August 6, 2012 |
The offensive coordinator is 25 and the first-year cornerbacks coach is a trial lawyer who, in his new job, can't let the defense rest. That hasn't stopped us from thinking Utah, after its inaugural gantlet run through the Pac-12 Conference, is ready again to be ranked. Brian Johnson, the quarterback who led Utah to an undefeated 2008 season capped by a stunning win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, was hired a few weeks shy of his 24th birthday. He takes over for Norm Chow, the new Hawaii head coach, who was blowing out 40 candles when Johnson was born.
November 12, 2011 |
From Salt Lake City -- The facts are as cold as the night here. Rick Neuheisel has been unable to make the case he has what it takes to rally support for the UCLA football program and buy himself more time as coach. This game was huge, and that might very well be an understatement given the focus on his remarkable comeback. It was a defining moment for Neuheisel, a third straight conference win Saturday night in this Utah refrigerator and both UCLA and Neuheisel could make the argument they're back.
September 13, 2011 |
Utah was the Pacific 12 story line of last week, the new-to-the-conference Utes playing USC in the first Pac-12 football game. The spotlight stays there this week. Utah plays Brigham Young on Saturday in what Utes Coach Kyle Whittingham called "the biggest sporting event in the state every year. " Yet, the rivalry is changing. With Utah now in the Pac-12 and BYU an independent, conference ramifications are no longer involved. The schools were Western Athletic Conference members from 1962-99 and left together when the Mountain West Conference was formed.
September 9, 2011 |
The Utah players know what some people think. They know that winning a couple of Bowl Championship Series bowl games over the last six years hasn't convinced all the skeptics. And simply joining the Pacific 12 Conference hasn't answered all the questions about a mid-major hoping to break into college football's upper echelon. "Do they belong? Can they handle it?" senior offensive lineman John Cullen said. "We know we have to prove ourselves. " Their first test comes Saturday at the Coliseum against USC in a matchup that is generating more than the usual buzz around Salt Lake City and other parts of the country.
September 6, 2011 |
Utah and Colorado officially joined the Pacific 12 Conference in July, but Kyle Whittingham , Utah's football coach, predicts more schools will soon follow. "It's inevitable that there are going to be four super-conferences in Division I football with 16, maybe even 18 teams in each conference," he said Tuesday during the weekly Pac-12 football coaches' conference call. "I'm not saying I'm in favor or against. I just think that's where it's headed, and I don't see any way around that.
August 20, 2011 |
The Pacific 10 (now 12) Conference is proud to welcome two new lodge members. One program is disheveled, walks with a limp and wears its shirt tail out — the other is Utah. One is a model of efficiency, efficacy and proficiency — and the other is Colorado. Did the Pac-12 get better or get buffaloed? At face, it's not even close. Utah brings cornerstone credibility. Shoot, since 2003, Utah has a 7-3 record against its new conference comrades. The Utes flexed undefeated teams in 2004 and 2008, produced a No. 1 NFL pick in quarterback Alex Smith and a coach, Urban Meyer, who later won two national titles at Florida.