Utah Utes' program deals out a double dose of disappointment to fans

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  • utahmanmi KAYSVILLE, UT
    Dec. 20, 2012 8:50 a.m.

    I agree with Hollis, Fresno State gives the Ute fan little comfort. The feeling is, that even with the hard times the Utes have been facing battling for respect in the Pac 12, we Ute fans can take some solace knowing that the Utes, a very least, beat-up the little neighbor kid from Provo. The hard knocks of this stacked PAC 12 conference are softened a bit when the Utes, at very least, can pick on our old rival just for fun. It makes us feel better. Chris Hill should get us either a patsy game or a big name team from say, the Big 10 or SEC. If not, then allow us to beat up the kid from the neighborhood.

  • Bomar Roberts, ID
    Dec. 19, 2012 7:21 p.m.

    The Utes situation is they are now a little fish in a big pond. I think the only team that is competitive is the womens gymnastics team and they draw crowds that are similar to the basketball team.

  • Alaskan Ute Fairbanks, AK
    Dec. 19, 2012 6:22 p.m.

    Typical BYU fans - I have a bunch in my family. They know-it-all, including how we as Ute fans "feel." Know that I am not a BYU hater, as my daughter attends there, but I do resent their fan's attitude.

    As a Ute fan, I love the relevancy the PAC 12 brings. I look forward each week to seeing our conference rivals, different than I did beforehand with the WAC and Mtn West. Trust me, we Ute fans realize that we aren't going to win the conference every year, but we are relevant, and I'm glad to move on from BYU.

    BYU, go do your independent thing, sit in the stands and on these message boards and criticize the coach, players, Ute fans, and anyone else who will listen, and continue to know-it-all your way to mid-major, second-tier success.

    I'm confident that time will reveal that Utah's strategy is sound.

    A "Utah Man Sir"

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    Dec. 19, 2012 3:53 p.m.


    Classic BYU spin, and thanks for telling me what I care about and what I don't. No one on here said we didn't want to throttle BYU. We must aren't going to miss the game when it's gone. There's a big difference. When Utah was in the MWC I wanted to crush everyone, it was doubly gratifying to beat BYU when we were in the same conference. But now that we are shooting for bigger and better things, like a PAC 12 championship. To that end, WSU and Colorado mean a lot more to the program than does any out of conference game, including BYU, Michigan, Utah State, or Northern Colorado. Does that mean we don't want to win those games? Absolutely not. Does that mean that that emotions won't run high? Of course they will. But that doesn't negate the fact that for the vast majority of Utah fans that I know, we can take or leave the BYU game, as its just an overcharged OOC game.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Dec. 19, 2012 12:11 p.m.

    Yup. If you replay the end(s) of the last BYU-Utah game in slow-mo, you can make out that all those Utah students who rushed the field (like, eight times) were all screaming "WE DON'T CARE ABOUT THE RIVALRY! FORGET BYU; WE'D RATHER GET A SHOT AT FRESNO STATE! BRING ON THE BULLDOGS!"

    As I've stated in other threads, you don't rush the field when your team wins a game you don't care about. Or, maybe you do . . I confess I haven't watched any other Ute games this year. Is it the MUSS way to rush the field after every win? Makes sense . . with so few wins to celebrate, you make do with what you have. It's cute.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 2:55 p.m.

    I don't understand why Coug fans are so upset. You'd think they'd be grateful to Dr. Hill.

    BYU gets a 2-year break from playing a team that has pretty owned them over the past 11 years. With their upcoming, much praised "tough independent schedule" BYU can now schedule another WAC, err, MAC doormat to try give them a better shot at becoming eligible for the 2014 and 2015 Irrelevant Bowls.

    You're welcome.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Dec. 18, 2012 1:50 p.m.


    "I saw several disappointed Ute fans commenting..."

    I'm pretty sure most of those "disappointed Ute fans" were really "disappointed COUGAR fans" who had created "Ute fan" handles, and pretending to be us, because I sure don't recognize many of them. Now admittedly, due to the DNews overzealous censorship policy, I prefer to leave the majority of my posts on another periodical, but even still, I recognized YOUR name. And nosaerfoecioveht's, and Howard S', and Uteology's, etc., so I think I can be considered regular enough to say so.

    This Ute fan LOVES dropping our irrelevant little brother from the 2014 and 2015 schedules in favor of FSU. There sure are a lot more 4-star recruits in Fresno than there are in Provo AND Murfreesboro combined! Way to go Dr. Hill.

  • Utahute72 Tooele, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 1:32 p.m.

    Here's the real reason that Utah has backed away from scheduling BYU. After Coach Whittingham's family was physically attacked the last two times they went down there both Hill and Whitt decided the Rivalry was too heated and could use a hiatus. What is funny is that in the past the BYU coach has uttered the same sentiment. This rivaly is no longer fun, its destructive.

  • JayT Bakersfield, CA
    Dec. 18, 2012 12:42 p.m.

    USC fan chiming in. Fresno St has a much better team than Utah, right now. If Tim DeRuyter is still coach, that isn't changing in 2014-15. In fact, I'll be nervous about that squad coming to the Coliseum in 2014. As a Central Valley resident, love the direction of that program. Now, if DeRuyter is stolen, by a Big 12 or SEC team after next season, who knows at that point.

  • Riley Mendenhall Provo, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 10:22 p.m.

    We need more winnable games like Idaho State.

    I'm glad we won't have to play Utah anymore.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 7:50 p.m.

    The funny thing about the Cougar fan cheering in the pic that accompanies this article is that Brandon Burton broke his heart in the last play of the game...

    It's blocked... it's blocked... Utes win.... Utes win...

    It's fun beating BYU that way... but it's also fun watching the outage of the Cougar faithful as is dawns on them the Utah has moved on.

  • nosaerfoecioveht NSL, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 1:46 p.m.

    Utah fan here- couldn't be more ok with our upcoming schedules.

    A lot of these upset BYU fans really wish that more of us were upset too. Sorry guys. We're just fine.

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    Dec. 17, 2012 1:34 p.m.

    Count me as another Utah fan who couldn't care less if we play BYU again. Do you think Hill made this decision on his own, without consulting major contributors? Do you think if those major donors had said keep playing BYU, we wouldn't still be playing BYU? There's always going to be some Utah fans who want to play BYU, especially because they are once again becoming our whipping boy, but the majority of fans I know aren't really going to miss the game.

  • Silent Lurker Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    Fact is, Randy and the BYU fan base just doesn't get it. Utah does not want to play BYU at all because of their fans and the local media treatment of the game! Most of the Utah fans I talk with are just down right fed up with the local media and BYU as a whole. Why schedule a game with a school that it's fans (and media) claim to be the better team even when they lose? If the BYU fan base is so satisfied and contented with their Independence, Why would they even care? The local media says nothing when Utah doesn't play Utah State? For that matter, nothing is said when BYU doesn't play Utah State. Wake up Randy and BYU fans, quit living in 1984. Truth is Utah does not need or want a game with BYU.

  • football43 Morgan, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 10:04 a.m.

    I'm with you D4inSLC. There are other teams that both schools will play that will add intrigue. We all need to move on and let it go. If they never played again I would be fine. After a few years most would forget about the rivalry anyway.

    Dec. 17, 2012 9:33 a.m.

    Here is another Ute fan that is just fine with moving on. Way too much emotional baggage and hate with continuing to play the y every year. Let it go, please.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 8:19 a.m.

    TheSportsAuthority -

    Certainly there are some true Utes that are disappointed with the passing of rivalry... But it undeniable that the vast majority of those complaining on message boards and the radio are BYU fans disappointed at being left behind.

    Hollis and others in the media are just trying to stir up controversy in the Ute program where none exists.

    Disappointed Cougar fans should show some dignity, accept the reality and move on.

  • TheSportsAuthority Arlington, VA
    Dec. 17, 2012 7:53 a.m.

    Howard S.

    "Not many disappointed Ute fans commenting today... was there even one?"

    I saw several disappointed Ute fans commenting... of course if you choose to bury your head in the sand and pretend that every Ute fan that doesn't subscribe to your agenda is not really a Ute fan, then you can live in your crimson bubble and pretend that the Utes would rather play Fresno State than BYU.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 10:19 p.m.

    Not many disappointed Ute fans commenting today... was there even one?

    Hollis, maybe it's time for you to issue a clarification that it is really only BYU fans (and the media) disappointed by Utah dropping them from the schedule.

  • agarrett PROVO, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 9:19 p.m.

    This is really sad. The Holy War is one of the greatest traditions in all of college sports, and it's sad to see it die just because the Utah athletic director wants to do things his own way. This rivalry means a lot to the state of Utah, and that's why the games always sell out. I always loved going to the games as a kid--I looked forward to it every year. You can't beat the emotion leading up to it or during the game. And it usually is a great, physical game that comes down to the wire. It's just great football. I hope that 2014 and 2015 will be the only 2 years the 2 teams don't play each other. I remember BYU taking a 2 years hiatus with Utah State a couple years back, but now the series is up and running again! This rivalry is much bigger than the "last 10 years." It's a nearly 100-year old rivalry that is much bigger than you, me, or Chris Hill. Here's to hoping that this great tradition lives on for years to come.

  • nosaerfoecioveht NSL, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 9:00 p.m.

    Yes, there are definitely some dissappointed, sad 'fans' who seem to be having a hard time with this.

    They aren't Utah fans, though.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Dec. 16, 2012 5:50 p.m.

    The greatest rivalry is ALL of sports is the Ohio State / Michigan football rivalry.

    You ute homers think the Ohio State/Michigan fans are all in a love fest together?? They make the "hate" you talk about between BYU and utah look like child's play.

  • Utah Alum Orem, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 5:35 p.m.

    Embarrassing Utah; simply embarrassing.

  • UtahUte91 Sandy, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 5:34 p.m.

    The Utes have become a laughing stock.

    There are only two excuses for the Utes not being willing to play BYU and Utah State in football, and Utah State and Weber State in basketball - the Utes are too scared or they're too arrogant.

    Either way, they're embarrassing themselves and the entire Utah fan base.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 5:07 p.m.

    I'm glad Utah is moving on. BYU and their fans (especially the ones in this thread) should try and do the same.

  • Intel BYU Cougar Fan Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 3:26 p.m.

    It's hard to justify to say it's good to play Fresno State other than BYU. It's Utue's whipping... and I think they are not good.

  • Real Bass Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 16, 2012 3:24 p.m.

    I wonder how many years of being an also ran cellar dweller it will take for the PAC shine to wear off. Two bummer years so far in all sports and you didn't even get the big bucks. Littlest of fish in the big pond may not sit well for long.

  • Joe Schmoe Orem, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 3:16 p.m.

    Go Red,

    That is because the few Utah fans left have stopped following the team. A 5-7 season will do that to your fanbase. I guess the bright side is ticket prices will come back down now.

    It is going to be a long time before the utes get their program up and running again.

    Dec. 16, 2012 12:01 p.m.

    As proof that the rivalry game means so much more to BYU fans than it does to Utah fans, all you have to do is look at the first 6 comments on this board: 5 from BYU (and a 6th supposedly from a Fresno fan). Further proof that winning, or attempting to win, the rivalry game is all that matters to BYU fans nowadays.

    As to Utah fans, we've moved on. We have our sights set on much higher goals. We learned from this year that you have to have a solid quarterback AND at least one (preferable two) solid quarterbacks waiting in the wings to take over if the first stringer goes down. It's all about the quarterback. Look at what Peyton Manning has down for a previously below-average Bronco team this year: 10-3 at the moment, up from 8-8 last year.

    With improved quarterback play and continually improving recruiting, we'll be just fine.

    Go Utes!!

  • SoonerUte Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 11:45 a.m.

    One thing I will concede to Cougar fans is that they are indeed the most obnoxious in the nation. I used to think their snarky comments were limited to stories about the University of Utah or Utah State. I dismissed that as rivalry smack.

    But as BYU has expanded its exposure, those same fans invade the comment boards of other schools. I've seen their ugly comments on stories about Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, and Texas. Stirring up hatred for the Cougar program is not the exposure the LDS Church envisioned. BYU stands in stark contrast to programs like Nebraska whose fans are legendary for their polite and welcoming nature.

    Does playing Fresno State improve the Utah football program? Maybe, maybe not. But sometimes the greatest improvement is made by removing yourself from a negative situation. There is nothing positive in the Utah-BYU relationship anymore.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 11:39 a.m.

    CougFaninTX -

    Is that the best you've got? Weeeaaaaak...

    Let me just say this this about that.... you seem pretty critical of a conference affiliation that the Cougar Nation would choose in a second over independence.

    Oh, and if Utah's goal was the New Mexico bowl, that 73% winning percentage over BYU in the last 11 years would be pretty helpful.

  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 11:31 a.m.

    BYU had a much easier schedule, that is why they are bowling.

    BYU beat 1 team that finished over .500 (Utah State)
    Utah beat 1 team that finished over .500 (BYU)

    Utah beat all teams under .500
    BYU beat all teams under .500

    Utah won head to head.

    As a Ute fan I am not upset. Utah gets quality teams for home and homes (USC, Stanford, Oregon, Michigan, etc).
    BYU has to play 2 roads to get a home (Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan).

    Utah has better access to better bowls.
    Utah has better access to new playoff format.

    Utah doesn't have a coach who has a mancrush on the QB.

    Even though the Utes had a disappointing season, it still is great to be a Utah fan.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Dec. 16, 2012 11:20 a.m.

    Translation of Howard S. comment in parentheses:

    How hard is it to understand that annual games with BYU no longer help Utah achieve it's goals? (of getting to 6-6 or 7-5 to get to a 4th tier bowl game, like the New Mexico Bowl.)

    Despite a few bumps in the road (downward spiral) in it's new and stronger conference Utah fans are pretty pleased with the state of the Utah program (and don't mind being a cellar dwellar).

    BYU fans will take solace in their berth in the 3rd tier Poinsettia Bowl (while Utes are bowling at University Union for $2.95)

    As a Coug fan, I also don't understand the obsession with the extra money that now comes in from the PAC12. Where does it go? Ticket prices have gone up. Taxes have gone up. Maybe Whit gets more money? But it doesn't benefit the fans or Utah taxpayers. If anything, PAC12 membership is costing the fans and taxpayers more money.

  • indycrimson Franklin, IN
    Dec. 16, 2012 11:00 a.m.

    Once again...

    Utah is fine! BYU seems to be fine. Alone...

    Fresno? Idaho? NMSU? Everyone plays dogs.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 10:25 a.m.

    The radio outcry Hollis refers to is from BYU fans, not Utah fans.

    How hard is it to understand that annual games with BYU no longer help Utah achieve it's goals?

    The success of Utah's program does not depend on pleasing BYU fans.

    Despite a few bumps in the road in it's new and stronger conference Utah fans are pretty pleased with the state of the Utah program.

    BYU has been left behind by Utah in conference affiliation, and regardless of the Dick Harmon spin independence presents, at best, an unstable future for BYU. BYU's fading on-field performance has produced a 3-8 record against Utah in the last 11 games.

    BYU fans will take solace in their berth in the 3rd tier Poinsettia Bowl and Hollis mounts a noble effort to create controversy around the Utah program, but the truth is that it is the BYU program that has controversy to deal with.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Dec. 16, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    Go Bulldogs!!!

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    If a rivalry means evenly contested games, I submit the Utah - BYU series has hardly been one. I remember at the start of the 1960's the series had been one of the most loopsided ones in the nation. Utah winning some 40+ times against something like 7 losses. Then came the "Lavel" era with BYU winning 18 of 20 times. Since then it has been fairly even; however, Utah has won 8 of the last 11. Certainly there have been some exciting games during those years; however, the history has been one of periodic dominance by one team or the other.

    During this entire history the two teams have been "tied" together through out by common conference membership. Today the two teams face differenct situations. Utah is in a conference and of the 12 games nine are agains conference opponents. Every year the opponents comprise a more difficult schedule than the U has experienced before PAC -12 membership. Recruiting, geographics, past affiliations, and overall scheduling affects are a few considerations in scheduling the remeaining three games each year.

    Not so for BYU. IMO that is why most fans critical of the new "arrangement" are BYU fans.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    I think most of 'us' BYU fans have moved on with this 2 yr hiatus thing.

    So as far as stating that BYU fans are saddened by all of this is a stretch.

    I'm pulling for the Utes to play Fresno St. Although it's an easy win and maybe a little desperate, dealing with sad and grumpy Ute fans in the post season is much more troublesome than letting them win a game and maybe say letting them play Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl. By the way that would have been a fun game to watch. I can only imagine the outcome of that scenario.

    Also since this article is more about sad Ute fans, may I suggest that the picture be changed to the classic 'sad and perplexed Coach Whit'.

  • Jake2010 bountiful, ut
    Dec. 16, 2012 7:50 a.m.

    Go Bulldogs GO! :)

  • Y's Guy Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 7:37 a.m.

    The irony is so rich.

    Nothing more need be said.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 7:02 a.m.

    They decided not to play BYU because the "Holy War" is dead. I, personally, do not care if the Cougars ever play the Utes in anything! The rivalry has become too bitter and uncivil. Let it rest. "Peace on earth, good will to men." Life will go on without this game.

    Go Cougars!

  • 93 COUGAR Orem, UT
    Dec. 16, 2012 6:21 a.m.

    Meh, good riddance. A couple more seasons like the one they had this year and they will be begging to come play again. When their team goes 5-7 there isn't a whole lot to get excited about. I've never seen so many bandwagon fans jumping off the wagon either. The sad part is the basketball team is doing the same thing. How many in a row has Dave Rose and his team won over the utes?

    When the utes got into the pac 12 all I heard from my ute fan friends was how much the money was going to improve their program. Put up a pac 12 banner! We are in! Now all I am hearing is how much ticket prices have gone up to see a mediocre product. They better get it turned around quick or the downward spiral is going to wipe out all of their programs.

  • redfeather Palo Alto, CA
    Dec. 16, 2012 12:39 a.m.

    No bowl and no rivalry; Hill is doing to Utah football what he did to Utah basketball.