The last 48 hours have been interesting though - more because of reactions to the events than the events themselves.
As such, here are 10 thoughts from someone who is both geographically and emotionally removed from the scene in Utah:
1) Hiring head coaches is a lot like high school recruiting - it is not an exact science. Some coaches are brilliant coordinators, but awful head coaches. Others are great head coaches in one environment, but poor in another. Sometimes, a second choice can end up being better than the first choice would have been. We just won't know for a couple of years - if ever.
2) None of the coaches under consideration - Wittingham, Reynolds, Mendenhall and even Chow - have a record as a HC. This makes the calculation of who would be best at BYU less precise.
3) You wonder what will be the unintended consequences of these decisions? At Utah? At BYU?
4) There may not be a single "right answer" for BYU ... there could be more than one person who can be successful as head coach.
5) By definition and expectation, the BYU head coaching position must be a "dream job" for the individual. The fact that Wittingham had to deliberate between BYU and Utah indicates to me that BYU wasn't his "dream job". As such, he made the right decision for everyone involved to take the Utah offer.
6) Every time I have made a hire in a "bidding war" environment - I have later regretted the decision. When there is a bidding war, decisions get made in based on emotions, on someone else's timeframe and without proper due diligence. I believe that Utah overpaid for Wittingham based on his current "football resume". No other university in the country would pay him more than $500K/year to be their head coach.
7) Utah was the more desperate party in this chase. Had they lost Wittingham, they would have had to start from scratch and would have lost all continuity from the existing program. BYU does have a Plan D and Plan E, and perhaps still a shot at plan B.
8) Give Hill credit, he did what he needed to do to get his guy. The big difference right now between BYU and Utah is that they have a strong athletic administration. BYU does not.
9) The pressure on Wittingham at Utah just went up a notch or two. They aren't paying him $750K/year to go 7-4.
10) This is the bed that BYU has made for itself. In this forum [TBS], we have asked ourselves rhetorically why anyone would want the BYU job with its' inherent headaches of missions, honor code, academics, administration, etc. Well, the rhetoric has become reality.