Utah football: Anticipation is winding down as Utes ready to open Pac-12 era

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  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 11:11 p.m.

    @Cougar Indy

    Funniest dang comment of the evening! Thanks for the laugh.

  • Alpha Chicken Orem, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 9:58 p.m.

    Here is a list of teams Utah lost to in 2010:
    Notre Dame
    Boise State

    Here is a list of teams they didn't lose to in 2010:

  • Swoop Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 9:48 p.m.

    AK Buehler

    Utah basketball began declining even before Utah's 1998 championship final run:

    1995-96: 14,281

    1996-97: 14,047

    1997-98: 13,818

    1998-99: 13,987

    1999-00: 13,248

    2000-01: 12,236

    2001-02: 11,890

    2002-03: 11,518

    2003-04: 10,901

    2004-05: 10,777

    2005-06: 10,481

    2006-07: 9,522

    2007-08: 9,979

    2008-09: 9,916

    2009-10: 8,486

    2010-11: "paid attendance" was around 8,000, but actual fans in seats was less than 5000 for most games

  • Swoop Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 9:38 p.m.


    "The question is with the 30+ million in revenue how does Hill expand our facilities to bring us on par with other PAC-12 schools that compete year in year out?"

    It'll be years before Utah gets anywhere close to $30 million; the PAC 12 television deal is back end loaded and the Utes won't even get a full share of their $15 million until 2014.

    "Empty seats are fact of losing, even at BYU."

    Then how do you explain BYU leading every team in the PAC 12, except USC, in a 7-6 year for the Cougars?

    61,381 average attendance in 2010 is only a couple thousand shy of the current capacity of 63,725.

    The HC had more empty seats in just a couple of games last year, than LES had during the entire season.

    Attendance at RES will plummet if the Utes have a couple of back-to-back 7-6 seasons, or worse.

  • Cougar_Independence OMAHA, NE
    Aug. 29, 2011 8:40 p.m.

    2011 Utah Football Official Slogan: Even though we started out 1-2, and finished 2nd in the state of Utah and the Pac 12 south division, we could still win the pac12 conference and play in the Rose Bowl!

    2nd in state
    2nd in division
    Best in Pac12
    Also, we destroyed 1-AA Montana State!

    go utes!

  • Uteology Fort Worth, Texas
    Aug. 29, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    @PAC man

    A entire post on stadium smack?

    Attendance at Alabama went up 22% from when they were losing earlier in the decade (about 18,000 empty seats) to today. Empty seats are fact of losing, even at BYU.

    If Hill thinks the demand is 40 to 45K, so be it. I am more concerned about the talent level on the field. The question is with the 30+ million in revenue how does Hill expand our facilities to bring us on par with other PAC-12 schools that compete year in year out?

  • chicagoborn WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 6:03 p.m.

    Hey phoenix. It's nice to see you commenting on Utah articles. I just responded to you on another Utah article. What a coincidence. Yeah, I get Utah lost to UNLV and TCU. You don't have to remind. I was at the TCU game. As I said in my previous post, Utah has lost some bad games but so has pretty much every other team.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    Aug. 29, 2011 5:51 p.m.


    The two most humiliating losses in the Bronco/Kyle era:

    Top 5 Utah playing at home in the "biggest game in Utah history" with thoughts of a national championship run dancing in their heads, getting destroyed by TCU, 7-47, in a game that was decided in the 1st quarter.

    A week after thumping UCLA by 50 points, the Utes head to lowly UNLV(2-10) to play a team that only beat one other team all season long (Utah State), and get shut out 0-27.

  • chicagoborn WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 5:19 p.m.

    Glad to see BYU fans are still obsessed with Utah but whatever. Yes, Utah has lost some big home games but what team hasn't. Utah has also won some pretty big home games too. I seem to recall the losses to Nevada last year, the beat down from Florida St, and the beat down from TCU after ESPN game day went to Provo which I find particularly hilarious since BYU fans like to mention us losing to TCU while forgetting the fact they embarrassed themselves after getting blown out in the first half.

  • Alpha Chicken Orem, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 5:05 p.m.

    Nice try Wardu, but the game on the 17th hasn't been played yet so I would save your press releases for a couple more weeks. But here is a one from last year, it goes like this. "Utah State beats BYU in humbling defeat".

  • wardu Fallon, NV
    Aug. 29, 2011 4:31 p.m.

    It would be nice to watch the game. It will also be fun to read the spin the "Ute fan" puts on the loss to BYU on the 17th. I can see it now. "Well, Wynn was really badly injured in the game against Montana, but having the back-up start would have led to an even bigger blowout by BYU, so we played Wynn anyway and now the rest of the season is a wash. Oh well there is always next year."

  • PAC man Anaheim, CA
    Aug. 29, 2011 3:56 p.m.

    Hill is very wise not to expand RES too quickly. Utah simply doesn't have enough fans to fill a larger stadium when the Utes are having a down year.

    BYU was drawing over 46,000 fans waaaay back in the early 1980's BEFORE LES was expanded to 65,000. Even in down years, BYU still draws 60,000+ fans.

    In a down year, BYU(7-6) was 27th in the NCAA in attendance, ahead of every team in the PAC 10 except USC.

    #15 USC - 79,907 average; 479,444 total.
    #27 BYU - 61,381; 368,283.
    #28 UCLA - 60,376; 362,253.
    #29 Oregon - 59,398; 356,387.
    #46 Utah - 45,459; 272,754. (tied with Virginia)

    In a down year, BYU drew almost 100,000 more fans than Utah.

    As we saw in the HC the last few years, when the Utes aren't having a great year, they come to games disguised as empty red chairs.

    Hill doesn't want to spend millions on empty red chairs.

  • uteBusters Park City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 3:20 p.m.


    "the last time UCLA came to Rice Eccles, they left after getting beat down 44-6"

    wasn't that the game before Utah went to UNLV(2-10) and got shut out 0-27?

    betcha Utah fans are glad they don't have the Rebels on their schedule this year

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 3:07 p.m.

    Naval Vet,

    Actually, I think our chances of getting Urban Meyer as an AD when Chris Hill retires are pretty good. Larry Scott, not so much. Larry will probably be running the NFL someday.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Aug. 29, 2011 2:50 p.m.


    If you're going to dare to dream for Urban Meyer, why not go all the way and dream about Larry Scott?

  • Utehaterforlife Syracuse, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 1:38 p.m.

    Remember that TCU game, Utah had 46k people there, was a sale out, down south, BYU was playing UNLV wasn't a sell out and they still hat 60k in the seats.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 1:33 p.m.


    It may be the prudent thing for Utah and Chris Hill to do in holding off on stadium expansion but I know a lot of Utah fans think Chris Hill gets "cold feet" at times. He demonstrated a big vision in preparing Utah over the years to get an invite into the PAC 12 and then suddenly won't stay on the attack. Kind of like Civil War General George McClelland being able to recruit, expand and train the Union Army for a big assault on the South but then getting cold feet and never able to carry it out. Eventually McClelland had to be replaced. I am certainly not advocating that fate for Chris Hill but eventually he will retire. At that time the U needs to bring in someone with a new spark and fire and who can really get the boosters excited. Do I dare suggest Urban Meyer as the next AD? It would offer Urban the opportunity to be close to the sports he loves without the stress of being the head coach. And his ability to fund raise and excite people? Out of this world.

  • 1984 for life Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 1:19 p.m.

    @ Naval Vet | 12:55 p.m. Aug. 29, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA

    Don't try to enter any facts into your discussion with utehaterforlife. He and big soccer are the same person and they struggle with the facts.

  • PAC 12 loves U Sandy, Utah
    Aug. 29, 2011 1:15 p.m.


    "Silly utes how you forget TCU's beating they gave you guys last year, they sure were afraid of the stadium right?"

    Silly kitty cats, you forget Nevada's beating they gave you guys last year in LES, they sure were afraid of that 60,000 seat stadium, right?

  • UtahMan4evr Sandy, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    Utah fans, don't worry about the team down south. Why worry about a mid-major who can't even find a conference that wants it? I blame Chris Hill for condescending to play those people another couple of years for this latest round of testonerone measuring. He should have kept real competition on the schedule instead of feeling sorry for the little school down south.

  • 1984 for life Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    @ bigsoccer | 10:19 a.m. Aug. 29, 2011
    Syracuse, UT

    Let's go over this one more time.

    1) The last time UCLA played at RES they were badly beaten.

    2) Blechen plays linebacker for the U and Burton is in the NFL.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Aug. 29, 2011 12:55 p.m.


    1. Utah actually has more wins in Ft. Worth than TCU has in SLC.
    2. This article was about Utah and the Pac-12. TCU is not in the Pac-12. And neither are they on our schedule. Obviously you're feeling really desperate to have to resort to bringing TCU into the conversation here. I understand why you didn't try to introduce the Y here though. SCOREBOARD!

    Have fun in the WAC.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 12:45 p.m.


    Chris Hills interview was on 1320 am last week on the DJ and PK show. I have never been to their website but they said that the interivew is linked from their site.

    I don't know if Hill was playing any head games but he was pretty clear that there were no immediate plans to expand, it would be several years before there would even be a consideration, and that would depend on how the fans respond to the down years. He was actually very clear about that and very clear that they expect to have some down seasons based on the new conference, which surprised me. He fully expects attendence to be good this year, and maybe for a couple of more years, due to the excitement of the new conference, but they want to see what happens after a couple of 7-6 and 5-7 seasons back to back which he made it sound like they realize will probably happen at some point.

    @andre kristiowhatever

    So this is the newest screen name for articuno, duckhuter hunter, officer coolguy, duckhuterr, etc. huh? It is far to easy to figure you out.


  • Utehaterforlife Syracuse, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 12:09 p.m.

    Silly utes how you forget TCU's beating they gave you guys last year, they sure were afraid of the stadium right?

  • Texas Ute Fan Austin, Texas
    Aug. 29, 2011 11:55 a.m.

    bigsoccer | 10:19 a.m. Aug. 29, 2011
    Syracuse, UT

    You sure don't know your football history do you? Utah beat UCLA 44-6 in RES on 9/15/07. That was the last time they played. You should really verify your facts before you post.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 11:44 a.m.


    Sometimes I just think Chris Hill is playing head games with the fans and the big donors trying to reel in a big donor that will cover the cost of stadium expansion. It will be interesting to see how Chris Hill responds to visiting PAC 12 fans. USC usually travels with about 5-8,000 fans who hit the road. When Utah allocates 2,500 tickets per school some people are not going to be happy. What will Hill say on the LA radio shows? By the way, the game this Thursday in completely sold out.

  • SouthernUtahUte Hurricane, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 11:18 a.m.

    @ Duckhunter

    Well of course! When you win games, it puts people in the seats. See Utah's basketball program.... sad as I am to have to admit that. RES will be expanded at some point in the future, whether it's sooner or later. Utah's football program will be just fine. There is no reason to think Utah football won't do well in the Pac-12. (Utah haters, feel free to bash this statement). Anyway you look at it Utah has a very good team with great talent, and a great coaching staff; it will only get better the longer we are in the PAC.

    Can't wait for Thursday!

    Go Utes!!

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 11:17 a.m.


    You don't watch much UCLA football. Yes, UCLA plays in the Rose Bowl. So what? Have you not seen all the blue tarps draped over the lower bowl seats? The Bruins pull in about 50,000 fans for home games. I would rather have 46,000 fans is a sold out filled to the gills stadium than sit in a half full Rose Bowl.

  • Andermart Pullman, WA
    Aug. 29, 2011 10:57 a.m.

    I am excited for the opening game Thursday night, and wish this team much success. I will be rooting for the Utes every game, with the exception of the one on Sept 17. I hope you guys win every other game and come out on top of the South. Best of success.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 10:47 a.m.


    "Oh, and there are plans for expansion- what will you say of Utah's "little" stadium then?"

    Actually, and I'm not trying to start anything here, but Chris Hill was on the radio last week and he stated straight out that Utah fans need to drop this subject for the time being. He expressed his, and the rest of the Utah leaderships, concerns that they are not sure how the Utah fanbase will respond to losing games. They're concern is that with the supposed tougher competition that the records will not be as good and Utah fans have not proven that they will attend games when the team is putting up average, or below average, records.

    And of course he is correct on that. One look at the HC over the last few years pretty much confirms the tenuous nature of the Utah fanbase. In otherwords they realize Utah fans have a history of only coming around when things are going well and that they all realize Utah will not do well every year now and want the fans to prove they'll still come to the games before they invest hundreds of millions in a stadium expansion. That is wise.

  • DrUte Woods Cross, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 10:27 a.m.

    Wow, lots of negativity here about Utah's chances!

    And with the first game not even in the books....

    While some vulnerabilities exist, and every team has them, there's no quarantee that any contest result is already written in stone.

    The MSU-Utah line is now -28-1/2 (projecting a Utah win by four touchdowns and a field goal) and USC has three positions unsettled (HB, MLB, and LG) with Kiffin struggling to establish rotations that will maintain fresh legs --- problems with lack of depth and conditioning.

    It's anyone's season in the South, just depends on who's healthy and which team can make a play.

    Utah's not-so-Secret weapon: Coach Chow's game management & play-calling.

    Stay tuned, the fun starts 6pm Thursday.

  • Big_Ben Up on the Hill, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 10:24 a.m.


    the last time UCLA came to Rice Eccles, they left after getting beat down 44-6. But good try! Remember, Brian Blechen is on the team, Brandon Burton went to the NFL. we know your track record of keeping things straight when it comes to Utah....

  • bigsoccer Syracuse, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 10:19 a.m.

    @ SouthernUtahUte

    I am sure UCLA will be afraid of a 46k seat stadium, they sure were when they beat you guys a couple of years ago right?

  • Pac12Utes Up on the Hill, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 9:57 a.m.


    wow, there sure are a lot of BYU fans who are still jealous over Utah being in the Pac-12!

  • jefferysl Huntsville, Alabama
    Aug. 29, 2011 9:55 a.m.

    @ CougFaninTX

    UCLA regularly plays at WSU and Oregon State, both of which are comparable (if not smaller) than RES. I must say that this rivalry between BYU and Utah is something to experience! I've been hanging around on the boards here and the Tribune for a while, and you guys get downright vicious! Anyway, the point is that Utah will fit right in, just like back in 1978 when ASU and U of A joined. Those on here who think that Utah will take the PAC-12 by storm...well maybe the 2008 team could have, but not this year so much. to those who are hoping Utah will fail...nope. Too good a coaching staff and system. Utah will go bowling, maybe make it into the PAC-12 championship game. That's as far as they go IMHO.

  • SouthernUtahUte Hurricane, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 9:22 a.m.

    @ CougFaninTX

    That little 46,000 seat stadium is also extremely loud. Can you imagine what UCLA is going to think of the MUSS?

    Oh, and there are plans for expansion- what will you say of Utah's "little" stadium then? Especially when we have Oregon, Stanford, and USC coming town?

    GO UTES!!!!

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Aug. 29, 2011 8:48 a.m.

    Can you imagine how UCLA must feel having to play in such a small stadium. The Rose Bowl seats just short of 100,000 and RES only seats 46,000. UCLA will feel like they're playing in a WCC stadium (if any of the schools had stadiums). Some of the high school stadiums in Texas are bigger than 46,000.

  • PAC man Anaheim, CA
    Aug. 29, 2011 8:20 a.m.

    Mildred = Chris B's little sister

    Utah doesn't represent anybody but themselves, which is a good thing, because nobody else would want to be represented by a program that's headed for middle of the PAC mediocrity.

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 8:16 a.m.

    The Utes have a gift-wrapped PAC 12 South winning schedule with a ham-strung USC and no Oregon or Stanford. If the Utes don't make it to the PAC 12 championship game this year, it could be a long time before they have another chance.

  • jefferysl Huntsville, Alabama
    Aug. 29, 2011 8:15 a.m.

    Hey folks, UW fan here. This was a good article. Coach Whit nailed when he said "I'm not sure anybody out there is hoping we fail. Everyone is just hoping that they win. That's the bottom line,". Generally, PAC-12 fans root for PAC-12 teams for out of conference or bowl games. I say generally, except if it's the Zeros (Oregon)anyway. And I'll even root for them against LSU as I really hate the SEC. Anyway...good luck Thursday and especially Sept. 17th against BYU. See ya at RES on 10/1, should be a good game!

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 29, 2011 8:14 a.m.

    yes the Utes were fortunate enough to be invited to the big boys club. I really hope your nose in the air attitude is not shared by the majority of Ute fans. The truth is, that of all the BcS busters over the past several years, none of them, with the exception of TCU one year, would have had a snowballs chance in heck of even getting 10 wins if they hadn't had a weak schedule. None of them would have gone undefeated with a BIG 10, SEC, BIG 12 or SEC schedule. They all used the recipe of a couple of good teams, a few solid teams and a half dozen weak teams. Utah is there now and kudos to them if they make the most of it and have success. They likely won't have an easier schedule in the PAC for the next 10 years so this is probably their best chance. Good luck to the Utes but don't look down your nose at BYU. They stuck by you for many, many years as a good friend.

  • mgr63 DALLAS, TX
    Aug. 29, 2011 2:23 a.m.

    Here we go! Like most Utah fans carry themselves......hoping for the best as we are in the big time now, humbly anticipating, it's extremely exciting and we love our Utes and the fabulous school. Who cares what BYU and their fans say folks? All they can do is talk and print bogus promotional items. Their football and basketball teams can't win big games in the 21st century, time has passed them by and they were dissed. Now, it is time to enjoy the unreal opportunity that we now have and I believe the Utes will bring us tremendously competitive entertainment and who knows..........just maybe, if we're lucky, we'll get a shot at the big game one day and win? Go Utes!!!!

  • AltaHawkFan Sandy, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 10:33 p.m.

    re: kamute

    How long will it take you to realize mildred is a ute fan pretending to be an over-the-top BYU fan ? It's pathetic really.

    As far as the article goes, the non-AQ teams are hoping the rest of the nation is NOT watching the utes as they will absolutely not represent them well this year. It's a good thing the utes are rarely on tv this season.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    Big time!

  • Hawkyo SYRACUSE, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 9:13 p.m.

    KamUte, Mildred might not be one of you Utes, but he/she definitely is NOT one of us either. It's like that scene at the beginning of the third pirates movie where the ugly Singapore pirate threatens to kill the spy in his bath house, and Barbosa says, "Kill him, he's not our man."

  • Hawkyo SYRACUSE, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 9:10 p.m.

    Wow, Ute article, but the first two posts by U "fans" reference BYU. OBSESSION! I was hoping that the trolls would leave all that on the BYU articles so I could come here and discuss Utah, but they can't seem to leave it alone. I'm a fan of Utah when they're not playing BYU. I wish ya'll well this season. Kill the PAC!

  • Hawkyo SYRACUSE, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 9:06 p.m.

    I think the article meant to say the utes offense "hasn't" utilized tight ends but now are going to.

  • KamUte South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 8:59 p.m.

    Mildred in Fillmore continues to play fantasy football.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Aug. 28, 2011 8:55 p.m.

    "They should not have to represent that have-nots like BYU and other mid-majors."

    SoCalUtahFan: After SC and BYU take care of business, you will be singing a different tune.

    Oh, and don't overlook Montana State - if you know what I'm saying. Just ask Dan Hawkins.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 6:55 p.m.

    When I moved here 15 years ago, I remember sitting on splintered wooden benches for the Utah v Oregon game. The stadium and team have come a long way! I look forward to watching both grow in the Pac 12.

  • SoCalUtahFan Utesville, CA
    Aug. 28, 2011 6:53 p.m.

    ...As for talk of carrying the banner for all the non-automatic qualifiers,...

    I think this is ridiculous.

    Utah, TCU and BSU have all proven they belong with the big-BCS teams--all have played and won BCS bowl games. They are BCS-caliber teams. They should not have to represent that have-nots like BYU and other mid-majors.

    Go Utes!!!

  • Mildred in Fillmore Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 28, 2011 6:47 p.m.

    I don't know how Utah will finish in the PAC 12, but I know that BYU would be in the championship game. Easily.