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Thread: The Kyle Whittingham Thread

  1. #61
    Handsome Boy Graduate mpfunk's Avatar
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    A few thoughts on Whittingham's hot seat. Since joining the Pac-12:

    Wins over Pac-12 teams that finished with a winning record: 1
    Last road victory in the Pac-12: 2011
    Pac-12 road victories against winning teams: 0
    Record at home in the Pac-12: 6-9. We have never had a winning record at home in the Pac-12 (2011: 2-3, 2012: 2-2, 2013: 2-3, 2014: 0-1)


    So I said to David Eckstein, "You promised me, Eckstein, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I noticed that during the most trying periods of my life, there have only been one set of prints in the sand. Why, when I have needed you most, have you not been there for me?" David Eckstein replied, "Because my little legs had gotten tired, and you were carrying me." And I looked down and saw that I was still carrying David Eckstein.
    --fjm.com

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by mpfunk View Post
    Wins over Pac-12 teams that finished with a winning record: 1
    Last road victory in the Pac-12: 2011
    Pac-12 road victories against winning teams: 0
    These three change on Saturday!

    I made a "fire coach decision" flow chart. It was my first ever flowchart. I have been needing to make one for something else, so I am practicing on this one:

    Flowchart-page-001.jpg

  3. #63
    Handsome Boy Graduate mpfunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    These three change on Saturday!

    I made a "fire coach decision" flow chart. It was my first ever flowchart. I have been needing to make one for something else, so I am practicing on this one:

    Flowchart-page-001.jpg
    As someone on the fire Whittingham bandwagon that doesn't want to be there, give me some reasons to have hope that he can turn this thing around.
    So I said to David Eckstein, "You promised me, Eckstein, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I noticed that during the most trying periods of my life, there have only been one set of prints in the sand. Why, when I have needed you most, have you not been there for me?" David Eckstein replied, "Because my little legs had gotten tired, and you were carrying me." And I looked down and saw that I was still carrying David Eckstein.
    --fjm.com

  4. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by mpfunk View Post
    As someone on the fire Whittingham bandwagon that doesn't want to be there, give me some reasons to have hope that he can turn this thing around.
    I'm on the keep Whittingham bandwagon, but yesterday I started thinking about other options for the first time.

    My reason to hope that things will get better with Whitt?

    For the first time since joining the Pac-12, I thought on Saturday that our main offensive problems are limited to just 1 position - the quarterback. If our issues are centered around 1 position, then 1 player can make the difference. Maybe Wilson finally steps up, maybe it's someone else, but I finally think we are one player away. I have never felt like that before in the Pac-12.

    I know some smart posters disagree and feel that the line is another big problem. If those posters are right - if the line really is getting worse instead of better - it's probably time to think about a coaching change. So I'm interested to know what others think about QB and the line. So, board members, are we one player away, or are our issues much broader?

    Even if we are just one player away, QBs don't grow on trees, and there's no guarantee that Whittingham will ever have that one player we need.

    But if we really are close to turning the corner, I would hate to start a rebuild. A rebuild might set us back a long time. Whitt has been at the top before. One good season, and he's back on everyone's "good coaches" list. One good season might be enough to launch us into a stable orbit around "6-8 wins." We basically have everything we want in a coach right now except the winning. We have stability. We have a guy who doesn't say stupid things each week in his interviews. We have a guy who is likable. We have a guy who has handled discipline issues pretty well. Having all that, I just want to give him as much patience as I can muster with the QB issues.

  5. #65
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I just don't think we know enough yet, because a change at this point in our history is going to be a gamble to some extent. How many Urban Meyers are out there? I am not sure whether to be optimistic or not about KW's chances of success-- I'm leaning pessimistic -- but I think the situation will be much clearer at the end of November.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I just don't think we know enough yet, because a change at this point in our history is going to be a gamble to some extent. How many Urban Meyers are out there? I am not sure whether to be optimistic or not about KW's chances of success-- I'm leaning pessimistic -- but I think the situation will be much clearer at the end of November.
    im pessimistic about Kyle. After Saturday, Not sure he will ever get us past annual 5-7's.

    I'm more pessimistic about not Kyle. As ocgreg pointed out, for every Jim Carroll, there is a Ted Tolner, Larry Smith, John Robinson II, Paul Hackett, Lane Kiffin, and Steve Sarkissian. (Not sure why he is down on Sarkasian).

  7. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    im pessimistic about Kyle. After Saturday, Not sure he will ever get us past annual 5-7's.

    I'm more pessimistic about not Kyle. As ocgreg pointed out, for every Jim Carroll, there is a Ted Tolner, Larry Smith, John Robinson II, Paul Hackett, Lane Kiffin, and Steve Sarkissian. (Not sure why he is down on Sarkasian).
    Well, what if we get Urban to come back, and Mike McCoy, somehow preferring SLC over San Diego, agrees to be OC? Whitt stays as DC, and Sitake is the DLine coach. Gary Anderson is hired to give "ute train" halftime pep talks.

    Plus, Steve Smith is hired as a special assistant coach whose job is to beat the tar out of any player who gets too soft.

  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I just don't think we know enough yet, because a change at this point in our history is going to be a gamble to some extent. How many Urban Meyers are out there? I am not sure whether to be optimistic or not about KW's chances of success-- I'm leaning pessimistic -- but I think the situation will be much clearer at the end of November.
    Urban took Utah to the next level, but he did so against an MWC schedule, not a p5 schedule. There is no way to know how Meyer would have fared in a similar G5 to P5 transition because he never did it (taking a team, not taking a job). It might be useful to remember that.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  9. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    I'm on the keep Whittingham bandwagon, but yesterday I started thinking about other options for the first time.

    My reason to hope that things will get better with Whitt?

    For the first time since joining the Pac-12, I thought on Saturday that our main offensive problems are limited to just 1 position - the quarterback. If our issues are centered around 1 position, then 1 player can make the difference. Maybe Wilson finally steps up, maybe it's someone else, but I finally think we are one player away. I have never felt like that before in the Pac-12. I know some smart posters disagree and feel that the line is another big problem. If those posters are right - if the line really is getting worse instead of better - it's probably time to think about a coaching change. So I'm interested to know what others think about QB and the line. So, board members, are we one player away, or are our issues much broader?
    We had issues at O-line and WR in addition to QB. We are also struggling mightily to recruit players to the WR position having lost our two best WR commits and being on the way to losing another to WSU. We are also striking out with O line this year, not being able to land instate talent that grew up Utah fans. We also missed on our top QB target who is from TW's HS and who liked our program immensely. Our trajectory in all three areas is that our current personnel are more talented overall than what we have coming in the recruiting pipeline.

    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    But if we really are close to turning the corner, I would hate to start a rebuild. A rebuild might set us back a long time. Whitt has been at the top before. One good season, and he's back on everyone's "good coaches" list. One good season might be enough to launch us into a stable orbit around "6-8 wins." We basically have everything we want in a coach right now except the winning. We have stability. We have a guy who doesn't say stupid things each week in his interviews. We have a guy who is likable. We have a guy who has handled discipline issues pretty well. Having all that, I just want to give him as much patience as I can muster with the QB issues.
    I think it would take more than 1 season of 7-5 to put KW back on a good coach list. We have some good talent coming back next year and a handful of young DE/Sitake recruits, but after 2015 things will get very sketchy. 2015 will very likely be Utah's best season for a while barring a complete change in the recruiting trajectory. In the case of WSU, the Cougars had some good guys coming back, including a good young QB. Leach benefitted from some early success which he used to build the perception of him being a good coach which he is now parlaying into better recruiting. A 7-6 season in 2015 does little to change the overall impression of KW being a middling or worse PAC coach, but it could make his replacement look very good by comparison, and that might be the shot in the arm that the program needs from a recruiting perspective. Is giving KW one more year with a better than average 2015 squad a good idea when it could carry more weight with KW's successor?

  10. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    im pessimistic about Kyle. After Saturday, Not sure he will ever get us past annual 5-7's.

    I'm more pessimistic about not Kyle. As ocgreg pointed out, for every Jim Carroll, there is a Ted Tolner, Larry Smith, John Robinson II, Paul Hackett, Lane Kiffin, and Steve Sarkissian. (Not sure why he is down on Sarkasian).
    The Mississippi State win was a big blow to our chances of hitting a home run. Like I posted above, I think there is a good chance that the 2015 squad is our best in recent years. Since recruiting is a game of perception and recruiting in the key to improvement, I think any coach that we hire going into the 2015 season has a lot better chance of getting a nice recruiting and perception bump than a coach that comes later than 2015. I think the hire involves a lot of guess work, but the timing can be optimized for the best chance. The timing says make the change after this year.

  11. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I just don't think we know enough yet, because a change at this point in our history is going to be a gamble to some extent. How many Urban Meyers are out there? I am not sure whether to be optimistic or not about KW's chances of success-- I'm leaning pessimistic -- but I think the situation will be much clearer at the end of November.
    We don't need a better coach than KW, just one whose skillset better fits our current needs (offensive identity, recruiting). We don't really need another Urban when a simple RichRod would suffice. I would look for an obtainable coach that has a history of fielding prolific offenses and recruiting well but who has struggled to put together a consistent D and hope that Sitake, Scalley, and Tuiaki can be the yin to his yang. There are going to be some jobless coaches that fit that bill.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by USS Utah View Post
    Urban took Utah to the next level, but he did so against an MWC schedule, not a p5 schedule. There is no way to know how Meyer would have fared in a similar G5 to P5 transition because he never did it (taking a team, not taking a job). It might be useful to remember that.
    How is this even relevant? His track record strongly suggests he would've been successful.

    Besides, our 2003 schedule was pretty rough. Oregon, Texas A&M and Cal in the non-con, plus the traditional MWC powers on the road (CSU, AFA, BYU). It's not like we fattened up on WAC dogmeat like Boise did.

  13. #73
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USS Utah View Post
    Urban took Utah to the next level, but he did so against an MWC schedule, not a p5 schedule. There is no way to know how Meyer would have fared in a similar G5 to P5 transition because he never did it (taking a team, not taking a job). It might be useful to remember that.
    Come on now, no need to become acerbic! I am just saying that it takes a special coach to do what Urban did. There aren't many like that around. So letting KW go is a risk. I think you agree with me there. That's why I think we need to see the full body of KW's 2014 work before coming to an informed opinion about his ability to succeed in the PAC-12. Based on his history, I'm becoming pessimistic that he can do it. I'm also pessimistic that a new coach would have success right away, and the new guy's failure would probably have long-term negative effects. In other words, I'm worried.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  14. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by jrj84105 View Post
    I would look for an obtainable coach that has a history of fielding prolific offenses and recruiting well
    I agree that a new coach could be just the shot in the arm that the program needs. It could also, of course, be a complete disaster that leaves us in an even worse spot. I guess we get to talk it over all season long.

    Kinda crazy that RichRod and Leech were both on the market at the same time. I don't think it's usually like that.

    Replacement options:

    There appear to be no big up-and-coming coaches out of the G5 ranks this season. The guy at ECU may qualify, but he is an ECU alum and may want to stay. Plus, if he's the only one, someone bigger than Utah will get him.

    Ex NFL coaches. There are always a few of these around. Worked for UCLA. Didn't work for Texas A&M.

    Assistant coaches. Plenty of options here. Complete crap shoot. Michigan just hired Alabama's OC. That is not working out so far. Andy Staples on SI suggested the 29 year old OC from Texas A&M.

  15. #75
    We had a very transient PAC12 recruiting bounce. I think most people who follow Utah recruiting would see 2014 and 2015 as peak years for KW led Utah. If people are afraid of what a bad coaching hire could do to Utah, they should follow our recruiting and start thinking about how KW will fare with less talent, because hat's what we're facing in 2016 and beyond. If this is an up year, what does a down year look like wih KW?

  16. #76
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    It's put up or shut up time. Either Kyle can win conference games or he can't. The Utes need a bowl game. We needed to beat Washington State to get the numbers on our side. We didn't. Now we have to go get wins where it is supposed to be more difficult than home against Washington State. If Kyle gets the bowl... I'm sure he's safe... if not, well... the job pays pretty well.

  17. #77
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalPat View Post
    How is this even relevant? His track record strongly suggests he would've been successful.

    Besides, our 2003 schedule was pretty rough. Oregon, Texas A&M and Cal in the non-con, plus the traditional MWC powers on the road (CSU, AFA, BYU). It's not like we fattened up on WAC dogmeat like Boise did.
    It seems that I challenged an article of faith yesterday -- here and at UF.N -- with this.

    CSU, AFA and BYU on the road -- sure sounds the same as UCLA, Stanford and ASU on the road. Remind me again the last time Utah won in the Rose Bowl or in Tempe.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  18. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Come on now, no need to become acerbic! I am just saying that it takes a special coach to do what Urban did. There aren't many like that around. So letting KW go is a risk. I think you agree with me there. That's why I think we need to see the full body of KW's 2014 work before coming to an informed opinion about his ability to succeed in the PAC-12. Based on his history, I'm becoming pessimistic that he can do it. I'm also pessimistic that a new coach would have success right away, and the new guy's failure would probably have long-term negative effects. In other words, I'm worried.
    I'm worried about getting a football version of Giac or Boylen.

    UCLA fired Kyle Dorell and hired Rick Neuheisel, before firing him and hitting a home run with Mora.

    Colorado fired Hawkins to get a former player who was fired after two years.

    Maybe Whit won't be able to get it done in the Pac, but letting him go hoping for a quick fix is clearly risky.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  19. #79
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USS Utah View Post
    Maybe Whit won't be able to get it done in the Pac, but letting him go hoping for a quick fix is clearly risky.
    Yep, I agree.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by USS Utah View Post
    I'm worried about getting a football version of Giac or Boylen.

    UCLA fired Kyle Dorell and hired Rick Neuheisel, before firing him and hitting a home run with Mora.

    Colorado fired Hawkins to get a former player who was fired after two years.

    Maybe Whit won't be able to get it done in the Pac, but letting him go hoping for a quick fix is clearly risky.
    I would say we're getting Giac/Boylen results with Kyle right now.

    Those coaches had big wins against ranked teams or in tough venues as well. They had several near-misses in recruiting. They also had talented players that couldn't mesh. It seems a lot like what we're seeing now in football.

  21. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by USS Utah View Post
    It seems that I challenged an article of faith yesterday -- here and at UF.N -- with this.

    CSU, AFA and BYU on the road -- sure sounds the same as UCLA, Stanford and ASU on the road. Remind me again the last time Utah won in the Rose Bowl or in Tempe.
    It's not like you don't have a point to some degree with what you said. I just hate it when we knock great teams from the past down a peg to try and prove a point today.

    That 2003 team would whip the 2014 team's ass. Agree? If so, then the SOS arguments are pretty much baseless.

  22. #82
    2003 team had an NFL qb, a Whittingham/Anderson defense, and one of the smartest offensive minds in the business at HC.

    The last thing listed is the most important. Our HC and OC had an immediate answer for any defense presented to them, and seemed to make excellent in-game adjustments in between plays, and not between possessions or between games as they seem to happen now. They had an answer for short yardage, quick plays when the D stacks the box, knew how to confuse the secondary, etc.

    And everybody on the was extremely well-prepared and mentally tough.

    I miss the days when I knew our coaching staff were always the smartest coaches on the field.

  23. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalPat View Post
    I would say we're getting Giac/Boylen results with Kyle right now.

    Those coaches had big wins against ranked teams or in tough venues as well. They had several near-misses in recruiting. They also had talented players that couldn't mesh. It seems a lot like what we're seeing now in football.
    Fair point, but what really characterized the last year of Boylen for me was the sense of hopelessness. I don't feel that way yet with football (I know that some do).

  24. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Fair point, but what really characterized the last year of Boylen for me was the sense of hopelessness. I don't feel that way yet with football (I know that some do).
    Painful as it was, Jimmer Fredette (who was national POY, crazy as it seems in hindsight and watching him flop in the NBA) dropping 49 in the JHC felt nowhere near as hopeless as losing a 21-0 lead at home to Washington State. We knew we sucked in hoops. We thought we were a fringe South contender heading into Wazzu. Call it hopelessness, call it whatever ...

  25. #85
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    Fair point, but what really characterized the last year of Boylen for me was the sense of hopelessness. I don't feel that way yet with football (I know that some do).
    I am not there yet. I am somewhere in the vicinity of where I was with McBride, however: We have risen to a certain place that I only dreamed of 10 years ago, but are we stuck here? I.e., can we reasonably hope things will improve? With Mac there was no real reason to think so.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  26. #86
    I started to rehash my conversion to the dump-Kyle gang, but decided that I'll just watch the rest of the season unfold. I'll just say this about it: I don't want Hill to pull the trigger until he has someone locked up that isn't just a lateral move, and that, at least on paper, can be shown to have a shot at bettering us. Tall order, I know, and why I don't expect Kyle to be going anywhere soon, even if we go 5-7 again.

    Sancho- that flow chart is nauseatingly accurate.

  27. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalPat View Post
    I would say we're getting Giac/Boylen results with Kyle right now.

    Those coaches had big wins against ranked teams or in tough venues as well. They had several near-misses in recruiting. They also had talented players that couldn't mesh. It seems a lot like what we're seeing now in football.
    Giac quit on the team, so I would have to disagree as far that goes.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  28. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    2003 team had an NFL qb, a Whittingham/Anderson defense, and one of the smartest offensive minds in the business at HC.

    The last thing listed is the most important. Our HC and OC had an immediate answer for any defense presented to them, and seemed to make excellent in-game adjustments in between plays, and not between possessions or between games as they seem to happen now. They had an answer for short yardage, quick plays when the D stacks the box, knew how to confuse the secondary, etc.

    And everybody on the was extremely well-prepared and mentally tough.

    I miss the days when I knew our coaching staff were always the smartest coaches on the field.
    And yet that loss to New Mexico still happened.

    2003 did have a better QB situation, which was needed when the starter was lost to injury against A&M.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  29. #89
    Stupid Lobos. I was thinking of 2004, not 2003.

    But my point stands. I want to see solid, dominant execution punctuated by fireworks on Oh-fense, and still have a defense that strikes fear in the heart of the other team's OC. I want more opposing coaches to shout "Wow! Wow! Wow!" a la the Texas A&M coach in the 2004 game.

  30. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    Stupid Lobos. I was thinking of 2004, not 2003.

    But my point stands. I want to see solid, dominant execution punctuated by fireworks on Oh-fense, and still have a defense that strikes fear in the heart of the other team's OC. I want more opposing coaches to shout "Wow! Wow! Wow!" a la the Texas A&M coach in the 2004 game.
    So you want to be Oregon, Baylor or Texas A&M. I want that too. We should hire Art Briles.

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