think BYU would be doing any better.....and I would be calling for Bronco's job.

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 8:05 a.m.

    Lame article. Utah has been right there in each game and are only three or four plays short of a winning season. If Whit goes so does recruiting in the state.


    "As bad as the Utah football program is (you know, no Heisman trophy winner, no National Championship) they've beaten your boys FOUR years in a row now. What does that say about the BYU program?"

    I can answer that. It says that BYU's program is pathetic to be beaten by the likes of Utah.

  • goodnight-goodluck S.L.C., UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 7:46 a.m.

    sorry he has outlived his expiration date, he had one good year and that was with a team recruited and trained by urban meyer.

  • Hailstorm is a coming Riverdale, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    I want Whittingham on the sidelines until retirement. I do think he made a major error in his hiring of that attorney , former player as the defensive backs coach. In watching the UCLA game those Freshmen in their backfield wanted and got every ball !
    ^ interceptions in one game .. some due to tipped balls, but which team did the tipping ?
    2 Interceptions in a year ?
    Robert Johnson had more than that in one game ---because he took the ball and wanted what he took.
    The Utah safeties and corners just did not get hungry for the ball and I saw not a one diving for the rock when an errant pass was thrown. I don't care if they hire Max Hall-- he knows about interceptions . That was a bad move in the d-backfield.
    I think that the D-backs coach should go back to wearing a suit in his office instead of trying to teach the defensive backfield how to " play in a tuxedo "
    Hire a coach that is a coach and let Shah, ( or whatever his name is ), go back to chasing ambulances and please , please stop the Alumni Bus !

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    Nov. 27, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    This was the risk of moving to the PAC. Bronco should count his lucky stars BYU wasn't invited. As difficult as it has been to play in a bigger pond, Utah is adjusting. They have lost several heart breakers and they have been very competitive in every game except Oregon. I think some of those ultra close games will start falling their way next year. Utah is clearly a better team than a few years ago but the degree of difficulty has increased so much. We always knew this would be a difficult process.

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    Nov. 27, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    Well it appears that it is time for the sportswriters to began their removal of a coach.Interesting how they are so so much more aware of what is wrong with with the failure of a team than those who actually run it.Maybe we should have more sportswriter as coaches.

  • Spokane Ute Spokane, WA
    Nov. 27, 2013 7:24 a.m.

    I give him one more year. Bring some one new in and it will take 3-4 years to get the new system up and going. Besides, his Sugar Bowl season has earned him one more season!

  • TXAfghanVet Dallas, TX
    Nov. 27, 2013 7:06 a.m.

    I kind of think that what you see is what you get. Kyle had some great years, with a team that Urban Meyer put together. Meyer is gone now and so is the magic.

    Yes, Utah has beat BYU for the last several years. They've even beat some "end of season top 10 teams", that some seem to think is the mark of greatness. Of course the real signature of the KW teams is the losses to poor quality teams. Often following closely on the heals of wins over really good teams. This is evidence of lack of focus and discipline. Up for the big games, look past the weak teams.

    For the next two seasons, KW won't have a game against BYU to hide behind. If he doesn't win next year and/or the year after (assuming he's still at the u) then the evidence should be more than even the most ardent u supporter can ignore. Worse yet, I'd guess the prospective recruits are going to start noticing too. Good luck Kyle, after this year you're going to need it.

  • defibman Syracuse, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 6:58 a.m.

    All ute sports........Bwwwaaaaaaahhaaaaa!

    It would seem to me that the mighty u would spend more time trying to develop other sports as well as football. Think about it....u have nothing! What other sport to u really compete in? Sure u have teams that play, but when was the last time u won any kind of trophy? U haven't. Football is your only thing and is one Big reason u will never make it to the big time National attention that BYU has and will continue to have.

  • imcrimson Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 6:18 a.m.

    Wait, wait, wait - Beating BYU is so much fun, but it is no longer how we gauge our success - those days are long gone. Utah is now measuring its success by PAC-12 division titles and bowl participation and wins. Utah would trade a victory over BYU for a conference game. Having said that - Rock is premature on this one. Even if Whit has a similar year next year Utah would be foolish to fire a coach of his caliber at this stage. The PAC 12 is a ramp up experience in both finances and competitiveness. 3 to 4 years is not enough of a ramp up.5 years? Maybe but it is academic at this point because the Utes are headed in the right direction and Whit will be around for a long time. A Rose Bowl and beyond is in their not too far distant future.

  • JapanCougar Apo, AP
    Nov. 27, 2013 5:02 a.m.

    Firing coach Whittingham would be a bad move. He's shown dedication to the University, he's had significant success in the past, he represents the school well, and when he eventually returns to having success he won't jump to another school for more prestige or money.

    Most importantly, he's a BYU grad!

  • SamoanYfan WEST JORDAN, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:24 a.m.

    Proud PAC-12 member first, proud Ute second.

    Onward and Upward

  • IndeMak South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 27, 2013 12:07 a.m.

    Bring Ina new coach.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 26, 2013 11:58 p.m.

    If Utah loses to Colorado then KW should resign.

    If he beats Colorado then he has one year to at least win 6 games.

    Third straight losing season and he is most likely out.

    I see improvement this year, but I still see major issues that are all his fault. Hiring BJ, Dan Finn, Shah and to some degree ARod. ARod bolted for BYU for a day, not sure what he learned in that one day but since then his receivers can't catch.

  • Cabinfever Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 26, 2013 11:20 p.m.

    Wow, to throw him out would not only be premature but dumb. Witt is a great coach with a tough conference and untimely injuries. He has the tools but just needs a couple more marquis recruits (which he will get) and a bit of luck with fewer injuries.

    The Utes have the makings for a strong mid PAC team. Give him some time to get there.

    Go Cougs!

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 11:09 p.m.

    Utah has had the #1 toughest schedule in the nation people. And yet, they were in almost every game. That, and another injured QB.

    I can't think of a single coach, apart from Urban Meyer or Nick Saban, who would be successful in that situation - and even they would probably have some trouble.

    Keep things in perspective.

    Whitt needs to let an offensive genius run the offense (is that Dennis Erickson?) DE came in and had an existing offensive coaching staff, an existing offensive line, existing QB etc. Whitt needs to demand accountability on the offense, and let the offensive coordinator truly run things. If that means firing assistant coaches (including possibly Brian Johnson or others), then so be it. If that means changing up the offensive line, or going to a more true spread (or whatever) with a running QB, then Kyle needs to allow it to happen.

    Give him another 2 or 3 years. Utah will win 8 or more games.

  • Chris B's psychiatrist Iowa City, IA
    Nov. 26, 2013 11:02 p.m.

    I think Utah should fire Whittingham. They could probably get Robert Anae as coach. It would be interesting to see Ute fans spin that one.

  • DraperUteFan Draper, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 10:48 p.m.

    The Pac 12 is the 2nd best league in part because from top to bottom the league has very good teams. National Championship caliber teams at the top? Maybe not, but unlike the Big 12, Big Ten, ACC, and former Big East, there isn't a huge dropoff after the top 3-5 teams as there is in those conferences. The overall record of teams even in the middle of the Pac 12 are very good, those teams just beat up on each other in conference play.

    In a span of 6 straight games, Stanford played Washington, Utah (when Travis was still healthy), UCLA, Oregon State, Oregon, and USC. Tell me how many team in any conference, including possibly Alabama, would have survived that schedule without a loss? It is a very deep conference relative to other conferences, which gives it the overall high ranking.

    Of the three years Utah has been in the Pac 12, the competition is more balanced and difficult this year by quite a bit.

  • ImaUteFan West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 10:41 p.m.

    @toosmartforyou -

    How many BCS bowl games has BYU won? None

    How many BCS bowl games has BYU been invited to play in? None

    As bad as the Utah football program is (you know, no Heisman trophy winner, no National Championship) they've beaten your boys FOUR years in a row now. What does that say about the BYU program?

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 9:29 p.m.

    I'm not convinced the PAC 12 is the second best league this year. Not until the league plays out and wins some bowl games will that be known. Last year the league was horrible in their bowls. What have they proved so far? The league's best win was a theft against Wisconsin. The next best win was maybe the Nebraska win. The league has few marquee wins.

    Whittingham deserves to complete his contract at the minimum. He will turn things around and get the Utes back to a bowl game if the school is patient.

  • Long Lost America Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 9:03 p.m.

    If you want a big name there are few with a bigger resume than Dennis Erickson. How easy is it to forget that before Urban Meyer and McBride you had noted college names such as Stobart, Howard and Fassel. Those were the teams that would lose to current teams on the schedule by 80 points. The conference is arguably on a par with the SEC this year and each week brings NFL level talent to compete against. Don't even dream you can compete with Stanford with some of the other typical coaches. If you want change consider how you would have felt with a coach that lost by 35 points a game.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 9:03 p.m.

    The Utes would be stupid to fire the Coach. The odds are that Utah can't get a better coach, and if they did, he would be gone in 2-3 years. Firing him would make Utah a "training school" for BCS schools and be stuck as a Colorado, or a Washington State level school.

    The Coach has the potential of improving the team to a University of Washington level school. They can compete for a middle-of-the-pack most years, and once or twice a decade compete for a PAC championship.

    Good luck Utes!

    Go Cougs!

  • Long Lost America Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 8:58 p.m.

    Brad Rock seems to feel there needs to be a D-News answer to G Monson. There is one thing more annoying that a losing year and that is a sportswriter who thinks what he says should be relevant in the job status of a coach. If this were the coach anywhere else in the state they would name a stadium after him. Utah is not in the PAC 12 based on only the year Urban Meyer had 10 years ago. The most significant wins in Ute history have come with Whittingham as coach and this team is in the PAC 12 now based on how good the team was and maintaining in 2010. If anyone thinks coaches that can pull off the Sugar Bowl win in 2008 are a dime a dozen then maybe they should be a fan of a different school.

  • Rez Road Shiprock, NM
    Nov. 26, 2013 8:55 p.m.

    "like I said it is nothing more than a morbid interest for us" that is just ducky

    Seriously folks it doesn't matter what great progress other teams with new coaches in the PAC 12 have made this year. They had a stable full of quality athletes with which to continue. Utah is in transition with athletes still trying to rise to the level of competition. Big adjustment meeting tougher than MWC competition week after week.

    I have complete confidence Whittingham will get us to the top.

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 8:48 p.m.

    Lehi, UT

    "The problem is that Utah will NEVER be able to consistently bring in the recruits to compete in the PAC 12. Bringing in a new coach will not solve the problem."

    This is the kind of sentiment that prevailed 25 years ago. Then, Ron McBride, Urban Myer, and Kyle Whittingham came in and people forgot all about how Utah was NEVER supposed to be able to...blah, blah, blah.

    Here's an idea...keep Whittingham and fire the whole lot of local sports reporters.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Nov. 26, 2013 8:21 p.m.

    I think Chris B. and Coach Whittingham have something in common...they both have concentrated too much on winning one game.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Nov. 26, 2013 8:13 p.m.

    To all those who say that Whit has been a failure at developing Qb's--you are wrong. He was in the process of developing wonderful qb's in Wynn and Wilson. He could not have run out on the field to prevent their injuries. To all who say the recruiting just isn't there--you are partly wrong and partly right. Utah can win with the players Whit brings in on defense, and also with the backs and receivers who choose to come to play on the hill. But (and this is huge)---we haven't brought o linemen of the Zane Taylor, Tony Bergstrom ilk to this program and the Utes don't seem to be developing them either. Our qb's will never develop until they can develop as pocket passers who are protected and learn to find their receivers in space, with touch. Our qb's have not had that luxury for the past two seasons. Until Whit brings real O linemen back to this program we are in trouble. Talented receivers will soon shun a program that can't block for the guy who is supposed to get the ball. O line, people.

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 8:11 p.m.

    Mark3054 claims "We need look no further than ASU and Arizona who bolted from the WAC only to be perennial cellar dwellers until the arrival of Utah".

    In the 9 years prior to Utah joining the conference, Arizona had an average finish of 7 while ASU an average finish of 6. In that span, both teams had a 2nd place finish. What is your definition of "cellar dweller"? Anything that isn't first place?

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 7:47 p.m.

    @ Chris B, even though you like to personally attack Bronco at every possible time, this article isn't about him. It's about Whittingham, his two-year run (and counting) of failure to go to a bowl game and the fact it will take his team 4 seasons to win 10 conference games in the PAC 12. I don't hear Oregon or UCLA or Stanford or Arizona State or Washington State or Colorado complaining about the tough sledding in the PAC 12. I don't even hear Arizona complaining or being bitter about never going to the Rose Bowl in the numerous years they have been in the PAC 12. But all this angst comes multiple times daily from the Utah partisans whose greatest accomplishment is recently they have a winning record against BYU, no Heisman Trophy Winner, no National Championship, and few MWC or WAC Football crowns. What they do have is constant smack and unfettered obsession about BYU football. I guess negative attention is better than being ignored, certainly proven by you yet again. Thanks for that at least.

  • UteExpat New York, NY
    Nov. 26, 2013 7:45 p.m.

    Beating BYU is nice, but it is no longer our measurement of success. Utah now measures success by PAC-12 victories and high caliber bowl appearances (and victories). The overwhelming majority of Utah fans would trade a victory over BYU for a conference championship game appearance any day of the week. Whit is a great guy. It's nice that he beats BYU. But that's not good enough to keep this job. I hope he has tremendous success with this team next year and is Utah's coach for as long as he wants. But if the team continues to regress next year it may be time for a change. Not because Whit's a bad coach (he's awesome), but because sometimes a program needs a change to generate momentum. See, e.g., Ron McBride to Urban Meyer.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 7:13 p.m.

    @ Mark3054

    1 or 2 winning seasons out of 20 is a pathetic standard. A bowl game 7 out of every. 10 years should be the expectation. Also I'm looking at ASU and they are the South Division Champs and are a very very good football team.

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 5:55 p.m.

    I think canning Whittingham at this point wouldn't help the program achieve its goals. Unless they got a BIG name to replace him, it would only set the program back even further. True, we haven't progressed as far as some of us had hoped (even those of us with realistic expectations) but I believe success will come. If next season goes as lousy as this one, then I might change my opinion, but for now I think Whit's the best man we've got for the job!

  • Sambonethegreat Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 5:53 p.m.

    I generally agree with Brad here on bowl game or bust. But I think it's disgusting that Whitt hasn't been able to develop a decent back-up quarterback in nearly five years. That's squarely on the head coach IMO.

    But if the Utes lose to Colorado, I think Whitt should be fired immediately. How do you beat Stanford and then lay a goose egg against largely inferior teams?

  • jamsenior SANTAQUIN, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 5:48 p.m.

    Writers and general fans seem to like drama around their sports team! Did anyone really think that the Utes could make the jump from Mountain West football to PAC 12 football in 2-3 years time! The level of athlete that the Utes have would not be first teamers. The Utes could not recruit the same type of athlete USC could because they didn't NEED that type of athlete before. Look at the speed of the game in PAC12 versus the Mountain West from just 4 years before when TCU was on the schedule. Speaking of TCU, what's their record this year?

    Nov. 26, 2013 5:41 p.m.

    Three years with no progression in the Pac 12 is time to go after someone else that can recruit with the top dogs. He took a explosive offense from Urban Meyer and decided to make one that was his own. Didn't work!!!! In the six coaches changes in the last two years in the Pac 12 five of the schools are making great progress. UCLA, ASU, U of A, Washington State, Stanford. Even Oregon has a new coach and still having a great year. It is time for a new culture. You risk the chance of lossing good recruits when they see he is still here knowing it won't be long before he is gone. Now is the time. He is well compensated and will find work without a problem. We need to grow the program. Kyle is a good man but it is time to think about the programs future.

  • Mark3054 Lehi, UT
    Nov. 26, 2013 5:34 p.m.

    Whit is a great coach who would likely take many teams to great success. In fact, if Utah cuts him loose, he will likely land in a far better place and again have great success. The problem is that Utah will NEVER be able to consistently bring in the recruits to compete in the PAC 12. Bringing in a new coach will not solve the problem. We have made our bed in the PAC 12 and need to accept the fact that we will not see too many winning seasons. 1 or 2 in a 20 year stretch is probably all we can expect. We got our money and built some great facilities; but, most top recruits would likely rather go a USC, UCLA, Stanford or Oregon in hopes they might win a starting spot than come to Utah. We need look no further than ASU and Arizona who bolted from the WAC only to be perennial cellar dwellers until the arrival of Utah and Colorado. Keep Coach Whit and let's enjoy the top notch teams that come in to our place. Sometimes we'll pull out a Stanford win. Sometimes it will be a Colorado loss.

  • Arizona1 Tucson, AZ
    Nov. 26, 2013 5:21 p.m.

    Disclaimer—I'm a BYU fan. I can't say I agree with Brad Rock on this one. Yes, Whittingham has made mistakes, but I also think he is a very good coach—and barring some scandal—I don't think a losing season next year should get him voted off the island. I don't necessarily think that Rich Rodriguez or Mike Leach are better coaches. They might be able to get a few recruits that Whittingham can't get because of their resume with past teams, but they aren't necessarily better. I think Utah is a lot like Arizona, they manage to beat some very, very good teams and then they lose some head-scratchers. Arizona has been like that for as long as I can remember. That may be Utah's new fate in the competitive PAC-12 regardless of their coach.

  • I Bleed Blue Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 26, 2013 5:10 p.m.

    Utah is lucky to have him and should they pull a stupid move and fire him, Bronco better have him on speed dial for defensive coordinator.

  • Wacko Houston, TX
    Nov. 26, 2013 5:10 p.m.

    In essence what Brad is saying is since the only thing KW has done successfully is to beat BYU he would be given another year. Is this evidence that the most important thing in UofU sports is just whether or not they can beat the Y? Sad day on the hill if that's the message.