This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
During his press conference on Monday, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said Utah's transition to the Pac-12 was not just a one-year deal, but a 'process.' He repeated the same thought after practice when asked about his comment. "It's exactly what I said, it doesn't happen in one year," he said. "It's a process in the recruiting aspect of it, the budget, the facilities, everything. It has to get ramped up and it doesn't occur in one period of time. It's an ongoing process and we are going through that right now." That he would make such comments after the Utes were blown out by Arizona State and before they play USC might make one think the coach was attempting to lower expectations for the season for fans. So how long should fans expect this process to take to where the Utes are on a par with the elite teams in the league? Whittingham said he wasn't sure. "We were on a par last year going 4-5 which I guess isn't quite on par but we went to a bowl game," he said. "We talked many times in the offseason that it was a good start but I can't put a number on it. I just know it was a good start. Recruiting is key, we have to keep fighting, searching for answers and making progress." The hard part about 'making progress,' is all the other teams in the league are trying to do the same thing. Everyone is trying to improve their recruiting, budgets, depth, etc., so the Utes are trying to catch a moving target. To me, depth is the biggest area in which the Utes must improve. We are definitely seeing that now along the offensive line where injuries have taken a toll. It is going to take a good two or three years for the Utes to build the depth they need. While they are building that depth I think the Utes can call it a successful year and say they are making progress if they are in the upper to mid range of the league and qualify for a bowl. Curious to know though how fans would determine a successful season? How long will you wait for the process to happen? - Lya Wodraska