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Observing the 150-year anniversary of college football, ESPN this week published a list of the 150 greatest teams.
I was interested to see how the panel compared Utah’s unbeaten 2004 and ’08 teams with each other. The question went unanswered. Neither team made the list.
Whether or not that’s an injustice to the Utes, the question remains: Which was the better team? The subject is meaningful this month, with the ’04 team being inducted into the Crimson Club Hall of Fame. I’ve always said the ’08 Utes had the most talent in the program’s history (now being challenged by the 2019 roster), and there’s no dismissing that Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama. But for lasting impact, the ’04 team as the original BCS-buster is tough to beat.
As for the current Utes’ attempt to make their own history, this was my look at what they wanted to accomplish going into last Saturday’s game vs. Northern Illinois.
As it turned out, the discussion of the rare 11 a.m. kickoff was as significant as any on-field issue leading up to that game, as many fans were late to arrive (and some never got there).
The Utes got some things done in that 35-17 victory and left some things undone.
Tribune columnist Gordon Monson summed up the home opener.
The encouraging aspect of Utah’s win was quarterback Tyler Huntley’s downfield passing.
The part that needed improvement was the Ute offense’s performance in short-yardage situations.
Moving on to this week’s game vs. Idaho State, it was fun to look back at how Ute coach Kyle Whittingham’s career started. He endured six losing seasons in Pocatello, Idaho, but that didn’t sour him on the profession.
Ever since I saw a long list in May of Utah’s football players who went through commencement, I wanted to learn more. Most of them did so with the promise of completing their degrees in December, but that’s still impressive.
Utah’s women’s soccer team battled then-No. 10 BYU for 90 minutes in Provo last week in a fun game to watch, but couldn’t get the ball past Cougar goalkeeper Sabrina Davis in a 2-0 loss.
Christopher Kamrani of The Athletic examined the direction of Utah’s offense (ATH).
Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News looked at how defensive end Mika Tafua ended up at Utah instead of BYU (DNEWS).
Pac-12 expert Jon Wilner set up an important week for the perception of the conference. (MERC).
• The marketing of the $80 million Ken Garff Performance Zone seating within Rice-Eccles Stadium will begin in earnest, as Utah is partnering with the New York-based Legends firm for sales and other services. The school used Legends’ research arm, CSL, in the 2017 market study that led to the plans to expand the stadium by about 5,000 seats in the South end zone with suites, loge boxes, club seats, a rooftop terrace and field-level club memberships.
• Utah’s volleyball team (6-0) moved up three spots to No. 16 in this week’s AVCA poll after sweeping three matches in Utah Valley University’s tournament. The ranking creates anticipation for next Thursday’s meeting with No. 13 BYU at the Huntsman Center. First, the Utes will play three more matches in Pepperdine’s tournament in Malibu, Calif. Utah will face the host team Friday, then take on No. 6 Pittsburgh and Cal Poly on Saturday.
• The Ute soccer team (3-3) responded to the loss at BYU with a 1-0, two-overtime win at Boise State less than 48 hours later. Utah will play at Nevada on Friday night.
• In cross country, Utah junior Trina Moreno finished third and the team placed second behind Weber State in the College of Southern Idaho Invitational in Twin Falls. Utah, ranked No. 22, next will run in Notre Dame’s meet Oct. 4, launching a busy stretch of the schedule.