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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
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Perfect record deserves respect

By Nick Pappas

What will it take for the Utes to get some respect?

A hostile win in Michigan’s Big House didn’t cut it8212;Michigan is guaranteed a losing season for the first time in 40 years. Beating Oregon State, which had just come off an upset win against then-No. 1 USC wasn’t enough8212;even though the Beavers now sit at 5-3 with a 4-1 Mountain West Conference record in the mighty Pac-10. Soundly defeating Colorado State is expected, though BYU struggled against the Rams on Saturday, eventually winning on a last-minute touchdown.

And how about a record of 9-0? Nope, the Utes are still overrated.

Kurt Kragthorpe, a columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune, summed it up in his lead sentence: “If Saturday night’s opponent had been Texas Christian, the Utah Utes would have lost,” wrote Kragthorpe.

I look forward to Kragthorpe’s future coverage. You know, the kind where he lets us know there is a very good chance the sun will rise tomorrow, the team that scores more points will win the game and Sarah Palin is going to say something stupid in the future. Utah won. The win might not have been perfect, but 9-0 is. Some things are obvious.

Saturday’s opponent wasn’t TCU. It was New Mexico8212;a team that has historically been a plague on the visiting Utes. The Lobos stood in the way of greatness back in 1994, and they had the chance of raising the drawbridge again on another Ute team that is on the verge of perfection.

The standoff was longer than it needed to be, but Utah got in the gates with a nifty hook and ladder between Jereme Brooks and Brent Casteel. After that, the defense showed why it’s ranked No. 7 in the country, allowing only .56 more yards-per-play than the reportedly insurmountable Horned Frogs.

Sure, a blowout victory on the road would have been a nice treat. Having my 401K at less than -30 percent for the year would feel good too. But there’s still time for the market to swing before I retire, and the Utes are still in the hunt for a Bowl Championship Series bid.

Standing in the way is TCU, whose only loss is against Oklahoma, a team that was sitting at No. 1 in the polls and was on pace to score more than 300 points after the first five minutes of its game against Nebraska. BYU has become the new rooting section for TCU, somehow believing that a Utah loss will give them back the credibility the Cougars left on the field.

If Utah plays the Horned Frogs the way they did New Mexico, they will certainly lose, but Utah is a team with two faces. Utah and Brian Johnson get up for big games, TCU is playing in high altitude Rice-Eccles Stadium, and, unlike BYU, the Utes are definitely not taking the Horned Frogs for granted.

So, thank you Cougars. If you hadn’t laid an egg in Fort Worth, the team might have been subconsciously looking down the horizon. Instead, the biggest game of the season is Thursday, not Nov. 22 when TCU’s cheerleaders come to town.

After a win against a ranked opponent and a record of 10-0, it’s going to be difficult for naysayers to deny Utah the credibility it’s deserved all season.

[email protected]

Nick Pappas

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