Arizona and USC aren't currently, and won't finish ranked. They beat 1 ranked team this year, Nebraska. They may have been slightly better this year, but not very much.
In any case, Utah played them close, only losing by 7 at UCLA. So either UCLA isn't as great as you're making them out to be, or Utah isn't as bad as you're making them out to be.
Utah clearly declined. UCLA faced an easier opponent this season than they did last season.
I really don't see a huge difference between the Utes this season and the Utes last season. But whatever, if you want to discount talent and think Utah is on par with the rest of the Pac12 then whatever.They got worse this season. That is why I'm not buying into the whole Pac 12 talent adjustment argument. If it was just a matter of adjusting to superior talent, Utah would have sucked last season and gotten better this season, not the other way around.
BYU 1984 National Champs.
Well, for starters, Utah won a bowl game last season (against a BCS conference school) while not even finishing at .500 this season. The only team with a winning record that Utah beat this season was BYU.
Utah also had arguably the best running back in the Pac 12 last season. White was decent this season, but nowhere near as good as last season. And the receivers were all way better last season. Based on this season you'd think the only decent receiver Utah had on the roster was Jake Murphy, a tight end.
How are you judging talent when you say Utah doesn't have any?
For example, receivers... Do you think Utah has Pac 12 caliber receivers based on this season? Probably not, right? They didn't look good this season. However, those same receivers looked good last season, and even NFL caliber before that.
Where exactly do you think Utah has a lack of talent? I'd say they might be a little thin on the o line, and the qb was a freshman, but other than that, Utah has plenty of Pac 12 caliber players on the offense.
No team is perfect, there is always going to be strengths and weaknesses. I don't think you can say Utah doesn't have Pac 12 talent just because they're not starting NFL players at every position.
Even though they both sucked this year, I would not be at all surprised to see Devonte Christopher in the NFL next season, and Dres Anderson in the NFL when he leaves school. Also John White is definitely going to be in the NFL, and Jake Murphy probably will too.
If that happens, and it's not at all far fetched, that means Utah started at least 4 NFL players on offense this year. How can you say they have no talent when they might have started 4 NFL players? (I'm only talking about offense here, we all know Utah has plenty of talent on defense)
And there could be others, of course. Like Reggie Dunn, Luke Matthews, and even Travis Wilson.
I remember watching that Utah/UCLA game on tv and the announcers were saying that almost every Pac 12 school recruited Travis Wilson.
I also remember when everyone said Utah had a lack of talent against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, and then 11 players from that Utah team went on to play in the NFL.
Similar situation here, except the offensive and defensive coordinator positions aren't as good as they were back then. The defensive coordinator is getting better, but he's still no Gary Anderson, and the offensive coordinator was downright terrible this season. Terrible to the point that even the few bright spots we had on offense last year looked terrible this year.
Where did I say this?How are you judging talent when you say Utah doesn't have any?
BYU 1984 National Champs.
It's a talent issue for Utah, plain and simple. Not even worth arguing. In the 2 years since leaving the MWC, Utah has not even come close to fielding a Pac 12 worthy O-line or QB. IMO, they match up pretty good everywhere else. I'm not saying they're on a level playing field at all of the other positions, but probably close enough to compete.
The thing is, if you can't put forward a Pac 12 O-line and QB, 5-and-7 is probably your ceiling. In fact, I think now that we've had 2 years to look at it, Utah's 9 win season last season was serious overachievement. The QBs that have taken meaningful snaps for Utah in the past 2 seasons are Wynn, Hayes, and Wilson. 1 was a walking M.A.S.H. unit who never had that great of an arm to begin with, one was a DII kid that was gritty, but had no business starting for Wyoming, let alone a Pac 12 school, and the other was a true freshman thrown into the fire. Add to that an O-line cobbled together due to injuries over the past 2 years and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see why Utah has struggled.
Utah is fixing the QB issue, but it's not an overnight process. Having Travis Wilson coming back with starts under his belt is a step in the right direction. Utah also has 2 verbals from QB's who were sought after by other Pac 12 schools and Chase Hansen out on a mission. As these guys filter into the program, we'll finally see some stability in that area.
Recruiting capable defenders and players at the skill positions on offense doesn't seem to be the problem. Utah needs a few years of solid QB and Oline recruiting before we can even think about them being "contenders" in the Pac South. I'll be the first Ute fan to step up and admit that the transition was/is not as easy as I thought it was going to be.
Utah has good players, they just dont have good players at the most important positions. Same at BYU. No QB and no O line make for a rough season.
I do think Utah should not be concerned in the talent area other than their O line ( could be more injury than talent), and especially QB.
You have a sucky QB and it doesn't matter about the rest.
Same goes for BYU.
BYU has taken a few steps forward in regards to recruiting players with talent on both sides of the ball, but either through sucky recruiting or bad QB management both teams have crap for QB's on the field.
Tough to say where a school is compared to others when the number one position is a mess and affects all of the others.
Anywho, I thought the season was over?
Disappointment for both teams. No real need to bash each other now.
Good luck in the off season and recruiting for both teams. Glad BYU gets a few extra practices and meaningless game in for reps, wish they had a QB of the future they could give those reps to.
Even so, if you don't even count the Montana State win, Utah still beat 4 other teams that went on to play in bowl games last season, including one if the teams in the Pac 12 championship game. This season, they only beat 1 team that is going to a bowl game (BYU). And that is playing an almost identical schedule as last season.
Huge step backwards, no other way to describe it.
If the offensive line was as bad as you say, John White wouldn't be headed to the NFL.
I agree the o line is a little thin. I don't think it's bad enough to justify a losing record though.
Same thing with the qbs. Hays and Wynn sucked, but Wilson is pretty good. He may not be the best qb in the conference, but he is not bad enough to justify a losing record. Especially on a team that has one of the best running backs and defenses in the conference.