My wife peeked in on the Super Bowl with me, yesterday, and saw Colin Kaepernick talking on the sidelines with Alex Smith.
“Why are they talking?” she said. “I thought they would be enemies.”
More like business associates. Not best friends, the way the public would love it to be, but think about it: How many of your best friends are also trying to take away your job?
If they want your job, you’re not best friends.
Still, it appears Smith has been as cooperative as a disappointed and disillusioned guy can be.
“It didn’t surprise me, Alex is a class act all the way,” said Kyle Whttingham, Smith’s former coach at Utah. “He will always take the high road. It’s a tough situation but he was playing extremely well, as good or better numbers than he’s had in his career. I’m disappointed for him, but he’s a team guy.”
Whittingham went on to say, “I don’t know what future there is for him, but I know a lot of teams would like to have him.”
Whittingham’s year has been a bit bumpy, too. Utah broke its streak of nine consecutive bowl appearance by failing to qualify last fall.
‘That was a departure from what we’re used to,” Whittingham said. “We tried to make the most of our extra time by evaluating schemes and recruiting. In that respect, we’re way further ahead, due to the extra time. You don’t want to have to do that, but we did maximize the time available.”
He called it “very strange not to be practicing and getting into bowl mode” in December and that it’s “something we don’t’ want to get used to.”
Good sentiment, but it’s hard to see how the Utes will improve in 2013. They have dangerous BYU and Utah State early on the schedule. Then there’s Oregon State, USC, UCLA and Arizona State – teams they lost to last season. In addition they have games with Stanford and Oregon – the latter being in Eugene.
The way that shapes up, Utah has a fair change of losing all of the eight aforementioned games, which would render them ineligible for bowl competition again.
I can think of one place where Alex Smith would be welcomed back.