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Posts Tagged ‘Utah’

P.S.R. 1-124: Week 5 Re-Ranking

With the weekend in the books, here’s a look at how the country ranks — using the original rankings as the starting point, with the season’s results as rationale for any movement. The top 25 teams land a one-sentence breakdown. The rest? Not so much. Part of the perks of being one of the best. Think your team is too low? Feel another team deserves more credit, less credit? Let’s hear it below. It’s a delicate ranking process, even if we’re now four weeks into the year. As promised, everything will become clearer by the end of the month.

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    Pick 10, F.B.S. Notebook: Week 3 (Sept. 15)

    Do you remember the last time Notre Dame took a trip to East Lansing? You might not remember the game’s first 60 minutes and change, but that’s fine: things didn’t get wild until overtime, when Michigan State answered a Notre Dame field goal with the most audacious coaching decision of the 2010 season. Now you remember, right? Dan Conroy is lined up for the potentially game-tying 46-yard field goal; Aaron Bates, the punter and team captain, was the holder; tight end Charlie Gantt was lined up one spot inside from the edge to Conroy’s right. The call: “Little Giants.” The snap went to Bates, as expected – and then came the unexpected. You’ll see the rest of the play later tonight, when the Irish and Spartans meet in one of the day’s marquee games. Let’s run down the entire weekend’s action.

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      P.S.R. 1-124: Week 3 Re-Ranking

      With the weekend in the books, here’s a look at how the country ranks — using the original rankings as the starting point, with the season’s results as rationale for any movement. The top 25 teams land a one-sentence breakdown. The rest? Not so much. Part of the perks of being one of the best. Think your team is too low? Feel another team deserves more credit, less credit? Let’s hear it below. It’s a delicate ranking process, particularly with only two weeks in the books, so you may see one team ranked below a team it just beat — see Louisiana-Monroe and Arkansas, for example. Don’t be alarmed. Everything will become clearer by the end of the month.

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        No. 14: Utah

        Utah needs Kyle Whittingham to step forward with a plan to address the program’s newest test. In the big picture, Utah wants to be as successful in the Pac-12 as it was in the Mountain West, where it won 33 games from 2008-10. While most programs would be happy with an eight-win debut against a tougher class of opponent, Utah is long past the days when eight wins is anything more than simply satisfactory – the program has bigger eyes for a bigger prize. More specifically, Whittingham, Utah and new offensive coordinator Brian Johnson, the former quarterback, need to carve out an identity on offense to go with a rock-steady defense. It’s an important task on multiple fronts: Utah needs an offense to take a step forward in the win column; needs an offense to keep pace with the Pac-12’s recent move towards offensive potency, as seen by several recent hires; and needs an offense to give balance to a team that won’t win more than eight games on the back of its defense alone. U.S.C. is waiting in the wings, and Utah’s hopes at knocking off another giant hinges on the development of this offense.

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          Playoffs: What We Know, What We Don’t

          What we know: After two more years of B.C.S. living, the F.B.S. will adopt a four-team playoff system for the 2014 season. The playoff system is scheduled to run for the following 12 years. The four teams will be picked via a to-be-named selection committee.

          The standard for selection will begin with won-loss record, followed by strength of scheduled, followed by head-to-head results, with whether a team is its conference champion the final criteria. The semifinal games will rotate among six bowl sites, with the national title game going “to the highest bidder.”

          The Champions Bowl, Rose Bowl and an unnamed A.C.C. bowl game will comprise three of the six semifinal bowls; the other three are still undecided. Cowboys Stadium is one neutral site expected to enter the bidding for the national title game.

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            Picture the M.W.C. in 2013 and Beyond

            Upon further review of today’s post on Colorado State, one line that I first viewed as a throwaway quote seemed worthy of future examination: “The Mountain West will have a power vacuum after this season,” I wrote, “and there’s no reason why the Rams, after one or two seasons of development, can’t be one of two or three teams capable of filling the void.” While this idea — that the Mountain West will be up for grabs beginning in 2013 — has no impact on Colorado State’s coming season, the idea that the Rams stand as one of a few teams in line to take control of this Boise State-free league come next fall is an important factor for the program to consider as it struggles through an inevitable first-year learning curve under former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain.

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              See You Again, WAC, But Only in Reruns

              And then there were two. Before even playing a single game as a member of the conference — let alone a member of the F.B.S. — Texas State will leave the WAC for the Sun Belt in 2013, meaning that five of the seven teams currently in the WAC have found new conference affiliation effective after this coming season: Louisiana Tech and Texas-San Antonio are headed to Conference USA, Utah State and San Jose State to the Mountain West and the Bobcats to the Sun Belt. That leaves Idaho and New Mexico State facing an uncertain future, though these two programs have one thing over the WAC: Come 2013, each will still exist, albeit in a different fashion. As a football league, the WAC is dead.

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                Two-Deep Notes: U.S.C., U.F., Utah and U.C.F.

                With spring comes rain, baseball, grass and depth charts. Each of the latter trio is welcome, with none more so than the parade of two-deeps cascading onto university Web sites over the last two weeks. Another four schools offered up a preliminary depth chart over the last two days: Utah, U.C.F., Florida and South Carolina. With these depth charts, and with a few others, comes spring. An important note, however: All depth charts are to be taken lightly, and then taken outside and lit aflame, because they’re worthless. Less than worthless, perhaps — for many teams, the names and numbers listed alongside the vast majority of positions are space-fillers, more or less.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.