It's simple, when Utah takes the field next month to play Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, nothing short of victory will be accepted. That isn't to say I won't get over a loss or won't be proud of my Utes regardless of what happens against the Tide, it's just I am viewing this game as victory or nothing. There is no middle ground, no moral victory, no happiness in a close loss.
Maybe I'm setting myself up for unrealistic expectations, which is entirely possible, but this season was never just about making a BCS bowl game. I know the Ute players aren't going to enter the Louisiana Superdome content with just being there. They want to win this more than any game they've ever played in. This isn't just about playing Alabama in one of the most storied bowl games in college football history, it's about leaving victorious and owning the greatest win Utah football has ever experienced. It won't be easy and maybe it's too much to ask, but there is only one outcome in my mind and that's a Utah victory.
Sure, losing won't diminish the greatness of this season. It's not going to undo the first twelve games and make every moment prior less enjoyable. Regardless of January 2nd's outcome, this will go down as one of the most successful seasons in Utah history. But it's not going to make a loss hurt any less and it definitely doesn't mean we can accept just being there and playing in a prestigious bowl game.
Expectations will vary for this game, but I do believe victory is attainable, which means I can't accept anything less than that. It might not come, but it is expected and while I will be proud of this team and program for what they've done this season regardless, it won't make a loss any easier to take.