Ute football: Whittingham looks to bury opponents
Beating teams from Bowl Championship Series conferences is no longer good enough for Utah coach Kyle Whittingham. Now he wants to bury them, too.
Whittingham possibly would like to have a football graveyard outside of Rice-Eccles Stadium with tombstones recognizing the BCS teams the Utes have defeated in their stadium.
Since 2000, the Utes are 15-10 against BCS schools, which is the most wins against BCS teams for any non-BCS team. Under Whittingham the Utes are 6-3 vs. BCS opponents and 3-0 at home.
"I think it would be something fun, a good thing to do," Whittingham said.
Whittingham isn't the first with the desire to pay tribute to wins against highly regarded opponents with a twist of morbidity.
Clemson has a similar graveyard outside of its practice facility marking Top 10 teams it has beaten on the road, and Maryland has one outside of its practice field with the names of the Top 10 teams it has beaten at home.
Whittingham spoke of his desires at a recent Crimson Club luncheon, mentioning he would take donations for the project. On Tuesday he said he hasn't had any takers yet but still likes the idea.
The Crimson Club, which is often involved in fundraising for such projects, wouldn't put the project on the list of priorities for the organization and would let Whittingham do the fundraising, director Doug Knuth said.
"It has already generated a lot of interest," he said of the idea. "I think fans would love it, but it could backfire, too, and get every BCS team that saw it fired up."
Utah athletic director Chris Hill said the idea would have to be discussed further before he gave his approval, but he didn't sound too excited about the proposition.
"We have lots of things we need to do to beautify our stadium," he said. "That probably isn't one of them."
The costs of tombstones range from $800 for ones that are 18 inches tall to $2,000 for ones that are three feet tall, according to Alisha Daniels at Salt Lake Monument.
"Usually people get them for more traditional reasons," Daniels said. "But we'll do anything, I guess."
Colorado State at Utah
Saturday, noon, the mtn.
Utah's home wins over BCS opponents under Whittingham:
ARIZONA, 27-24, Sept. 2, 2005
UCLA, 44-6, Sept. 15, 2007
OREGON STATE, 31-28, Oct. 2, 2008