Runnin' Utes' Basketball: Return to Glory Distant with PAC-12 Move?

Dan CondieContributor IIIMarch 25, 2011

Utah's Will Clyburn
Utah's Will ClyburnEthan Miller/Getty Images

The University of Utah, through thick and thin football seasons the past 50-60 years, has always been able to boast about its storied basketball program.

Starting with the '44 National Champions, and going through the Jack Gardner, Rick Majerus and, even to some degree, the Giacoletti years, Utah has consistently proven itself a winner.

Even as a child, I remember going to the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  You just knew, no matter who they were playing that night, the Utes were going to win the game.

There was that mentality.

Now, the Utes are stringing consecutive losing seasons together (which, before Majerus, was something that had not happened at the University of Utah since 1983).

In fact, during the 15-year Majerus era (1989-2004), Utah did not have one losing season.

The losing has become a matter of urgency for Ute nation, as this past week we saw Jim Boylen removed as Utah Head Coach.

As is most often the case, University of Utah Athletic Director Dr. Chris Hill, has kept his hand very close to the chest and has not leaked any information regarding the filling of the position or lead candidates.  But overall, Dr. Hill has a great track record with coaches. Jim Boylen may have been the wrong piece, but the guy did win a conference tournament and earned a No. 5 tourney seed just three seasons ago.

When all is said and done, the move to the PAC-12 can only do more good for Utah's recruiting than harm. And when you look at Utah's roster, it is in need of depth and chemistry.

Jim Boylen was the proverbial "strike two." Could Utah fall off the map if they don't make a splash in their first year in the PAC-12?