Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah State Aggies wide receiver Matt Austin (4) celebrates with the fans after winning the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at Bronco Stadium Saturday December 15, 2012. The Aggies beat the Rockets, 41-15.
Kragthorpe: Bowl season affects views of Utah, BYU, USU
NCAA Football » Performance in bowl games colors past, future schedules
First Published Jan 04 2013 09:20 am • Last Updated Jan 16 2013 06:29 pm

College football’s 24-day bowl season is not over yet — or have you forgotten about the GoDaddy.com Bowl? — but there’s enough evidence to judge how the performances of other teams affect everybody’s views of Utah, BYU and Utah State.

Five conclusions:

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

• The Pac-12 scheduling rotation that matches Utah against Stanford and Oregon next season for the first time as conference rivals creates a significant upgrade. We all knew that, but it was reinforced this week. The conference’s six bowl-eligible teams that beat the Utes in 2012 went 2-4 in postseason play (wins by Arizona State and Arizona; losses by Washington, UCLA, Oregon State and USC), while Stanford and Oregon won BCS games.

Oregon is likely to lose coach Chip Kelly to the NFL, but the Ducks will remain a notch above everybody else in the Pac-12 — except Stanford.

• It’s dangerous to gauge any program by a one-game performance, but I’ll eat some words about Fresno State being comparable to BYU as a replacement on Utah’s schedules in 2014 and ‘15. The Bulldogs were blasted 43-10 by SMU in the Hawaii Bowl. So maybe Fresno State offers a bit of a break to Utah, after all.

• The curse of Utah State football is officially lifted. The Aggies lost coach Gary Andersen to Wisconsin after their Famous Idaho Potato Bowl win completed an 11-2 season, but his promotion is a compliment to USU’s program. Meanwhile, former USU coach Brent Guy posted a Liberty Bowl victory as Tulsa’s defensive coordinator and Kent Baer, a former USU player and assistant coach, won the Military Bowl as San Jose State’s interim coach (he’s headed to Colorado as defensive coordinator). Two of Mick Dennehy’s former Aggie assistants, Dave Kotulski and Lance Anderson, helped coach Stanford’s defense in the Rose Bowl victory.

• There should not be too much celebrating in Cache Valley regarding Boise State’s return to the Mountain West, however. The Broncos will provide more credibility and financial impact to the other conference members, but there’s also the little detail of having to compete against them. Andersen caught a break in a two-year window of playing in a league without Boise State. USU may have challenged the Broncos in 2012, but keeping up with them on an annual basis is asking a lot.

• Depending on the outcome of an overhaul of the offensive coaching staff, BYU could end up having a satisfying bowl season. The Cougars have kept receiver Cody Hoffman and linebacker Kyle Van Noy, the offensive and defensive MVPs of the Poinsettia Bowl, from entering the NFL draft. Georgia Tech’s victory over USC in the Sun Bowl adds credibility to BYU’s best showing of the season, and Notre Dame could further help BYU’s image with a strong performance against Alabama in the BCS championship game.

The remaining issue is how coach Bronco Mendenhall will reconfigure his offensive staff. Longtime assistant Lance Reynolds has retired, and his departure certainly won’t be the only personnel change.


story continues below
story continues below

Twitter: @tribkurt

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.