Thursday’s With Raider: At Least We’re Not Mizzou Fans


Oct 19, 2013; Columbia, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers cheerleaders run onto the field before the game against the Florida Gators at Faurot Field. Missouri won 36-17. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Raider: It could always be worse. At least we’re not Mizzou fans.

My line of reasoning that the good and faithful visitors of Hoyo’s Revenge are just begging for some form of creative analysis regarding the latest and greatest football debacle we all witnessed on Saturday.  Truth be told, though, I’m not sure it’s a “debacle” so much as it is an indication that USC is still good enough to win football games even with the hemorrhaging of scholarship players that has been going on there.  This is USC, not Prairie View A&M.  I know, Travis Wilson being injured didn’t help and the rest of the offense didn’t really do what we expected them to do.  But I didn’t think I would have both Ute and Raider games this weekend would feature a defense that is solid with an offense that isn’t.

(Sidebar: the Raiders right now sit at 3-4, which in my opinion is rather remarkable, given that I didn’t think we’d get to 3 wins for the entire year, let alone 3 wins before Halloween.  With as bad as the Raider offense has been at this year, the whole “Let Pryor Run The Read Option” strategery hasn’t been completely terrible.  Of course, the indomitable juggernauts that are the Eagles, Texans, Titans, both New Jersey teams and Dallas on Thanksgiving all await this team in the coming weeks, so maybe there’s a win or two to be had there.  Maybe.  At least Jason Tarver thinks we’re Number 1.)

But I didn’t write this email to discuss all that.  No, I came to discuss the fact that someone felt it necessary to remind Ute fans via the glory of YouTube of what things were like in the 1985 football season.

Allow me to make some wise comments about this video:

–I like how the video is titled “Flying High”.  That makes perfect sense, because “high” seemed like the ideal mental state for Ute football fans back in the 80s.

–Jim Fassel seems like he’s sitting in waiting to star as a non-paid spokesman for Colonial Penn life insurance, as I’m reasonably certain that every single episode of Classic Concentration or Sale of the Century featured at least one Colonial Penn commercial spot.

“Hi, Jim Fassel here for Colonial Penn Life Insurance.  I may look like a college football coach, but someday, I will be between the ages of 50 and 85…remember, you cannot be turned down”

–If he were truly frank, I would have to think Fassel really wanted to say “well, the whole goal of every team in this conference is to score as many points as possible with little regard for things like defense, so I think that sounds like a good idea”.

–Eddie Johnson and Errol Tucker were more than likely the most talented players in this era of Ute football, which leads me to believe that this program often recruited players by complete accident or simply got players no one else wanted.

–This video ends with a last second field goal to beat San Diego State, as though it’s the greatest thing to ever happen to Utah football.  Come to think of it, though, that might be close to being accurate.

Now that I’ve ruined everyone’s mood, let’s get to the games for this week, shall we?

MAC: Before we get to the games, the amazing thing I take from that video is, how hard they were working to promise Utah was actually going to be good.  You can just randomly fast forward to spots and and they will just keep telling you that Utah Football is a force to be reckoned with.

The bigger question is, where did they show this video.  I mean there was no internet and not all that much TV, so who was watching this.  Who could have possibly seen this?

Seriously if you read this blog and remember 1985 and saw this video, email me at because I have to know how anyone actually watched this.

Now the Games…

Arizona State v. Wazzu

Raider: Unless the World Series goes to a seventh and deciding game, I will watch this game and do so with some trepidation.  The Sun Devils now lead the South division, but for how long is anyone’s guess.  They face Oregon State, UCLA and Arizona in their final three games, and I don’t think I’m that far out of my mind to think that ASU just might win all three of them.  And yes, I put some other sport before football.  Forgive me, America, for I have sinned.

MAC: Arizona St., the thing they do best is to just crap seasons away late in the year.  I’ve always thought its because it’s not 194 degrees in Phoenix anymore and they lose their advantage.  Or just that much partying from August will finally catch up with you.  I’m hoping the game they blow is to Utah, wouldn’t that be AWESOME.

USC v. Oregon State

Raider: I noticed a few Ute fans on Twitter during the game on Saturday really question whether or not this program belongs in the PAC.  Well, let me throw at you a stat that may cause those of you who tweeted such things to think again.  In the entire history of Oregon State football, the Beavers have beaten USC a grand total of 11 times.  The Beavs even went 34 years in between victories against them when the finally beat them in the year 2000.  I don’t remember many people complaining back then about whether or not Oregon State “belonged” in the PAC.  Yes, it’s not an ideal circumstance, but I do think we can have nice things.

As for the Trojans, I did get to thinking on Saturday about what sort of things they would have to accomplish in order for Ed Orgeron to get the interim tag lifted from his job title.  Maybe winning the South division, pulling off an upset against whichever team comes out of the North (which is looking like it will be Oregon at this point) would probably make the scenario more difficult for them.  But odds are, this will likely come down to what expectations USC may have going forward.  If they still have the mentality that I expect them to have–we want to win Rose Bowls, national championships, Heisman Trophies, and so on–that probably isn’t happening with Orgeron.  If he does end up their head coach in the future, I suppose you can get your “go home SC, you’re drunk” tweets saved in your drafts for that eventuality.

MAC: I’m not sure why Ute fans hate themselves.  It must be a combination of part of our fans being abused by BYU for so long to the point they’ve never gotten over it and the rest having joined when Urban Meyer  became coach thus never really knowing adversity.

As for Orgeron, well that guy is crooked as crap.  It’s clear now the NCAA hammered USC because their former AD Mike Garrett was an asshole and hired Lane Kiffin.  Pat Haden won’t go down that road.  Imagine the NCAA’s thinking, if Mike Garrett had simply been a child molester, USC would be on it’s way back to full strength, but because he was a jerk and hired another jerk, they won’t be USC for another 8 years.

Arizona v. Cal

Raider: Okay, I’m going to go there.  I’m one of “those people” lamenting the fact that Cal isn’t on the schedule for the Utes this year.  (At this point, however, I’m not sure it would really matter who we play.)  A few things would have to play out for this to happen, but there’s that possibility that the Arizona/ASU game at the end of November could be a de facto Pac-12 South Title game.  That seems like something that could cause rioting and fistfights depending on where you are in the state and what you happen to have on your car or your person, so if that happens, I expect a full report from you on the difference between Wildcat and Sun Devil.  Or you can just do it now, it’s entirely up to you.

MAC: Let me tell you how nasty the ASU/UA rivalry can be.  Steve Kerr’s father was named Malcom Kerr.  Kerr was a historian, president of the American University of Beirut back when that was a beautiful city, and also a likely CIA operative.  When Steve was at Arizona, his father was kidnaped and eventually killed by terrorists as Beirut was disintegrating.  Not long after, Steve and Arizona played at ASU and the ASU students chanted PLO, PLO.  I used to think that the Utah/BYU rivalry was not like that and then a BYU fan assaulted Jamie Whittingham because she wouldn’t let him take a picture of her crying children.

Colorado v. UCLA

Raider: I don’t really think the Buffs are much of a challenge for the Bruins so let me pose a question that sort of relates to Brett Hundley.  Of the following three Pac-12 QBs (Hundley, Mariota & Mannion) which will have the best NFL career?  Having seen at least two of the three so far this season, I would have to think Mannion would be the type of QB that can be a good fit with more systems than an option/spread.  But take a look at a guy like Colin Kaepernick–or even Terrelle Pryor to use my team’s example.  Have teams in the NFL come to the point where that type of quarterback is the wave of the future?

All I really hope at this point is that the Utes have two more wins left in them…

MAC: I think Hundley/Mariota are the future of the NFL.  Mostly because concussions are going to keep forcing them to open up the game.  It’s going to leave receivers more open and allow those guys to have a lot of success.  Mannion will have to get to the right team to have a great NFL career.  I mean who the hell thought Terrelle Pryor would be even a decent NFL QB.  The spread will be the future of the NFL.