Douglas C. Pizac-USA Today Sports
We wanted those close losses to stop and they did!
These past two games were a disaster for Utah. I know that sounds rough, especially after they had a chance to beat UCLA the other night, but I said the Runnin' Utes needed to split this home stand to make something of the season and they didn't. Instead, they lost to a USC team that entered with a 14-game road losing streak. The streak is snapped and now Utah's position at the bottom of the Pac-12 is cemented ... until they can prove, through victories, they're better than Oregon State and Washington State.
For all the progress this team appeared to make, this loss is a major setback and suggests they're not quite near the level many of us expected. The problem with this loss is that now they're facing down the real possibility of an 0-6 Pac-12 start and already have fallen to .500 on the season (with a losing record against Division 1 teams). An 0-6 start won't be so much devastating, since we've tolerated sucking in the past, as it would be disappointing. This year's Utes were supposed to be better ... if only because last year's team was downright awful.
Maybe they are. I'm sure they are. But the improvement isn't dramatic enough to lift Utah out of the bottom of the conference and that's unfortunate. What stings the most is not the fact the Trojans came into our house and beat up on us pretty good, though that is painful, but what stings is the fact this team had its chances and now you wonder if they burned through all their lucky charms with nothing to show for it.
If that's the case, we could be in for more lopsidedish games - and this one felt lopsided to be sure. Hopefully they bounce back and do something Utah basketball has yet to do since joining the Pac-12 ... win a conference road game. But after today, I'm not holding my breath.