Utah released their non-conference schedule this afternoon and it … well … it’s got 12 games on it.
Beyond that, however, Utah’s schedule is weak enough that my men’s league team might be able to shoot our way into being competitive. (Sidenote: Webb Construction is a dynasty in Northern Virginia. Either that, or usually over .500. One of the two.)
Seriously, take a look (via Bill Oram at the Salt Lake Tribune):
Nov. 2: Simon Frasher (exhibition)
Nov. 9: Willamette
Nov. 16: Sacramento State
Nov. 21-24: Hosting a tournament including Central Michigan, Idaho State and Wright State
Nov. 28: at SMU
Nov. 30: at Texas State
Dec. 5: Boise State
Dec. 8: at BYU
Dec. 14: Evergreen State
Dec. 18: SMU
Dec. 21: Cal State Northridge
Going to BYU is a rivalry game and, hopefully, will always be put on the schedule. The Cougars should be pretty good next season as well.
But beyond that? Yuck.
Not a single program that the Utes will face had a winning record last season. That includes NAIA programs Evergreen State and Williamette, who went 1-26 and 5-20, respectively. The best team on the schedule is either SMU, who is relevant simply because their head coach is Larry Brown, or Boise State, who finished at the bottom of the MWC last season but has a roster with a decent amount of young talent.
I’m not even going to mention the fact that rivalries with Utah State and Weber State have been ended, because I’m sick of writing about rivalries ending. (Yes, it sucks.)
It is obvious what Utah is trying to do here. After finishing last season with a 6-25 record, Larry Krystowiak is trying to ensure that his team gets some victories, and in the process keep his seat out of the heater. The problem is that Utah isn’t exactly expected to be great next season, which means that if his team doesn’t go at least 9-3 or 10-2 — which is quite possible — than don’t be surprised if rumblings about Larry K’s job start to pop up.
(Photo via Scott Winterton, Deseret News)