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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Founded: 1850
Enrollment: 29,284 (2010)

Colors: Crimson and White
Nickname: Utes
Sports Offered: Baseball, M Basketball, W Basketball, W Cross Country, Football, M Golf, W Gymnastics, M/W Skiing, W Soccer, Softball, M Swimming/Diving, W Swimming/Diving, M Tennis, W Tennis, W Track/Field, W Volleyball

Chief Rival: Colorado
Football/Basketball Venues: Rice-Eccles Stadium (45,017), Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000)
Website: www.utahutes.com

Photo Courtesy: University of Utah

Photo Courtesy: University of Utah

NCAA Championships: Skiing, 10; W Gymnastics, nine; M Basketball, 1944

12 Top Student-Athletes: Andrew Bogut, basketball; Michael Doleac, basketball; Arnie Ferrin, basketball; Luther Ellis, football; Andre Miller, basketball; Ashley Postel, gymnastics; Chris Shelton, baseball; Alex Smith, football; Shona Thorburn, basketball; Keith Van Horn, basketball; Eric Weddle, football; Larry Wilson, football

Other Famous Alumni: Politics Jon M. Huntsman, former Utah governor, possible 2012 Presidential candidate; Karl Rove, advisor to President George W. Bush, but didn’t graduate;
Media Bob Trumpy, Holly Rowe;
Medicine William DeVries, performed first successful permanent artificial heart implant; Robert Jarvik, inventor of artificial heart;
Business J. Willard Marriott, founder Marriott International; Robert A. McDonald, CEO Procter & Gamble; David Neeleman, JetBlue founder

Shining Moment: During the 2008 football season, the Utes constructed a strong case to be No. 1, finishing undefeated (12-0) then defeating Alabama 31-17 in the Sugar Bowl to cap a 13-0 campaign. The “Who’s-No.-1?” debate began shortly thereafter and it was heated. This was Coach Kyle Whittingham’s argument: “The bottom line is, we’re the only team in the country that does not have to explain a loss.” Alas, in the final 2008 Associated Press poll, the Utes finished No. 2 to their ex-coach Urban Meyer and his Florida Gators, who defeated Oklahoma 24-14 in the BCS Championship game and finished...13-1. A 31-30 loss to Ole Miss (in Gainesville, no less) was the only blemish on Florida’s record, but Utah and its fired-up followers believed it was ugly enough to ultimately have the national crown placed elsewhere.

Classic CU: Byron (Whizzer) White Leads CU Over Utah In 1937

Bet You Didn’t Know: All of Utah’s athletics teams answer to the nickname of Utes (men’s hoops will answer to Runnin’ Utes), but the women’s gymnastics squad goes by Red Rocks and the folks in Utah give them rock star treatment. Since 1992, the program has averaged 11,000-plus in attendance for every home meet. In 2010, that figure climbed to 14,213 with the largest crowd at 15,030. Utah has won nine NCAA gymnastics titles and finished as runner-up seven times, but the Red Rocks finished fifth in their final season before entering the Pac-12...The first NBA player of Asian descent was Wat Misaka, who played at Utah in the mid-1940s...Utah produced the first-ever No. 1 NFL/NBA draft choices in 2005 when quarterback Alex Smith was selected by the San Francisco 49ers and Andrew Bogut was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks...Utah’s first Pac-12 football game will be at Southern California on Sept. 10.

Quotable: “I’m particularly happy to go back to Chicago. I mean, we don’t have an Italian restaurant in Utah that ends in a vowel. (In Utah) you’re eating at a place like Olson’s or something and ordering baked manicotti out of a Chef Boyardee can.” Former Utah basketball coach Rick Majerus, who took the Utes to the 1998 NCAA Championship game.

Buffs vs. Utes/By The Numbers: Football: CU leads 30-24-3; M Basketball: CU leads 20-15; W Basketball: Utah leads 10-6; Volleyball: CU leads 3-2; Soccer: CU leads 6-1; Tennis: Utah leads 12-10.

Above: Colorado defeats California 89-72 in the second round of the 2011 NIT.

Classic CU: Colorado Whips UCLA 82-60 In 1962

The Pac-10 Conference during the 2010-11 season sent seven schools to a trio of post-season tournaments. Led by conference regular season champion Arizona, who reached the Elite Eight and fell to eventual NCAA Champion Connecticut, the Pac-10 also earned NCAA berths with UCLA, Washington (conference tourney champion), and Southern California. National Invitation Tournament (NIT) appearances were made by California and Washington State, while Oregon captured the CBI crown to give the Pac-10 its second title in three seasons of the tournament.

In 2011-12, CU will host and travel to destinations for the first time in decades. The Buffs will play Arizona State and Washington State for the first time since 1968 and 1969, respectively. The Buffs travel to Los Angeles and play USC for the first time since 1975, then to Westwood taking on UCLA for the first time in 35 years (1977). Washington is on the schedule for the first time in 16 years (1996), while the six other conference schools have made appearances on the slate over the last eight years (Oregon, 2004, Utah, 2006, Stanford, 2008, Arizona, 2009; Oregon State, 2010, California, 2011). Since 2000, the Buffs have played California, Oregon State and Utah more than anyone else with four each.

The new Pac-12 will play an 18-game schedule, featuring a home and road game against each institution's traditional rival (Utah for CU), six other opponents both home and away (for two consecutive years), and four opponents on a single-game basis - two at home and two on the road (rotating every two years).

CU In The Pac-12 . . . M Basketball Coach Tad Boyle’s Take: “I look at all the (former Pac-10) players who are in the NBA. It’s a league that produces NBA-caliber talent some years more than others. I think in any conference it’s cyclical to some extent, but in the Pac-12 there’s schools that have been traditionally good in basketball UCLA, Arizona. But sometimes when you look at a conference you only look at schools in the top half; there are no bottom feeders. Arizona has lot of guys coming back and a lot good ones coming in. (Arizona) has recruited as well as anybody in the league. Ben Howland’s record speaks for itself at UCLA. Lorenzo Romar’s done an unbelievable job at Washington...I don’t see any weak spots in the league. Like most leagues, some programs are rebuilding, and I’d put us in the rebuilding category. We’re the new kids on the block; we’re going to have to go through it for a year to see.” 

2010-11 Pac-10 Standings
  Conference Overall
Team W L Pct W L Pct
Arizona 14 4 .778 30 8 .789
UCLA 13 5 .722 23 11 .676
Washington 11 7 .611 24 11 .686
USC 10 8 .556 19 15 .559
California 10 8 .556 18 15 .545
Washington State 9 9 .500 22 13 .629
Oregon 7 11 .389 21 18 .538
Stanford 7 11 .389 15 16 .484
Oregon State 5 13 .278 11 20 .355
Arizona State 4 14 .222 12 19 .387

Pac-12 Spotlight content provided by B.G. Brooks, CUBuffs.com Contributing Editor and the Colorado Sports Information Office.

Photo Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
CU Men's Basketball vs. Pac-12
Arizona 8 5 .615
Arizona State 2 2 .500
California 8 9 .471
UCLA 1 4 .200
Oregon 3 2 .600
Oregon State 6 2 .750
USC 2 3 .400
Stanford 3 7 .300
Utah 20 15 .571
Washington 6 7 .462
Washington State 1 1 .500
Totals 60 57 .513