UteLinks: Whittingham is tuning out his critics

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  • sammyg Springville, UT
    April 26, 2014 7:49 p.m.

    So interesting to see Ute fans get in a tizzy when Duckhunter makes a comment about w/l predictions.

    They seem to forget all the frustrations they exhibited with the QB fiascos of Wynn, Hays and Wilson. Ute fans were going ballistic back then when Hays took the reins and lost I believe 4 in a row yet he pulled off the miracle and got U to your last bowl game.

    Then Whit abandoned him for Wilson who blows it for the next two seasons coming up short and bowl-less.

    Droves of Ute fans were calling for Whit's head about the QB problems, lack of depth, and here just a few weeks ago we heard about all the new QB talent and in the next breath we heard about "thinning the herd".

    So today Ute fans are united against Duckhunter's commentary and disregarding the real problem with Ute football, the coaching.

    Some things never change and seeing this played out again and again is quite entertaining.

    I'm betting another dismal Ute season, bowl-less and frustrated Ute fans leading the charge demanding pink slips for Whit and company.

  • CougOrUte..Naah Nibley, UT
    April 25, 2014 4:33 p.m.

    As an unbiased reader here I think Duckhunter's guess is going to be a lot closer than pocyUtes. I am not bagging on the Utes, their schedule is a monster. The only sure win is Idaho State. The Utes should beat Fresno, Colorado, and Wazzu. But with as wide open as their offenses are they could get hot and upset the U. I wouldn't call Arizona, Michigan, and OSU tossups. I think they are winnable, but the edge is definitely in their favor. Stanford, Oregon, ASU, UCLA, and USC are almost sure losses. I am thinking 5-7 is probable, but I can see how they could slide to 4-8 or 3-9 which would be a total disaster for the Utes. A great season would be 6-6 or 7-5, but I can't see it happening. With the strength of the Cougars schedule, if they don't go 10-2 or even 11-1, they will be under achievers. A 9-3 season for the Cougs should be considered an abysmal failure.

  • Duckhunter Highland , UT
    April 24, 2014 10:05 p.m.


    We have no idea how BYU would have fared against utah's schedule so it is a moot point. we also have no idea how utah would have fared against BYU's schedule so once again it is a moot point. It is all conjecture.

    We do know this, utah failed against their schedule, BYU succeeded, although modestly, against theirs.

    And you are wrong when you say

    "Because you are the first to jump on a Utah story to take your digs at the Utes W-L record while completely dismissing the presence of cupcakes on BYU's schedule"

    No I'm not. In fact the only time I ever say anything about either schools schedules is in response to utah "fans" like yourself. Honestly it is only an issue to utah "fans" like yourself that are looking for an excuse for your teams futility the last couple of years.

    Once again you brought it up, I didn't, in fact I pointed out that utah's schedule is part of the reason for their results, I understand it is tough to win against that schedule and utah has not been up to the task.

  • Old But Not Stupid Moorpark, CA
    April 24, 2014 9:56 p.m.

    Chris B
    Salt Lake City, UT


    Did you predict..."

    No Chris, you are the one who is always "predicting" and "marking it down."

    But I do not recall you predicting the accidental win over Stanford last Fall. So are the Utes gonna beat Stanford in 2014? Can we "mark it down?"

  • UU Provo, UT
    April 24, 2014 7:32 p.m.


    You have failed to disprove that BYU plays more cupcakes every year than Utah. I have given you the evidence for 2013. I can dig up the proof for 2012 and 2011 if you want but that will just cause further embarrassment. Just give me the word and I'll show you the cupcakes over the past 3 years.

    You have also failed to disprove that Utah's SOS has been tougher than BYUs 6 of 7 years spanning from 2008 to 2014.

    Why does any of this matter? Because you are the first to jump on a Utah story to take your digs at the Utes W-L record while completely dismissing the presence of cupcakes on BYU's schedule. Just once, it would be refreshing to see you acknowledge both sides of the coin.

    I would be interested to get your take on the six wins BYU would have registered on Utah's 2013 schedule to become bowl eligible. And remember you can't count the Utah game as one of those wins because BYU can't beat the Utes.

  • Duckhunter Highland , UT
    April 24, 2014 4:00 p.m.


    Really you are struggling here, and failing. No BYU's football schedule is not as tough as utah's, does that make you happy? But BYU played a very respectable football schedule last year and still qualified for a bowl game. BYU then played a more than respectable basketball schedule and still made it to the ncaa tournament.

    utah played a very tough football schedule last year and failed to go to a bowl. utah then played one of the worst schedules in the history of the state in basketball and still failed to make it to the ncaa tourney.

    BYU succeeded against good schedules in both sports, utah failed against a good schedule in one sport and an abysmal schedule in the other sport. Failure is failure there is no there way to put it.

    BYU had nothing to do with this discussion until you brought them up for some reason, I'm guessing to make yourself feel better. You know there will always be an excuse, there always is an excuse.

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 24, 2014 4:00 p.m.

    Highland , UT

    ... and yet your mighty Kewgs can't beat Utah in football or basketball.

  • Duckhunter Highland , UT
    April 24, 2014 3:50 p.m.


    Ah the desperation has set in. First of all no BYU fans bagged about BYU's basketball schedule other than as a rebuttal to utah "fans" whining about their football schedule and how BYU only plays "cupcakes" to qualify for bowls. Of course that isn't true at all, BYU played the 38th toughest schedule in the country as you pointed out so they obviously played far more than "cupcakes".

    Also here is the big difference between BYU and utah and football and basketball. BYU still qualified for a bowl against their "cupcake" schedule while utah did not qualify for a bowl against their "toughest in the history of the world" schedule. In basketball BYU still made it to the NCAA tournament, as a 10th seed to boot, against their tough basketball schedule while utah still failed to make it to the ncaa tourney against just about the worst OOC sos in the country and a still fairly low ranked sos overall. Those are stark contrasts in results. You're into "truth" it appears so let that truth sink in.

  • UU Provo, UT
    April 24, 2014 2:30 p.m.

    @ Duckhunter “What’s your point?”

    My point is you are the first to join a Utah thread to talk about out the Utes lack of winning (or potential winning in 2014), and you have been the first to point out Utah's lack of bowl games over the past 2 seasons, yet you never represent the other side of the coin…. which is SOS.

    BYU’s SOS is consistently weaker than Utah’s. Including the 2014 season, Utah will have had a tougher SOS than BYU 6 of the past 7 years. You can't just ignore that reality when making your analysis.

    By the way, BYU did not play the #30 schedule…. It was #38. If BYU had Utah's #3 football schedule they most likely don't go bowling. Please tell me where BYU would have come up with 6 wins on that #3 schedule?

    If BYU was so great in 2013, why couldn’t they beat the Utes on their home field, again?

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 24, 2014 2:18 p.m.

    Provo, UT

    You can never use facts to convince Ducky of anything. Since BYU is not aligned with a conference that has various automatic bowl tie ins, even Mr. Holmoe has stated on many occasions that BYU scheudles "to qualify for a bowl game."

  • UU Provo, UT
    April 24, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    @ Duckhunter "There really is nothing to brag about for having such a strong schedule if you cannot win"

    Yet that's what BYU fans wanted to brag about during basketball season.... having a tough non-conference schedule. But you lost to most of the good teams. BYU beat Texas and Stanford, but lost to Oregon, Utah, Wichita State, UMass and Iowa State. How is that nay different than Utah fans wanting a little credit in football for the #3 schedule and beating Stanford, BYU and Utah St. yet losing to Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, USC, Arizona and ASU?

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 24, 2014 2:06 p.m.

    Highland , UT

    What matters is what happens on the field.

    Like 4 straight and 9 of the last 12.

    Enjoy Tulsa

  • UU Provo, UT
    April 24, 2014 2:04 p.m.


    Yes I will acknowledge that Utah qualified for a bowl in 2011 because they had a weaker SOS than they did in 2012 or 13. Yet you still won't admit that BYU's ticket to bowl games every year is built on the backs of cupcakes.

  • UU Provo, UT
    April 24, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    @ Duckhunter "Going back over that schedule (BYU) who were the "cupcakes" on it? There are a couple but utah had a couple as well so as far as "cupcakes" are concerned it was a wash."

    Below are the 5 worst teams on Utah/BYU combined schedules last year. BYU played four of those teams, Utah played one. If Utah had 3 more cupcakes on the schedule (i.e. Virginia, MTSU, Nevada) they would have gone bowling too at 8-4.

    98 Nevada
    103 MTSU
    106 Virginia
    228 Weber State
    229 Idaho State

  • Duckhunter Highland , UT
    April 24, 2014 12:58 p.m.


    Optimism is a fan trait and I can't fault any fan for being optimistc. chris b type delusion is something else altogether and I think that is what most utah fans suffered from for these first few pac12 seasons. There were plenty on here predicting rose bowls and even an undefeated season before the 2nd pac12 season. But cautious optimism is a good thing and I see no reason why utah fans shouldn't be cautiously optimistic, if not why even be a fan?

    But I'm not going to tell you what to think, nor am I going to demand "a new level of honesty" from utah fan based on reality like uu just ried to do with BYU fans. The fact is that it really doesn't matter what he thinks or I think, what matters is what the voters think and I'm pretty sure they don't care if BYU plays the 30th ranked schedule and utah plays the 3rd, or for that matter if BYU plays the 70th. That sort of thing only matters to fans trying to justify their own deficiencies and how they stack up to their rivals.

  • Duckhunter Highland , UT
    April 24, 2014 12:39 p.m.


    What's your point? BYU played a good schedule last year, better than the schedules of most of the "bcs" teams. Going back over that schedule who were the "cupcakes" on it? There are a couple but utah had a couple as well so as far as "cupcakes" are concerned it was a wash.

    BYU's schedule this season is not as good as last season but it improves again after that so we'll just have to see but the truth is they are good enough schedules to accomplish what needs to be accomplished provided they win.

    There really is nothing to brag about for having such a strong schedule if you cannot win, that is the dishonesty I see in utah fans. They want to brag and whine about the schedule all at the same time. The pac12 is strong this year but it will be down again at some point, that is just the way it works, and when it is down utah's schedule will be much weaker, just like it was the first year utah was in the pac12. Will you aknowledge that schedule is the reason utah qualified for a bowl that year?

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    April 24, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    Thanks Duck

    I think this team is REALLY difficult to handicap. On paper, they should be improved at every position group, and last year they were very close to getting over the hump, but they were also very close to losing to Stanford, and Colorado was waaay to close, which would put them at a whopping 3 win season.

    It reminds me of Karl Malone crying for respect when the Jazz couldn't get higher than a 4 or 5 see in the conference, or out of the 2nd round of the playoffs. Ultimate, Utah has to start winning. The players know it, the coaches know it, and ultimately the fans know it too.

    I'm excited, but nervous about this season.

  • UU Provo, UT
    April 24, 2014 12:02 p.m.


    Duckhubter is right. We can't count on another Stanford win in '14. For every Stanford win there's a Washington State type loss. The Utes are probably looking at another 4-8 to 6-6 type season.

    It's evident that Utah fans underestimated the high talent/coaching level in the PAC12. When Utah was in the MWC, there was a long stretch where the Utes were winning 70% of their games against P12 opponents. However playing one or two PAC12 games per year is very different than playing nine.

    So we're seeing a new level of honesty and acknowledgment from Utah fans about the realities of the PAC12. What we have not seen from BYU fans is acknowledgment of the extremely weak SOS they play on an annual basis which guarantees a bowl. I would not be surprised if BYU's SOS next season is in the 70 range (Utah will be top 3). Even during years when BYU's SOS is decent (like ’13), there are still enough cupcakes on the schedule to all but guarantee a bowl invite. Would be refreshing to see some SOS honesty coming from those Y fans that love to visit the Utah threads.

  • Hope Shue-Topins Miami , FL
    April 24, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    Both pocyUte and Duck have valid points here.

    I like the probable wins that pocyUte listed. ISU, Fresno St., Wazzu and Colorado are winnable. Utah plays Wazzu early and at home this year, rather than late and on the road after injuries took its toll.

    The probable losses look more than likely, unless the Utes' defense or offense is better than advertised, or Utah comes out and executes a great and unexpected game plan, like they did against Stanford.

    The difference comes in the toss-up category, which I put Arizona in. Rich Rod always seems to pull a rabbit out of his hat, so nothing probable there. I'm almost tempted to put the USC game in the probable loss category, because until Utah actually beats USC in a PAC game, I'm going to assume they can't.

    Utah also haven't been road warriors by any stretch of the imagination, which makes the Michigan and OSU game sketchy as well.

    I'm hoping Utah will be able to turn the corner this year, and that Gionni, another Miami boy, will be back for the start of the season.

    Go Utes!!

  • ekute Layton, UT
    April 24, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    Your the critic that Whit is tuning out.
    As a Utah fan it's exciting to know that if the Utes barely qualify, they'll be in a better bowl than a 10 win byu team.

  • Duckhunter Highland , UT
    April 24, 2014 11:12 a.m.


    You remember they then lost to wsu? You can't just assume they are going to beat a vastly superior team like stanford without also assuming they will lose to a team like wsu. Those are a wash although your delusion is interesting.


    That is well reasoned although I don't see it happening. As christina pointed out the stanford upset occured but they also managed to lose to teams like colorado, cal, and wsu each year and that happens because in the pac12 even teams like those have talent and can win on occasion just based on having good athletes.

    I see ISU as the only guranteed win, I think they'll beat fresno as well although I don't think it is a guaranty, I think they'll beat colorado and they should beat wsu. Outside of those they might upset oregon st although that is on the road, and I give them an outside chance at arizona.

    Beyond those I don't think they have much of a chance at winning any of them and I don't see anything outside of isu as a guanteed win. Good luck though, you're a good fan.

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    April 24, 2014 10:13 a.m.


    Reasonable question, and admittedly, it really comes down to QB play.

    Probable Wins: ISU, Fresno St (I think they take a big step back with Carr graduating, and it is in Utah), Colorado, Wazzu (home game), Arizona (Kadeem Carey is gone).

    Probable Losses: Stanford, Oregon, ASU, UCLA

    Toss ups:
    -USC: at home, USC will now feel the effects of the sanctions. They lose 16 seniors and 5 underclassmen. I think Utah will win this game, but, it is still USC and the players they will still have will be talented.
    -Michigan: Yes they are Michigan, but under Hoke, they've been very inconsistent. On the road, Michigan gets the nod, but I think Utah has a reasonable shot at them.
    -Oregon St: Mannion is back, and is a stud, but they lose Woods their best receiver, and Crichton their best defender. If there is a Pac-12 road win outside of Colorado, it's OSU.

    If they get one of the toss-ups, they are bowl eligible, and I will take them in their bowl game, there is 7 wins, 2 is 8.

    That being said, the margin of error is razor thin

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    April 24, 2014 10:00 a.m.


    Did you predict a Utah win over STanford last year?

    Did you predict a byu loss to Virginia, a team that didn't beat a single other division 1 team all year?

    Utah will have at least one "Stanford" win next year, and likely 2. Offense is much improved.

    Although I do worry not having the gimme win over byu like we usually do

    Go Utes!!

  • Duckhunter Highland , UT
    April 24, 2014 9:01 a.m.


    Not trying to be argumentative here but I am interested in what 7-8 games it is you think utah will win? Trying to be as unbiased as I can be I am coming up with 4 probable and 2 more maybe's, and to be fair 2 of the probables are closer to tossups. Even giving utah the benefit of the doubt I'm coming up with maybe 5 wins although I think 4 is more likely.

  • Ed Grady Idaho Falls, ID
    April 24, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    Want to know when a player or coach is being less than truthful? When they say they don't listen to their critics.

  • pocyUte Pocatello, ID
    April 24, 2014 7:47 a.m.


    You are exactly right.

    Both get too much praise in the good, and criticism in the bad.

    ESPN was 100% right when they pointed out the uptick in competition and talent to Pac-12 was bigger than most Utah fans expected. To me, the difference is in the fact that every team has higher caliber athletes. There are no New Mexico, Wyoming, UNLV, teams which, because of talent, truly have almost no chance of beating teams like Utah, BYU or TCU when they were all in the MWC. That doesn't mean every team in the Pac-12 is good, it just means that every team in the Pac-12 has much better talent than those teams.

    Utah will take a big step forward this year, I think they are poised for 7-8 wins, and will be bowling this year. Certainly the schedule is tough, but it appears that they are getting the outside speed they need to hang.

    Go Utes.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    April 23, 2014 10:14 p.m.

    coaches and quarterbacks take the criticisms

  • ekute Layton, UT
    April 23, 2014 9:06 p.m.

    It's an informative blog about the Utes and their coach. The DN's choice for the headline doesn't surprise me. At least he didn't quote "The level of criticism usually matches the level of education." lol.

  • Hey Baby Franklin, IN
    April 23, 2014 8:40 p.m.

    Best line of the ESPN blog..."fans blame Whittingham for not making the transition TO THE BIG LEAGUES a little less bumpy"...

    So much for them little brother comments....cha cha

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    April 23, 2014 6:25 p.m.

    "The chaos behind center" could continue despite having a deeper pool of potential at QB this season. The reason could end up being Whittingham's decision to go with another injury prone quarterback in Wilson, just like he did with Jordan Wynn (4 shoulder surgeries worth). Giving Wilson the first string reps will take away needed experience for the inexperienced talent behind him. And if it ends up being that the intercranial issue pops up, then Utah will lose big in the fall again. And as much as I like Whittingham, not picking or recruiting the right QB should cost him his job.

  • Proud Ute ,
    April 23, 2014 4:45 p.m.

    @Down under,
    "Too bad he is tuning out the people that buy season tickets".
    Please share details to support your claim.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    April 23, 2014 4:35 p.m.

    Can't decide which is sillier, the fact that ESPN thinks it's news when a coach says he's tuning out his critics and working on what he can control (that's coachspeak 101, repeated by every coach, every year), or...

    the commentor to the ESPN article who thought Whit was informed of his lack of depth at the QB by disgruntled fans...yeah, I'm sure he had no idea before that...other than Norm Chow (and his predecessor) mentioning it a thousand times (and Chow going out and doing something about it).

    Whit is fine...he will have to pick a horse in the QB derby fairly early on in fall camp. Giving too many QBs first teama reps just heightens the risk that no one will be fully ready once the season begins.

  • Down under Salt Lake City, UT
    April 23, 2014 3:38 p.m.

    Too bad he is tuning out the people that buy season tickets. I can think of no better way endear yourself to the fans. Nice work whit.
    I guess the pac has not been very friendly to the utes. The pac should show more respect to the little brother.