Blog Entry

Utah is No. 1!

Posted on: January 3, 2009 7:36 am
Edited on: January 6, 2009 11:52 am

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- You expected a bit of a letdown for Alabama after losing the SEC championship game.

You didn't expect the Tide to be on Vicodin.

For those of you not up on your prescription pharms, that's what the dentist gives you before he removes your wisdom teeth. Yeah, it felt about like that for Alabama after one of the most humiliating losses in the program's history.

Louisiana-Monroe was bad. A two-touchdown beatdown by Utah in the Sugar Bowl is worse.

That first Bama team was rebuilding. This one was turning the corner.


Don't give me anything about a "rebuilt" offensive line. It was missing one player from arguably the best offensive line in the country. Left tackle Andre Smith was suspended.

Sure, the Tide were down to a third-string replacement for Smith. But let's call this what it was -- a choke. Alabama-did-not-come-to-play. For Utah, this was the biggest game in school history. For Bama, it was a consolation prize after losing what was  essentially a national semifinal loss to Florida in the SEC championship game.

Still, shouldn't Alabama be able to smack Utah on 364 out of 365 days of the year?  Sure, but it's a new year, some will say a new era.

This wasn't a fluke. Utah became the first non-BCS school to go undefeated in two seasons. You will begin to hear a cry for the Mountain West joining the BCS conferences. I can't disagree. The league was better overall than the Pac-10 in the regular season and just defeated a top-five powerhouse from the SEC.

There is some convoluted formula for "evaluating" the automatic qualifier status of BCS conferences. It won't happen any time soon but it should: Drop the ACC or Big East from the ACC and elevate the Mountain West. Now.

This should be more about Utah than Alabama. Saban and the Tide will have to deal with an enough taunts in the offseason ("Ute ought to be able to beat Utah!").

I'm looking for reasons not to make Utah No. 1. It has beaten four top-25 teams, two teams in the top 10 (TCU, Alabama). It beat the only team to beat USC (Oregon State). I will put Utah's non-conference schedule against Florida's and Oklahoma's.

Will Utah get the final No. 1 in AP? Not likely. Brand names still rule in the polls. Should the Utes be No. 1. One word: Undefeated. In this age of parity, there was only team in the whole land that can make that claim. It walked into the belly of the SEC beast and embarrassed Bear's boys.

I can't think of another team more deserving of being No. 1 right now. The Utes just took a small chunk of relevance out of that game they're playing down here in a few days.

What do they call it, the BCS title game? That sounds kind of shallow after what happened in New Orleans.

Category: NCAAF

Since: Aug 31, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2009 2:45 pm

Only two stats matter in defining a NC

1)  Who have you beaten?  Utah didn't have the absolute hardest schedule, but they had a very respectable schedule.  There is no argument that the MWC is as strong as the SEC or the Big 12, but there is a strong argument that the MWC can compete this year with the Pac 10 and the Big 10, and would probably be favored against the ACC and would definitely be favored against the Big East.  So those of you who think that Utah can't win the NC based on strength of schedule, you must also believe that the NC can ONLY come from the Big 12 or SEC this year.  That is such crap!  How can you possibly limit the NC race to the top 3 teams from 2 conferences?!?!?  A six team race is laughable when you have 120 teams in the same league.  If USC had gone undefeated, they'd be there (Pac-10).  If Ohio State had gone undefeated, they'd be there (Big-10).  If even South Florida had gone undefeated, they'd be there too(Big East).  (USF was in the top 10 after winning just 5 games to start the season.)  Would the Utes get an NC game invite with even 1 loss, NO, HELL NO, Not in this lifetime or the next, that consideration is reserved for the SEC or Big 12 or USC or Ohio State, period!  Fine.
So conclusion, Utah is from a conference that is strong enough this year to warrant an NC consideration.  PERIOD! 

2)  Who have you lost against?  Utah - NOBODY!  In this category, there are a couple teams who can argue that they only lost to very superior teams, and still should be considered on par with Utah in this category.   Alabama's only loss - Florida (until Utah), and Oklahoma's only loss - Texas, and I'll even throw in Texas, who 'only' lost to Texas Tech.  And I'll even give Ohio State a look here because they only lost to USC (Asses handed to 'em) and Penn State (A great PSU team) but that makes 2 losses and aside from those two games, who else did Ohio State beat this year?  Every other team in the country lost to a team they should've beaten soundly.  USC - Oregon State (who Utah beat), Florida - Ole' Miss AT HOME!!!, Penn State - Iowa, So of the three teams in the running for winning this category, Utah, Oklahoma and Texas, before this weekend, who would've bet that Alabama was a two touchdown dog to either Oklahoma or Texas???  While the Utes were picked to lose to Alabama by 90% of the fans, (online poll) if there was a matchup of Alabama- OU or Alabama- UT, wouldn't the spread be a little closer?  Wouldn't most of us predict a solid game and talk about a classic matchup of an SEC powerhouse defense against one of the greatest offenses in college football history?  So if Utah can get up and play out of their minds and make Alabama look silly, why couldn't they do the same against one of Alabama's peers?  Conclusion, Utah is the clear leader in this category.  The very close 2nd place finishers in this category are UT and OU.  After that, you get a 3rd tier group of 1 loss and 2 loss teams like Florida, Ohio State, USC, Texas Tech and Alabama.

So overall, Utah has a strength of schedule at least as respectable as USC or any team from the Big East or ACC.  Not quite as strong as the Big 12 or SEC, but still very respectable.  And Utah is tops in the 'who did they lose to' category.

My feeling is that if OU beats Florida, fine, OU gets the NC and Utah can come in 2nd.  But if Florida beats OU, I don't think it is as clear that Florida can be the hands down NC when they lost to Ole Miss and the SEC was a lot weaker this year than in years past, and Utah beat Alabama much more convincingly than Florida did just one game ago. I don't want to hand the trophy to Utah yet either, but those of you who think something's in the water I'm drinkin', go ahead and argue your case.  But don't waste my time with 'history' or past seasons/future seasons, this year we are looking to crown the NC for THIS SEASON!  (And Utah is the ONLY team since the BCS started that has TWO Undefeated seasons anyhow.)  If you can make a convincing argument that the MWC is not on par with more than half of the BCS conferences, I'm all ears.  And if you think a loss to Ole Miss is less damaging than say a win by Utah over Airforce (who was 4th in the MWC like Ole Miss is 4th in the SEC) then again, I am all ears.

Very bottom line, Utah deserves strong NC consideration.  I haven't heard yet a convincing argument why they don't deserve consideration.  And ALL fans deserve a playoff system so we the couch potatos aren't deciding the NC.

PS, Dodd, Weber State is not in the FBS league, but Utah scheduled them because their coach was Utah's coach before Urban Meyer took over.  It was Utah's way of saying thanks for the great seasons while you were our coach, and it filled a hole in the schudule that no 'real' team would fill.

Since: Jun 13, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2009 2:25 pm

Utah is No. 1!

U want to bust the BcS Championship format.  DON'T WATCH!!!!  It's that easy.  When the BcS Bowls come on watch Despareate Housewives or Reality TV or something.   2-3 years of bad ratings I GUARENTEE that the BcS will be gone.   Done buy the crap they advertise during the game!  No more BcS.  It's easy.  You won't do it tho will you?  It's easy to have convictions without sacrafice.  Want change boycott all BcS games.  Then watch the Div 2 playoffs on ESPN at 3am in the morning or whatever.  Div 1 sees the ratings go up for those playoffs and there'll be a playoff soon.  IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY NOT THE GAMES FOR THESE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!  Never happen tho.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2009 2:07 pm

Utah is No. 1!

Losing to L-Monroe is not like losing to Utah.  Where did that come from?  I don't think any team that loses to Utah feels ashamed.  Alabama should be able to smack Utah 364 of 365 days of the year.  If you watched the game you know that Utah would win over half of the games.

Next sentence "this wasn't a fluke".  What?  Please write something consistant.  Utah should be number 1 this year.  No loses, tough schedule and everybody else lost in a system where "every week is a playoff game." as the BCS proponents like to claim.  Well after 13 rounds Utah is undefeated.  All the others were eliminated in the playoff that goes all season long.

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2009 1:55 pm

Utah is No. 1!

You cant be serious about dropping the Big East's automatic bid???  They freakin won 3 BCS games in a row till this year...taking out the SEC Champs, the ACC Chams, and the Big 10 Champs!!!  Dude, do you follow sports much?

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2009 1:55 pm

The real question??

I know Todd Blackledge was promoting an "and 1" system to determine a national title winner saying you take the BCS Bowl winners and manufacture one more game between the best two teams...only problem is this season who would play in that game. Certainly now Utah would have to be a shoe in but who would they play? The winner of Florida/ Oklahoma? Does USC get left out? The bottom line is an "and 1" system would be just as broken as the current formula IMO and would resolve nothing. Big time college football needs a playoff...and in a playoff Utah could beat anyone. I am just glad Boise and Texas Tech lost or the top team this year would be even more difficult to determine. IMO of all the teams I have watched so far USC is the best (and this is coming from a Notre Dame fan) they just layed an egg against Oregon St....but wouldn't you like to at least see USC play Utah

Since: Aug 9, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2009 1:11 pm

Utah is No. 1!

Hey Mighty maroon, you didn't even list all the teams in the Mountain West conference. Wyoming beat Tennessee by the way this a lot. Mountain West won the bowl conference trophy last year too.....

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2009 12:56 pm

Utah is No. 1!

Pretty sure any of those ACC schools win 5 of 6 against the bottom of the Mountian West.Wyoming finished last in the mountain west this year....went too Knoxville and beat Tenn.  Just saying top to bottom these guys can compete.  Duke?  Now there is a program that competes, when is the last time they beat an SEC team?  Wake Forest is hit or miss.  Utah pounded Pitt a few years ago.  Everybody in football knows that the Big East , and recently the ACC are jokes of conferences.  The ACC was pathetic this year.  No way around it.  The MWC is performing better than the ACC and Big East.  And simply because the teams are less known or "traditional"  doesn't mean that they can't be as good as those ACC or Big East teams.

Since: Apr 22, 2008
Posted on: January 3, 2009 12:15 pm

Utah is No. 1!

In case you're interested, this is how those bottom of the conference teams did against other BCS teams during the regular season:

Colorado State: Lost to California, Lost to Colorado
UNLV: Beat Iowa State, Beat Arizona State
New Mexico: Lost to Texas A&M, Beat Arizona
Wyoming: Beat Tennessee
San Diego State: No BCS Conference Games

That's 4-3 between them.  The conference overall was 9-4 against BCS teams, and 1-1 in bowl games against them.  I can see your point about not dumping the ACC, I'm just pointing out that there are still decent teams at the bottom of the Mountain West.

Since: Nov 19, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2009 11:48 am

Utah is No. 1!

Dodd might have been a little too harsh on the ACC - but before you cast aside the bottom of the Mountain West, remember that those teams did at least enjoy some out of conference success.  That said, I'm not arguing they are powers, but don't assume the bottom of the ACC is going to roll right through them.  The mid tiers of some other conferences did not.

UNLV - won at Arizona St. (Pac-10) and beat Iowa St. (Big 12).
Wyoming - was really down this year (fired their coach), but beat Tennessee (SEC) at Tenn.
New Mexico - was down (and fired their coach), but still beat Arizona (Pac 10).
Colo St - beat Fresno State (WAC)  in their bowl game.
San Diego St. - I agree was just awful, but even awful they gave Notre Dame a good game in South Bend,

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: January 3, 2009 11:30 am

Utah is No. 1!

Hey dip shlt!

BCS rules state that no confrence can have more than 2 teams in the BCS any given year, or else it would have been Texas Tech taking Boise St's BCS spot and not Ohio St.

And didn't you see that Boise St got beat already? Yeah they would have really good in the BCS, please!

And now that you mention 2 loss teams, didn't a 2 loss team take home the crystal footbal last year?


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