There has been recent discussion on both Block U and Ute Fans about whether or not Whittingham will be an ultimate success here at Utah. Honestly, as I've stated before, I think we should give him at least another year. But with that said, I thought it would be interesting to look at how Whittingham stacks up against the rest of the MWC when it comes to each coaches first two years.
|Coach||Team||2 Year Record Inherited||Inherited Winning Percentage||2 Year Record||2 Year Winning Percentage|
|Rocky Long||New Mexico||15-9||.625||9-13||.409|
Here you can see Whittingham ranks pretty much in the middle. But these stats don't tell the entire story, as Utah lost nearly their entire 2004 team, while Bronco took over a pretty talented, senior dominated one. That might prove the quick turnaround BYU had under Bronco, but then again, it could be real coaching skill. I think we'll get a better picture of the two (Whittingham and Bronco) after this season.
I thought it was also interesting to compare Whittingham with Patterson, as they both took over damn good teams and struggled early. The Frogs, under Patterson actually went 16-9 if you count the bowl they lost after Coach Fran bolted for Alabama. Though I'll also note that the Frogs did have a 10-win season in Patterson's second full year with the team, compared to Whittingham's 8-wins.
I don't think you can underestimate the impact Lubick had on CSU, as he took over a team and quickly reversed their fortunes. Rocky Long on the other hand struggled, as he inherited a team that won 9 games the year before and then won only 3-games his first season. Also, Mike Sanford has actually performed WORSE than hall of fame coach John Robinson. Finally, I think Glenn's first two seasons can't be overlooked here. He took over a team that won only .17% of their games over the past two years and in his second year, he had the Pokes playing in the Las Vegas Bowl and beating UCLA -- something Whittingham couldn't do last year. I didn't include Chuck Long or Troy Calhoun because obviously they haven't coached enough seasons (or in Calhoun's case, any season).
Take what you want from these stats, but I think Whittingham has done an ok job at keeping Utah decent, but his problem will always be replacing Meyer. He'll never dominate like Meyer did and it's sad some fans expect him to. However I don't think winning 70% of your games is out of the realm of possibility, especially when you realize he's close already at 60%. After the season ends, I'll take a look at the 3-year record of every MWC coach and hopefully Whittingham is near the top in that article.