Dec 14, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes guard Brandon Taylor (11) grabs a loose ball and heads up the court during the first half against the Brigham Young Cougars at Jon M. Huntsman Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
This is something I see creep up on social media over the last couple of years every time Utah basketball has a big win. Then we follow it up with some sort of stupid loss and half the fans wonder while the other half get mad that the first half are wondering. Not to mention the third half who quit paying attention sometime after 1999.
But kicking BYU’s ass does feel different doesn’t it. The game wasn’t a fluke. Utah didn’t win because we shot 80% like the Boise game last year. The Utes won because we were better in nearly every phase of the game.
But at the same time, one game doesn’t make a season. And in our one road game, Utah got a great opportunity and looked just horrid coming down the stretch. So the question, what is the next step in being back going to look like. I think it looks like this…
Utah opens the Pac-12 3-3 or better. Utah opens with the Oregon teams and they really need to start with at least a win over Oregon St. Then they head on the Washington road trip. Both of those teams are beatable so the Utes need a split. Follow that up with the LA teams coming to town and Utah must beat a USC team who is not ready for prime time yet. 3-3 or even better should leave us feeling good. 2-4 or God forbid worse should give us all a moment of concern.
The next three after that are at Arizona St., at Arizona and at Colorado. Honestly, Utah could drop all three of these games and not have it mean anything other than these are three really good teams. So Utah could be 3-6 at the half way point and I wouldn’t be upset.
I think that is a pretty good measure of “backness”.