Only four games in and it appears the season is over. Utah's loss to UNLV puts their record at 1-3 and that may have been the easiest part of their schedule. In the coming weeks Utah will face Louisville, TCU, CSU and of course BYU. All those games are on the road and should be sure losses, which gives Utah at least 7 on the season. That's a losing record, Utah's first since the 2002 season.
But is there any way to salvage this season? There seems to be a growing dearth of talent because of injury, the coaches don't seem to know what they are doing and all of this is creating a hurricane like storm that will devastate the Utah program. And even though I try to be optimistic, I just don't see how this team can sniff .500. It's time we face the facts and realize they just aren't very good. Good teams do not lose games to UNLV, let alone get shutout by them. Good teams do not start the season 1-3, with a scarcity of offensive productivity. Yet here Utah is, after all the preseason hype, a team that's turned out to be a dud. So much promise destabilized by a lack of coaching ability. One has to wonder if this coaching staff even has a blueprint for this program, or if they're just hoping talent alone will carry them to victory. Well, as it's been proven over and over again, teams rarely win in spite of coaching. They may show some signs of brilliance, but ultimately, they fail. Utah has and will continue to fail because they do not have the type of coaches to succeed. And that's the issue facing them this season, a true lack of leadership from the coaching ranks.
I don't doubt Utah will once again show some sign of success this season. It will probably come against Louisville, TCU and BYU, but it won't be enough to save an already lost season. Mostly because every gain, no matter how slight, is met with two large steps backwards. It has been this way under Whittingham and it's not going to magically change next week, or in three weeks. But that doesn't mean I don't hope it changes. I would love nothing more than to be proven wrong on this issue. I would love for Utah State to be the start of a 9-game winning streak, but I'm not foolish enough to expect it. And that's what upsets me the most, because we're only four weeks into the season and I've already conceded that Utah won't be playing in a bowl game. That they won't be competing for a conference championship or that they have a shot at beating BYU. I didn't expect to have these issues this time around because I thought the coaching staff finally got it. But I realize they never got it, but knew damn well how to sell it. I was just dumb enough to buy it for a third consecutive year.
And as I type out the world's longest paragraphs, I can't help but think the future is still bright at Utah. The issues we face today are just that, issues of today. They won't hinder the growth of this program because Dr. Hill won't allow it to. Instead, he will make the needed changes, just as he did with basketball, and we will return. Utah football has too much going for it to be delegated a spot at the bottom of the conference. It isn't going to happen, it's just unclear on how long it will take for us to change the course.
I'll give up on this season, but I'll also attend every home game. I will be vocal in my opposition to Kyle, but that won't undermine my love for Utah football. I think we can do better, in fact I know we can do better. That's why I will speak up and I expect many to do the same. The more unified our cry, the more people will take notice. It worked with Giacoletti and it will work with Whittingham.
I don't personally have any ill will toward Kyle. I think he's a good guy, a solid defensive coordinator, but a poor coach. Sometimes it's not easy making the transition from lifetime assistant to head man and sadly, I think this defines Whittingham. He is a great assistant, but that has not carried over to his duties as a head coach. For that -- for Utah -- we need change. The program needs change and I just hope Whittingham realizes that it isn't anything really personal, just the life of this business. Whittingham has had a great run at Utah, it's just a shame it hasn't worked out with him leading this team. I really had hoped it would and if by some miracle he does turn things around, I'll be there cheering for him. But I don't know if that's possible now.