Tag:Utah
Posted on: April 7, 2009 5:48 pm
 

Senator Orrin Hatch challenges the BCS

Powerful Republican Utah Senator Orrin Hatch is progressing toward hearings examining the BCS (probably in the fall). He recently took the time to answer these e-mail questions from me.

Dennis Dodd: You've long been a critic of the BCS, when did it reach the stage, in your mind, that hearings needed to be convened?
 
Sen. Hatch: I’ve thought for a number of years that there were significant problems with the BCS.  We held hearings on the matter back in 2003 when I chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, and I said then that the system was unfair.

After that time, there were some efforts made to expand the system and make it more open.  For example, they’ve added a fifth game and made it slightly easier for teams from conferences that don’t receive automatic bids to qualify for one of the games.  But, as we saw last season, these changes haven’t been good enough.  First of all, there were only two teams to finish the regular season undefeated – Utah and Boise State – but, only one of them was invited to play in a lucrative BCS game.  And, of course, neither team had even a remote chance of qualifying for the national championship game – the BCS system makes it impossible for outside teams to do so.
 
The bigger problem is the money and the principles of fair play being taught to our young people by those who they look to for leadership.  Teams from the conferences that receive automatic bids share an enormous pot of money generated by the BCS, even if they lose every game and finish at the bottom of the standings.   At the same time, nearly half the teams in college football share a much smaller pot, even if they are fortunate enough to play their way into a BCS game.  This creates an inherent disadvantage, not just on the field, but with regard to recruiting, facilities, and funding for other athletic programs.  Given the amount of money involved here, which is unprecedented in the history of collegiate sports, I think these inequities warrant the attention of Congress.
 
Dodd: Who do you expect to call to testify? (Maybe not specific persons but NCAA, BCS officials, ADs, players?)
 
Hatch: That is yet to be determined.  I think we need to make sure we hear from all sides of the debate, so we get a clear picture as to how the system works, what its effects are, and how it can be improved. 

We’ll also need to include some sharp legal analysis of the antitrust issues.  These hearings, particularly in this subcommittee, aren’t just about airing grievances.  There are serious questions about the legality of the BCS system, namely, whether it constitutes a coordinated effort to eliminate competition.  The main objective of the hearing will be to find answers to those questions.
 

Dodd: What's the likelihood the hearings actually come about, and when?
 
Hatch:
I have a commitment from my colleague, Senator Herb Kohl, the Chairman of the Antitrust Subcommittee, to hold a hearing this year.  So, I believe that a hearing on the matter is more or less imminent.  I expect it to take place later this year.
 
Dodd: Are you working in concert with some of the Congressmen and Senators -- Abercrombie, Miller, Barton, etc? Does it matter that there seem to be separate battles against the BCS going on?
 
Hatch: The BCS system has been condemned by almost everyone who follows college football, from coaches and university officials, to sportswriters and analysts, to Members of Congress, and even the President of the United States.  So, I’m well aware that I’m not alone in my concern regarding these issues. 

Some House Members have introduced legislation on this issue and I am currently exploring similar options here in the Senate.  I’ll be willing to work with any of my colleagues to see if we can fix this system.

Dodd: Obviously, the BCS leaders have lawyers and they think their position is solid. How specifically can the BCS be attacked?
 
Hatch: I’m sure they have a team of lawyers ready to defend this unfair system.  That doesn’t surprise me at all.  But, I think there’s a pretty decent antitrust case to be made here.  Put simply, our antitrust laws are designed to prevent people from working in coordination to reduce competition in the marketplace.  I think that’s pretty clearly what we have going on here.  Make no mistake, college football is a commercial enterprise.  The colleges and universities market their football programs like they would a business.

In addition, there are television contracts, advertising revenue, and corporate sponsors for each of the bowl games.  So, this isn’t what we had decades ago when the bowl system first started -- two schools deciding to meet up at a neutral field and play a bowl game.  We’re talking about a national, multi-million dollar business enterprise. 
 
Dodd: Have you spoken to Mountain West representatives? They made the rounds through the House and Senate last month promoting their own agenda.
 
Hatch: I’ve been talking with the Mountain West folks about this issue.  As you know, the commissioner of the Mountain West Conference, Craig Thompson, recently unveiled an alternative proposal to the current BCS system.  I thought this was a constructive step, and I hope to see more options put on the table. 
 
Dodd: Utah coach Kyle Whittingham is OK with the current system, or at least didn't cry out against it. The Utah administration is on record as wanting to work within the system. How do react to that?
 
Hatch: Coach Whittingham has expressed his disappointment with the way the Utes were treated by the BCS last year.  He even broke with convention and voted his team No. 1 in the final coaches poll, even though the BCS system more or less requires the coaches to vote for the winner of the so-called “national championship game.” 

He felt strongly enough to buck the system there.  I think Coach Whittingham would have liked the opportunity for his team to play for the national championship and, quite frankly, had that occurred, I would have liked their chances.
 
But, the problems with the BCS are not specific to the University of Utah, they are much broader.  The BCS system affects nearly every aspect of college football, which in turn affects schools throughout the country.  Obviously, I want to see the schools from my state treated fairly, but I think we need to make sure the system is fair to everyone. 
 
Dodd: I have found that many of the Congressmen and Senators don't know the basics of this system -- re: the NCAA has virtually nothing to do with the postseason. Do you understand that this a system that all the conferences have agreed to until 2014?
 
Hatch: The NCAA is clearly not involved in the college football postseason, and that may be part of the problem.  As it stands right now, the decisions regarding the postseason and the road to the national championship are decided, in large part, by the elitist conferences involved in the BCS, working with television networks and corporate sponsors to generate massive amounts of revenue. 
 
Obviously, I understand that the non-automatic bid conferences are signatories to the BCS and share some of the responsibility.  But, it’s not as though they have the power to initiate the necessary changes.  The five conferences without automatic bids collectively share one vote on the BCS board, while the six other conferences and the University of Notre Dame each have a vote.  So, it’s difficult to assign to them any culpability for the actions of the BCS cartel. 

As far as the current agreement is concerned, it is my understanding that the current BCS agreement expires next year and that there is a proposal on the table to extend it through 2014.  The deal is not yet in place and a number of the conferences, particularly the Mountain West, have expressed serious concerns about the proposed extension.  Frankly, I think this proposal is the reason for Congress to get involved right now.  The current system has been condemned by virtually everyone, yet the interested parties see nothing wrong with continuing the status quo for the foreseeable future.  I think that’s just outrageous.
 
Dodd: Do you have a specific playoff plan? What is it?
 
Hatch: I don’t have a plan of my own.  There are enough alternatives out there and, keep in mind, people have been dreaming and speculating of a national playoff system for years.  So, I am looking forward to working with a variety of individuals to create a fair system.
 
Dodd: How should profits from such a system be allocated?
 
Hatch: Again, I don’t want to be in the business of writing a new system from scratch.  I don’t think that’s the Senate’s proper role in this issue.  But, in general, I think the funds should be allocated in a way that is based on the teams’ performance on the field.  Right now, the money may as well be handed out at the beginning of the season because, in the end, we all know which schools and conferences will be getting the money.  That, more than anything, is the problem with the BCS.

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: April 1, 2009 2:10 pm
Edited on: April 1, 2009 2:10 pm
 

Orrin Hatch speaks

 There's some pretty good stuff here from 1280 The Zone in Salt Lake City. Some talk-show hosts interviewed Hatch, the senior Utah Republican Congressman, on his intent to hold hearings on the BCS. The first half of this interview is where the juicy stuff is. Ignore the second half. It's mostly political with Hatch playing to his constituency.

And pay no attention to the cheerleading radio guys. They sound like Utah fans (consider their audience) and are throwing softballs at Hatch.

Some notable quotes from Hatch:

"I would rather not see the matter addressed in the courts. But there are people with the power to adjust the BCS system."

"We may encourage the Justice Department to get involved after the hearings. As of right now it should be voluntary on the part of the BCS. They have to realize they're out in left field."

Hatch said that if the BCS didn't change, the next option would be to "legislate or litigate."

"The amount of money that's at stake in the BCS in unprecedented in the history of college sports ... The problem is the money is not distributed according to the success of the programs. It's decided in advance before a single game is played. The bigger concern is that every school is treated fairly."

"Unfortunately as we've grown up we've found there are elite people who think things should be done their way, not the fair way."

"Our anti-trust laws are designed to prevent people from acting in agreement and coordination to reduce competition. I think that's precisely what we have going on with the BCS."

"How long can you keep college kids playing football during the season. It's got to be something reasonable ... I don't know what would be the best way."

Hatch is very powerful as evidenced by his success rate at passing legislation, but there is another side to this. Maybe Utah got to where it is because of the BCS. Certainly the program wouldn't have risen to its recent heights without the ability to sell recruits on being able to compete for a BCS bowls. Before the BCS, Utah would have been playing in the Las Vegas Bowl after going undefeated.

I'm repeating myself but change is slow in college football. In many ways, the BCS provided more access for non-BCS bowls.

 

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Utah
 
Posted on: March 31, 2009 4:08 pm
Edited on: March 31, 2009 5:46 pm
 

The Legislative Empire Strikes Back

Eight Capitol Hill legislators sent a letter Tuesday to BCS coordinator John Swofford urging "a new, more equitable approach in determining a national football champion."

The letter is the latest in a series of attacks from politicos against the BCS. The momentum has built since the end of last season. Last week, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch promised hearings on the BCS. A staffer told me those hearings probably won't convene until the fall. There is still no word on who Hatch and the committee might call to testify.

The main authors of the letter are familiar to those who have followed the BCS/Capitol Hill battle -- Reps. Gary Miller (R-Cal.), Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) and Joe Barton (R-Texas).

Tuesday's letter was also sent to BCS Presidential Oversight Committee Chairman Dave Frohnmayer, Oregon's president.

Miller said: "While the current BCS system was created to identify a broadly accepted national champion, its implementation has failed to determine who is, without a doubt, the best team in college football. There is no reason the NCAA should continue to disadvantage certain schools when every other major college sport's championship is settled through a playoff."

Barton said: "We are serious about trying to move forward and trying to encourage the NCAA to ditch the BCS and go wtih something where the champion is decided on the field and not by some complicated algorithm."

Both representatives are still under the misguided assumption that the NCAA controls the football postseason. The NCAA, by itself, isn't going to institute a playoff. NCAA president Myles Brand is on record as saying the association would help run a playoff but any alteration of the postseason is most likely going to have to come from the commissioner and presidents.

Here is my latest story on the subject, featuring Miller. Here is copy of today's press release and a copy of the letter to Swofford and the oversight committee.

It should be noted that many of the same congressional leaders sent a letter to President Obama on the same subject. To the best of my knowledge it has not been answered.

 

 

 

 

Category: NCAAF
Tags: BCS, Oregon, Utah
 
Posted on: February 27, 2009 9:38 am
 

National notes

Florida president Bernie Machen was weighing in on the BCS issue long before it heated up again recently. The former Utah president has been in both arenas -- overseeing of the one of the richest athletic departments in the country and looking up at the big boys from the Mountain West Conference.

Here are some leftovers from an interview last season that are still relevant today:

"There's no difference in my mind between the Mountain West and -- I won't name them -- a couple of the BCS conferences. So we have to find a way to allow those conferences to get some security. They don't have to have the season of all seasons to get in there.

"They deserve to be in there. They're working their ass off. They got budgets that are half of the BCS (schools) because they don't have the money.

"I'd probably put some of the weaker BCS conferences where they had to compete against the non-BCS guys. Every year there are teams -- BYU, Utah, Boise State or Fresno State -- those teams are damn close to a lot of the teams that are in the BCS.

"I don't begrudge us because we earn it. But there are teams in our conference that aren't as good as Utah. Yet, they get the BCS revenue which gives them an unfair advantage. We have to let these high-achieving non-BCS teams get an easy shot. "

 If you're worried about hard economic times for athletic departments, consider that the problems come from the bottom up. Orange County, which encompasses, Orlando, Fla., is considering cutting some freshman and junior-varsity sports, including football, to save money.

Imagine a hotbed of Florida football without a feeder system to develop football talent. Here's a look at an Armageddon scenario in 2019.

 One former player verbalizes what we've all been thinking. Joe Paterno is going to die on the field.

 Don't sweat the Oklahoma offensive line, which loses four starters from one of the best units in the country. "The Clean Team" was responsible for keeping Heisman winner Sam Bradford from washing his uniform last season. Things are not as bad as you think going into the spring.

Six-foot-seven LSU transfer Jarvis Jones should slide into the right tackle spot. Jones played on the 2007 LSU national championship team but was dismissed for a violation of team rules.

Trent Williams, considered by the staff to be the best overall offensive lineman last year, will move from right tackle to left tackle. Right guard Brian Simmons was overcome a couple of surgeries for clubfoot.

 In these tough economic times it scrambles the brain to see so many schools adding football, the largest expenditure there is in college athletics. I wrote about Georgia State recently.

Texas-San Antonio is ramping for football in 2011 and is considering for coach former Miami coach Larry Coker and Northwest Missouri coach Mel Tjeerdsma. Now that Terry Bowden has a job Coker has joined Dennis Franchione as the most accomplished coaches without a job.

 As the Bryce Brown saga marches on, the Wichita tailback's father recently admitted the recruiting odyssey had taken its toll.

"This thing has turned into something we never anticipated," Arthur Brown Sr. said.

The kid's long-awaited announcement is still scheduled for March 16.

Posted on: February 27, 2009 9:38 am
 

National notes

Florida president Bernie Machen was weighing in on the BCS issue long before it heated up again recently. The former Utah president has been in both arenas -- overseeing of the one of the richest athletic departments in the country and looking up at the big boys from the Mountain West Conference.

Here are some leftovers from an interview last season that are still relevant today:

"There's no difference in my mind between the Mountain West and -- I won't name them -- a couple of the BCS conferences. So we have to find a way to allow those conferences to get some security. They don't have to have the season of all seasons to get in there.

"They deserve to be in there. They're working their ass off. They got budgets that are half of the BCS (schools) because they don't have the money.

"I'd probably put some of the weaker BCS conferences where they had to compete against the non-BCS guys. Every year there are teams -- BYU, Utah, Boise State or Fresno State -- those teams are damn close to a lot of the teams that are in the BCS.

"I don't begrudge us because we earn it. But there are teams in our conference that aren't as good as Utah. Yet, they get the BCS revenue which gives them an unfair advantage. We have to let these high-achieving non-BCS teams get an easy shot. "

 If you're worried about hard economic times for athletic departments, consider that the problems come from the bottom up. Orange County, which encompasses, Orlando, Fla., is considering cutting some freshman and junior-varsity sports, including football, to save money.

Imagine a hotbed of Florida football without a feeder system to develop football talent. Here's a look at an Armageddon scenario in 2019.

 One former player verbalizes what we've all been thinking. Joe Paterno is going to die on the field.

 Don't sweat the Oklahoma offensive line, which loses four starters from one of the best units in the country. "The Clean Team" was responsible for keeping Heisman winner Sam Bradford from washing his uniform last season. Things are not as bad as you think going into the spring.

Six-foot-seven LSU transfer Jarvis Jones should slide into the right tackle spot. Jones played on the 2007 LSU national championship team but was dismissed for a violation of team rules.

Trent Williams, considered by the staff to be the best overall offensive lineman last year, will move from right tackle to left tackle. Right guard Brian Simmons was overcome a couple of surgeries for clubfoot.

 In these tough economic times it scrambles the brain to see so many schools adding football, the largest expenditure there is in college athletics. I wrote about Georgia State recently.

Texas-San Antonio is ramping for football in 2011 and is considering for coach former Miami coach Larry Coker and Northwest Missouri coach Mel Tjeerdsma. Now that Terry Bowden has a job Coker has joined Dennis Franchione as the most accomplished coaches without a job.

 As the Bryce Brown saga marches on, the Wichita tailback's father recently admitted the recruiting odyssey had taken its toll.

"This thing has turned into something we never anticipated," Arthur Brown Sr. said.

The kid's long-awaited announcement is still scheduled for March 16.

Posted on: February 11, 2009 1:04 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2009 4:06 pm
 

The future of Mike Leach and other items

The feeling seems to be that Mike Leach will let the deadline expire for signing a new contract on Tuesday. I wrote about the situation on Wednesday.

That leaves him only two years left on a deal that is paid him $1.75 million in 2008, eighth-highest in the Big 12. More important, Texas Tech could be assured that Leach would be on his way out. Allowing him to walk after the 2010 season would not only hurt recruiting but probably distract Leach who would be looking for a new job.

That's not to say a new agreement couldn't be worked out at some future date, but giving a sitting coach a deadline to sign a deal is unique.

Here is a copy of what is believed to be Leach's current contract

 A look at the 2009 Pac-10 non-conference schedule: (Thanks to the San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner who rounded up the skeds)

Once again the Pac-10 is showing it isn't shy about playing out of conference. The league plays few I-AA opponents and is willing (maybe because of its geography) to travel to play high-profile opponents.

Best 2009 Pac-10 non-conference games:

1. USC at Ohio State, Sept. 12 -- Game of the Century No. 1,317. Will this be Terrelle Pryor's coming out party?

2. Utah at Oregon, Sept. 19 -- By this point in the schedule the Ducks will have played Boise, Purdue and Utah. Three BCS league opponents. Combined record from 2008: 29-9. Please, stop the madness. Even if the Ducks win all three, what condition will they be in for the Pac-10 schedule?

3. USC at Notre Dame, Oct. 17 -- Seven in a row and counting for the Trojans ...

4. Oregon at Boise State, Sept. 5 -- Can't understand why Oregon (and Oregon State) keep playing the Broncos. In this case, the loser might be out of a BCS bowl.

5. UCLA at Tennessee, Sept. 12 -- Rick Neuheisel won't be leading any postgame pep rallies in Neyland. When was the last time the Bruins and Vols were each this desperate for a quarterback?

6. Arizona State at Georgia, Sept. 26 -- The Devils were embarrassed by the Bulldogs last season in the middle of a six-game losing streak. In this return game, both teams are rebuilding.

7. Cincinnati at Oregon State, Sept. 19 -- Jacquizz Rodgers vs. the defending Big East champions.

8. LSU at Washington, Sept. 5 -- What is the Washington AD smoking? That brutal non-con schedule helped get Tyrone Willingham fired. Steve Sarkisian starts his career against an SEC monster.

9. Notre Dame at Stanford, Nov. 28 -- Irish season finale. Will it be Charlie Weis' finale?

10. Kansas State at UCLA, Sept. 19 -- Wait, Bill Snyder is actually getting on a plane to play a non-con road game?

11. Arizona at Iowa, Sept. 19 -- The Wildcats are on the rise but Iowa still start the season ranked despite the loss of tailback Shonn Greene.

12. Stanford at Wake Forest, Sept. 12 -- The I.Q. Bowl. Jim Harbaugh's scheduling instincts have to be questioned. His team is starting with consecutive roadies to Pullman (Washington State) and Winston-Salem.

13. Cal at Minnesota, Sept. 19 -- Gophers have almost everyone back in this season that will be a referendum on Tim Brewster's future. (started 7-1, finished 0-5). Hope the Bears have a secondary. Adam Decker could be a preseason All-American.

14. Maryland at Cal, Sept. 5 -- Plenty of revenge motive here for the Bears. Cal was down 28-6 after three quarters last season at Maryland before waking up. After winning nine in '08, the Bears have set their sights higher.

 How the economy will handle the glut of bowls -- natural selection.

 The president is a recruitnik too.

It is the responsibility of this space to keep alive the printed word whenever possible. To that end, let me recommend two excellent, recently-released books.

"KU Basketball Vault, The History Of The Jayhawks," is a unique look at one the most decorated programs in hoops by veteran college basketball scribe Ken Davis. Unique? When was the last time you got souvenirs with your coffee table book?

"Big Boy Rules, America's Mercenaries Fighting in Iraq" will change your entire view of the war, the government and human nature. Steve Fainaru of the Washington Post provides a deeply personal look at the Bush travesty that is the Iraq war. Steve is a Pulitzer Prize winner who was a former colleague at the Kansas City Star.

I know, I know. I can hear you. That's as close as I'll ever get to a Pulitzer.

 

Posted on: January 3, 2009 6:06 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2009 6:08 pm
 

Parcells to OU. Stoops not to the Broncos.

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Dolphins EVPFO Bill Parcells attended Oklahoma's Saturday practice.

EVPFO, that's Executive Vice President for Football Operations or fancy talk for general manager.

"He’s just evaluating our players I’m sure, but it was great to have him here. I’ve always been a big fan of the way he coaches and the way he handles you media guys too," Bob Stoops said. "I think it’s always important when you get a legendary figure and a guy that’s a hall of fame coach. I just like to have our players see and hear from those kind of guys and always he has a great message for them."

Stoops also shot down rumors about him and the vacant Broncos job. Denver owner Pat Bowlen is an Oklahoma grad.

"What situation? That’s a rumor that I have not heard and no one has contacted me about that so I don’t know anything about it," Stoops said. "We’re preparing for a national championship and that’s all my focus and all my concentration’s on so obviously I’m not a candidate. I’m sure someone might have told me other than you guys if I was a candidate."

 The early hypocrite of year award goes to Joe Paterno. The venerable coach complained about the media intrusion on himself and his team at the Rose Bowl.

 “People running around with cameras taking pictures of me," Paterno told reporters on Friday, the day after his team lost to USC in the Rose Bowl, "when I’ve got a team of guys bustin’ their butts to get themselves in this situation. And people are more worried about me than talking about guys like Daryll Clark and Derrick Williams and people like that.”

Hey, we'd love to talk to them coach but you closed the lockerroom after the game which is against BCS policy. You also stiffed ABC on a promised interview before the game.

“I just think there’s a limit to how much you can expose your football team to.”

Those two statements don't make sense together, coach. You can't complain about us not talking to your players, then in the same breath complain about how much we talk to your players.

The Rose and BCS are considering what action to take against Paterno and Penn State. There are apparently fines for violating terms of the BCS contract which states that lockerrooms must be open to media after all five games.

 There are some strong hints that Oregon offensive coordinator Chip Kelly isn't going to be a coach in waiting much longer. Mike Bellotti seems to be clearing the decks to become athletic director before next season. Bellotti has given two assistants permission to "explore other options." Those options apparently do not include staying at Oregon under Kelly.

  Pardon Utah if it felt slighted at the Sugar Bowl. First there were shirts being sold identifying Utah as being in the WAC (it is in the Mountain West). Before the game fans were given some novelties (clappers, etc.) that identified the Utes as being the "Uthes". 

 

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

Utah is No. 1!

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.

Was. 

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
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com