We've been here before. Not too long ago, in fact. The Utes were coming off a huge win against a perceived solid BCS team with obvious momentum and talks of turning their season around. Their next opponent was one they had dominated recently and one that hadn't been very good since Jimmy Carter was in the White House. Utah then went out and not only lost, but were embarrassed. Fast forward a few weeks and you pretty much can say the same thing about Utah's current position. But will this one have a different ending? We can only hope.
The problem with Utah over the past few years has been their inability to really build on a huge win. If the Utes are going to display any type of consistency under Whittingham, this has got to change. Luckily, I think it will. Why? Because this team was humbled by UNLV. As much as that loss hurt the Utes, it opened up their eyes to the possibility any team at any time can kick their asses. Good teams take that and use it as a focal point for their success. Now it's up to Utah to elevate its play to the level of a good program. A program that isn't caught off guard again in that matter.
I honestly hope they can and that Whittingham somehow has found a way to fix the issues that have plagued Utah over the past three years. I give him a lot of credit for leading the Utes to victory Friday night, but if he's going to prove to me -- along with other fans, as well -- that he is capable of leading this program, it will go beyond just defeating teams that are double digit favorites. It will also have to include defeating teams Utah is a double digit favorite against.
Utah's ability to make itself relevant again rests within building on the Louisville win. I know just a few days ago I said the season was over, well I was wrong. Dead wrong, in fact. This season has now been given a rebirth and it's up to the coaches to use the Louisville game as a springboard to success. A 9-3 finish, even with two conference losses, will probably be good enough for a top-25 finish. It can be done, but the Utah team everyone saw Friday night will have to show up for the next six weeks. If they do, this team will win out and have a fairly great season. If they don't, well then I fear we'll continue this rollercoaster ride.