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Utah’s Kyle Whittingham rated Pac-12’s top coach and No. 11 nationally by CBS Sports

Head coach Kyle Whittingham scans the field as the University of Utah football team opens spring camp at the Eccles Football Facility practice fields in Salt Lake City on Monday, March 2, 2020.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah coach Kyle Whittingham has moved up seven spots — from No. 18 to No. 11 — in the annual rankings of Power Five (conference) coaches.

Sports writer Tom Fornelli had kind things to say about Whittingham and the Utes.

“There’s no doubt that the way the season ended left a sour taste in the mouths of Utah players and fans. It also led to a lot of people who seemed too eager to say, ‘I told you so,’ about the Utes. But don’t you think we should stop and think about how Kyle Whittingham had Utah on the brink of a playoff berth last season?” Fornelli wrote. “He has helped navigate the program from the Mountain West to Pac-12, and he’s been at the helm of the best program in the Pac-12 South for the last six years. The same Pac-12 South that is home to USC.

“Since 2014, Utah has won 55 games to USC’s 51. That’s not the way this is supposed to work! Whittingham is one of the most underappreciated coaches in the country, but he isn’t with this panel,” he added.

Alabama’s Nick Saban was ranked No. 1 overall. Whittingham topped the Pac-12. He was followed by No. 19 David Shaw (Stanford), No. 24 Mario Cristobal (Oregon), No. 30 Herm Edwards (Arizona State), No. 33 Justin Wilcox (California), No. 36 Chip Kelly (UCLA), No. 41 Clay Helton (USC), No. 50 Nick Rolovich (Washington State), No. 52 Jonathan Smith (Oregon State), No. 53 Kevin Sumlin (Arizona), No. 56 Jimmy Lake (Washington), and No. 64 Karl Dorrell (Colorado).