No. 8 CFP ranking comes as no surprise to Utah’s Kyle Whittingham

No. 8 CFP ranking comes as no surprise to Utah’s Kyle Whittingham


KYLE WINNINGHAM IS WITH US ON THE PHONE RIGHT NOW, CONGRATULATIONS ON THE START OF THE SEASON THAT YOU GUYS HAVE HAD, WHAT’S THE INITIAL REACTION THAT YOU HAVE TO THE RANKING? >>I WOULD SAY IT’S PRETTY MUCH AS WE ANTICIPATED. IT MIRRORS TO THE GREATER EXTENT, THE RANKINGS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN POSTED ON THE AP, AND THE COACHES POLLS, I DON’T THINK THERE’S BIG SURPRISES, AND, LIKE I SAID, IT’S ABOUT PAR FOR WHAT WE ANTICIPATED. >>SO WE’VE GOT TO ASK, ON A BYE WEEK ARE YOU WATCHING WITH YOUR STAFF, YOUR TEAM, ARE YOU WATCHING AT YOUR HOUSE, WHAT’S GOING ON AS YOU TAKE IN THE INFO? >>AT THE OFFICE, STILL GETTING SOME WORK DONE, AND JUST WATCHING IT ON THE TV HERE AT THE OFFICE, AND ME AND COACH LUDWIG AND A COUPLE OTHER COACHES ARE STILL AROUND. SO THAT’S WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW. >>COACH CERTAINLY DIALED IN ON WHAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW AROUND THE COUNTRY, ESPECIALLY WITH THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS. COACH, YOU BEEN AROUND COLLEGE FOOTBALL FOR A REALLY LONG PERIOD OF TIME, CAN YOU IMAGINE A WORLD KNOWING WHAT YOUOU GUYS HAVE TO NAVIGATE IN THIS CONFERENCE, THAT WITH ONE LOSS AS A PAC-12 CHAMPION YOU GUYS WOULD BE ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN? >>THAT IS A WAYS OFF, THERE’S A LOT OF FOOTBALL LEFT, BUT THE STRUCTURE OF THE PLAYOFFS RIGHT NOW, CERTAINLY IT’S A POSSIBILITY. THAT’S WHY I’M IN THE CAMP OF THINKING THAT EVERY CHAMPION OF EACH POWER FIVE CONFERENCE SHOULD HAVE AN AUTOMATIC BID, RIGHT NOW THAT’S NOT THE CASE. THE BOTTOM LINE IS SOMEBODY WILL BE LEFTUT, WE HAVE TO SEE HOW THINGS UNFOLD. >>TALKING ABOUT THE STRUCTURE OF THE CFP, JUST SHARE YOUR ANALYSIS OF THE STRUCTURE OF THIS CONFERENCE. NINE CONFERENCE GAMES, YOU LIVE HOW BRUTAL THIS SCHEDULE IS, ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS, JUST SHARE WITH THE CHALLENGE THAT GOING AND WINNING THE SOUTH AND POTENTIALLY THE PAC-12 TITLE IS FOR SOMEONE IN YOUR POSITION. >>IT’S A GAUNTLET, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT THE PAC-12 SCHEDULE AND PARTICULARLY WITH THE 9th GAME IN REALITY, THAT’S THE BIGGGGEST ADVANTAGWE H HAVE IS THAT 9th GAME, THE 9th CONFERENCE GAME. AS FAR AS THE CFP IS CONCERNED, HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THAT, SO YOU JUST GO ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS AND PLAY THEM AS THEY APPEAR ON THE SCHEDULE. AND DO THE BEST YOU CAN, THE KEY NOW IS JUST TO BE FOCUSED ONE AT A TIME, JUST LIKE WE’VE BEEN ALL SEASON LONG, AND NOT GET AHEAD OF ANYTHING. IS A LOT OF FOOTBALL LEFT AND A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS CAN HAPPEN. >>THERE’S A RESILIENCY FACTOR WITH THE TEAM, WE’VE SEEN IN THE LAST COUPLE SEASONS AND COMING OFF OF A A LOSS TO SEE WHAT YOU HAVE BEENEN ABLE TO DO EVERY SINGLE WEEK, TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS AND THE WAY YOU ARE WINNING SOME OF THESE FOOTBALL GAMES, AS YOGUYS CHECK IN ON THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO ADDRESS WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE WITH THE FOOTBALL TEAM? >>THE 1st THING IS, WE DON’T TALK ABOUT BIG PICTURE AT ALL, WE REALLY TRY TO NARROW THE FOCUS AND WORRY ABOUT THE TASK AT HAND, WE DON’T WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING BUT HAVING A GOOD PRACTICE, THAT PARTICULAR DAY, AND PLAYING THE FULL 60 MINUTES ON EVERY SINGLE SATURDAY. I THINK OUR PLAYERS HAVE REALLY BOUGHT INTO THAT APPROACH, AND OUR GUYS ARE GROUNDED, AND UNDERSTAND THAT THAT IS REALLY THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN OPERATE IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A CHANCE. >>THE COMMITTEE WOULD SAY THAT STYLE POINTS DON’T MATTER, BUT HISTORY WOULD SAY THAT IT DOES. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT WITH YOUR STAFF AT ALL? AS GAMES COME UP HERE AND THE RARANKINGS ARE WHAT THEY MAY BECOME? >>NOT REALLY. WE’VE HAD A FEW GAMES THIS YEAR WHERE WE COULD HAVE PORTED ON MORE, BUT OPTED NOT TO, AND I THINK THAT’S THE WAY TO GO, AND, THE STYLE POINT THING DOESN’T SIT WELL WITH ME, AND THERE’S NO REASON TO HUMILIATE OR EMBARRASS SOMEBODY, AND ONCE YOU HAVE THE WIND, AND THINGS ARE PRETTY WELL IN HAND, THAT IS JUST NOT OUR STYLE. MAYBE IT’S TO A FAULT FOR US, BUT, WE JUST DON’T SUBSCRIBE TO THAT SCHOOL OF THOUGHT. >>COACH, I REFERENCED YOUR FOOTBALL PROGRAM AS ONE OF THE TOUGHEST IN THE COUNTRY, WE SAW IT ON DISPLAY LAST SEASON WITH SOME OF THE PERSONNEL THAT WAS BANGED UP BUT YOU FOUND A WAY TO GETO O A PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP THIS YEAR. DEALING WITH INJURIES, TYLER HASN’T BEEN HEALTHY, YOGI HAS MADE A CASE FOR HIM TO GO TO NEW YORK CITY. FOR A HEISMAN, HE’S CALLED IN ONE OF THE MOST EFFICIENT PASTORS WE HAVE IN THE COUNTRY, THE NUMBERS BEAR IT OUT, WHAT’S THE MOST IMPRESSIVE THING THAT YOU HAVE SEEN FROM THE SIDELINE OR IN PRACTICE EVERY SINGLE DAY, BEING AROUND TYLER HUNDLEY? >>I DON’T THINK IT’S ANY ONE THING, IT’S THE ENTIRE BODY OF WORK AND THE ENTIRE SCOPE OF HIS FOCUS, HIS WORK ETHIC ON AND OFF THE FIELD, HE’S STUDYING FILM CONSTANTLY, IN HIS DOWNTIME, COACH LUDWIG HAS BEEN A GREAT MENTOR FOR HIM THIS YEAR, AND REALLY TAKEN HIM TO THE NEXT LEVEL. TYLER REALLY STARTED TO FLASH LAST YEAR, YOU SAW SOME OF THOSE THINGS STARTING TO DEVELOP WITH HIS ACCURACY, AND SO FORTH, BUT THIS YEAR HE HAS JUST TAKEN EVERYTHING TO A HIGHER LEVEL, AND, HE HAS DONE A GREAT JOB OF TAILORING THE OFFENSE TO FIT THE STRENGTHS, THE PLAY ACTION STUFF THAT WE HAVE ADDED, REALLY SUIT HIM, AND HE’S REALLYUSUST EMBRACED EVERYTHING THE COACH LUDWIG PUT ON HIS TABLE, AND JUST BEEN A GREAT LEADER FOR US. CAN’T SAY ENOUGH GOOD THINGS IF HE WAS TO GO TO NEW YORK THAT WOULD BE GREAT, I’VE NEVER BEEN TO THAT CEREMONY AND I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE A CHANCE TO GO WITH HIM. >>SAME HERE, IF YOU GO WE ARE GOING TO A BROADWAY SHOW. THAT’S THE DEAL. LAST ONE FOR ME, OUT OF CURIOSITY YOU’VE BEEN AROUND THIS GAME FOR A LONG TIME AND THIS PROGRAM FOR A LONG TIME, CAN YOU CATEGORIZE THIS TEAM AS A SPECIAL TEAM? >>ABSOLUTELY. AND SAYING AS MUCH FOR MOST OF THE SEASON, HOW ENJOYABLE THEY ARE TO BE AROUND AND HELP ON THE ARCTIC COACH, AND PRACTICES RUN THEMSELVES, THEY HAVE SUCH GREAT LEADERSHIP, WE HAVE SUCH GREAT LEADERSHIP ON THIS TEAM, AND THE SENIOR CLASS IS OUTSTANDING WE HAVE AN OUTSTANDING SENIOR CLASS LAST YEAR THAT IT WAS VERY SMALL, WE HAD EIGHT OR NINE SCHOLARSHIP SENIORS ON THE TEAM AND THIS CLCLASS, IS 15 OR 16, BUT, IT’S JUST, IT HAS BEEN ONE OF MY MOST IF NOT THE MOST ENJOYABLE YEAR OF MY CAREER, JUST ENJOY COMING TO WORK EVERY DAY AND CACAN’T WAIT TO GET OUT ON THE FIELD WITH THEM, AND WATCH THEM DO THEIR THING. >>CONGRATULATIONS ON THE SUCCESS SO FAR THAT YOU HAVE,

About the Author: Garret Beatty

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