The Utes' struggles this season have been monumental beyond anyone's expectations. Currently Utah sits at 5 games below .500 and are on track to have the school's first back-to-back losing season in 23 years. Yet even with how disastrous this season has gone, the Utes still own a dominate victory over Washington State. Since losing 55-69 in Salt Lake City back on December 12th (the loss was also their worst of the season), Washington State has gone 13-2. During that stretch they've beaten Arizona twice, USC, Washington and Stanford once and came within three points of beating #1 ranked (at the time)UCLA in Pasadena. The Cougars are currently ranked 14th in the nation and will most likely rise after their home win over #24th ranked Stanford last night.
So how in the world did Utah defeat what possibly could be the best Washington State team in school history? Honestly, I can't really explain it, but I do have a feeling the talent level for Utah is far above what their record indicates. Of course the Utes also own a win over an Air Force team that was ranked 11th when they beat them. That win gave Utah the honor of being only a few teams in the nation that's undefeated against the current top-25(minimum of 2 games). This all happened in a season where the Utes lost to UCF in the San Juan Shootout and to Albany and TCU at home.
I think the fact Utah has defeated Air Force, Washington State and a Virginia team that owns a victory over Duke, shows how poorly coached this team really is. It seems they win in spite of coaching and that there does seem to be enough talent to make this team a contender under the right leadership. There have been far too many "big wins" this season against elite teams to brush them off as flukes. If anything, the victories only prove the potential this team has and that makes the end result of this season that more difficult to accept. Utah should be no worse than a 15-win team right now, yet they'll be lucky to win 15 games to end the season.
This team has talent and I hope possible coaching candidates out there are taking note. If Giacoletti is fired (pretty likely, if you ask me), then talent alone should make this job attractive to coaching prospects.