After Saban Rant, Whittingham Calls For Uniformity In Non-Conference Scheduling

Sep 13, 2019, 3:14 PM | Updated: 3:41 pm
Head coach Kyle Whittingham of the Utah Utes looks on from the sidelines during their game against ...
Head coach Kyle Whittingham of the Utah Utes looks on from the sidelines during their game against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds at Rice-Eccles Stadium on September 1, 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – While he didn’t go on a rant to the level of Nick Saban, head coach of the Utah Football team Kyle Whittingham called for uniformity when it comes to Power 5 schools scheduling non-conference games.

His comments come the week leading up to the Utes’ final non-conference game of the 2019 season against Idaho State. The team’s other two non-conference games came against BYU and Northern Illinois. They won both games and are a 99.4 percent favorite to beat Idaho State based on ESPN’s FPI.

After Alabama’s game against New Mexico State head coach of the Crimson Tide Saban was asked whether or not games like this prepare his team for an SEC opponent. He said they try to schedule the best teams possible claiming he would rather play twelve Power 5 schools.

“We can only play the people that are willing to play us,” Saban said growing more frustrated by the question as his answer went on,”Why don’t you start calling around and see who you can get to play us? We’ll play anyone we can get to play us.”


The SEC plays eight conference games while the Big 10, Big 12 and Pac-12 play nine. Utah’s nine conference games come as their last nine this season. Whittingham has commented that it is nice to get non-conference play at the beginning of the season.

Whittingham was asked a similar question to the one that set Saban off in his weekly press conference leading into the Idaho State game. He was asked to express his feelings about playing FCS schools.

“I think it certainly benefits the FCS school financially, it’s a payday for them,” said Whittingham.

Utah has played in-state FCS programs in the past like Southern Utah University and Weber State University.

“I think that there probably needs to be some uniformity of the stance on that with the Power 5 schools,” he continued.

Currently, there are no mandates or rules when it comes to scheduling non-conference games.

“I’d like to see it be uniform…not only that but the number of conference games,” Whittingham concluded. “I think there are a few things that need to standardized.”

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