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Utah hasnt needed top-ranked recruiting classes to build a powerhouse: Issues & Answers – OregonLive

Dec 4th, 2019

Im not here to slam the football recruiting rankings.

Recruiting is the lifeblood of a college football program. The recruiting analysts -- including The Os Andrew Nemec -- know what theyre doing and are more often right than wrong

But there is more to the story. Utah is a case in point.

Utah (11-1, 8-1) meets Oregon (10-2, 8-1) in the Pac-12 Championship Game at 5 p.m. Friday at Levis Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The Utes havent been constructed with top-10 recruiting classes.

In fact, Utah generally is somewhere in the middle when the Pac-12s recruiting rankings are announced after the February signing period.

What Utah does exceptionally well is evaluate players with potential but without five stars and develop them.

This story from the Salt Lake Tribune explains why Utah spends more on football recruiting than any other public school in the conference. It is time and labor intensive to be that thorough. Utahs coaches take a lot of airplane trips.

Mike Rileys best teams at Oregon State also were built through superior evaluation and development. Current OSU coach Jonathan Smith is following a similar model.

He has to do it that way, because the Beavers rarely will win head-on recruiting battles with the national powers. Utah shows its still possible to be successful that way.

OK, more links:

The Os James Crepea takes an early look at Utah and its rugged defense ahead of the Pac-12 title game.

Aaron Fentress of The Athletic says the regression of the UO offense is baffling and alarming, and musters lots of video evidence to support his case.

Jason Vondersmith of the Portland Tribune: Oregon will have to jumpstart the offense against Utah.

Ducks expect Fridays game with Utah to be physical. (R-G)

Oregon center Jake Hanson is expected to play against Utah. He sat out the second half of the Civil War.

In this radio interview for John Canzanos radio show, Pac-12 studio analyst Nick Aliotti -- the former UO defensive coordinator -- says he wants the Ducks to turn Justin Herbert loose against Utah.

Utah has some unfinished business waiting on Friday in Santa Clara. (Deseret News)

Utah was remorseless en route to a second consecutive Pac-12 South title. (Salt Lake Tribune)

Utah has been able to dominate time of possession. (NBCSN)

UO analyst Prentice Gill takes a job at Arizona State.

Gill has strong recruiting connections to Southern California.

Pac-12 honors Oregon players Penei Sewell and Mykael Wright.

Oregon State lost the Civil War, but the season exceeded expectations. (Daily Barometer)

The Mercs Jon Wilner: With Lake in charge, who will run Washingtons offense?

More from Wilner: Chris Petersen leaves a massive legacy.

Writers from The Athletic kick around Petersens surprise departure, the Pac-12s championship game, the conferences end-of-the-year honors and other matters.

Dave Bartoo of CFB Matrix tells Canzanos radio audience he expects Oklahoma to vault Utah in the playoff rankings.

Pac-12 notes by the G-Ts Steve Gress: Hungry Utah players say theyre ready for Oregon.

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times: The timing of Petersens decision to step down was surprising, but the signs were there.

Danny ONeil of 750-AM Seattle: Why Petersens departure is alarming.

Pete Thamel of Yahoo: Why Petersens stunning decision makes sense.

Dennis Dodd of CSBSports.com: The grind claims another top-shelf college coach.

Dad Wolken of USA Today: Can you blame major college coaches for wanting to take a break?

Stewart Mandel of The Athletic: Petersen always has done things his own way.

Bruce Feldman of The Athletic: This is what makes Jimmy Lake such a successful coach.

Petersen steps away, Lake will succeed him. (Seattle Times)

How Lakes patience paid dividends. (The Athletic)

Some questions in the wake of Petersens departure. (The Athletic)

Ex-UW players praise Petersens legacy. (Seattle Times)

Petersens announcement catches Oregon coach Mario Cristobal and Utah coach Kyle Whittingham by surprise.

Lakes ascent is no surprise to those who were who remember him as an athlete and young coach. (Spokesman-Review)

With the staff changes at Arizona State, coach Herm Edwards NFL orientation becomes more pronounced. (The Athletic)

Sun Devils turn their attention to recruiting, and the offensive reboot. (Arizona Republic)

Jim Moore of 750-AM Seattle: Washington State coach Mike Leachs success isnt worth his shortcomings.

Washington State AD Pat Chun wont talk about Leachs personal attack on columnist John Blanchette, and or weight in on whether Leach should apologize. (CougFan)

Now its up to Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin to justify AD Dave Heekes vote of confidence. (Daily Star)

Pat Rooney of the Boulder Daily Camera: Colorado coach Mel Tucker is changing the culture, and its a good look.

Tucker sets a physical standard for the Buffaloes. (Boulder Daily Camera)

Two UCLA linebackers enter the transfer portal. (SCNG)

-- Ken Goe

kgoe@oregonian.com | @KenGoe

Visit subscription.oregonlive.com/newsletters to get Oregonian/OregonLive journalism delivered to your email inbox.

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Utah hasnt needed top-ranked recruiting classes to build a powerhouse: Issues & Answers - OregonLive

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