Utah Has Targeted The Rose Bowl Since Day 1 Of Entering Pac-12

Dec 31, 2021, 5:53 PM
Utah Rose Bowl Bus...
(Photo courtesy of the Rose Bowl Game)
(Photo courtesy of the Rose Bowl Game)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Ever since Day 1 when the University of Utah entered the Pac-12 a decade ago the eyes were firmly placed on getting the football team to the Rose Bowl. It took the Utes a bit of time to make it to “The Granddaddy Of Them All” after a few close tries by coming up short in the Pac-12 championship game.

The 2021 Utes finally made that a reality by winning its first-ever Pac-12 title by dominating Oregon which earned them a spot in the Rose Bowl. This moment for the University of Utah is much bigger than just for football and athletics, but for the entire school as well with exposure for being in the most prestigious bowl game.

By going to this bowl game there will lead to a Flutie Effect for the school which will increase applications, donations, and millions of free promotional dollars.

Utah school president Taylor Randall joined UnRivaled and has eyed this Rose Bowl moment ever since the Utes became a member of the Pac-12.

“We have had our sights on this since we entered the Pac-12,” Randall said. “There was a singular focus from [former athletics director] Chris Hill before Mark Harlan all the way through the football program that we were going to build a system that could carry it to this level and actually also sustain it. So I hope we are not like some of those schools that have been waiting a long time to come to this game. I hope we’ll be consistent players and Salt Lake City will spend New Year’s Eve down here quite frequently.”

How To Keep This Going

The next goal for the Utes is to keep this train going and not make this Rose Bowl appearance a novelty that happens once every decade or so. There have been teams that have been in the Pac-12 Conference that rarely go to the Rose Bowl and Arizona has not been to a Rose Bowl at all and they have been in the conference since 1978.

Taylor has plans to keep this thing going by building an investment in the football program and they are on their way.

“It starts with great leadership. We have that in the athletic department and also a fantastic coach and a coaching staff. The coordinators are just remarkable,” Randall said. “It’s also going to take another consistent investment in our players. As you all know, college football in particular, has been flipped upside down in the last six months with the new court rulings and what we’re able to do in terms of compensating players in different ways.

“So, we’re going to have to rise to that mark and continue to make investments in this program. I think you have to continue to upgrade facilities. You have to continue to make sure that not only the head coaches, but the assistant coaches feel the support they have.”

Randall is referring to name, image, and likeness which allows players to earn money from their athletic abilities, and he told UnRivaled that the figures being paid out to the athletes is in the seven-figure range. Utah has already expanded Rice-Eccles Stadium to allow more fans in the stadium which is great for more fans to be in-person but it will take an ongoing effort to keep the Utes in contention to win Pac-12 football titles.

University presidents aren’t always a fan of athletics or alumni of their schools but Randall is both and a big Ute fan going back over 40 years by going to all of the big moments in Ute athletics. He is very excited for this Rose Bowl game.

“This is an absolute dream. I have been to many great Ute victories over the years,” Randall said. “Fiesta Bowl, Sugar Bowl. I drove 30 hours straight to make it to the Final Four when we were there. This will rank up there among the greatest, and you know what’s so amazing about this game is the history and the rich tradition.”

Everyone associated with the University of Utah is excited to be at this game and President Randall is leading the way as a fan for Ute football and wants to make Rose Bowl appearances the norm.

Tune into Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 3-6 p .m. on 1280 The Zone and 97.5 FM or subscribe to the podcast. Also, download the all-new KSL Sports app on iOS or Android.

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Utah Has Targeted The Rose Bowl Since Day 1 Of Entering Pac-12