Utah Is Not the #1 Team in the Country

After beating Alabama in the Sugar Bowl 31-17, Utah was tooting its own horn about achieving perfection. The Utes finished the year at 13-0 becoming the only undefeated team in Division-I. Not helping matters is coach Kyle Whittingham’s claim that he’s voting his team #1 in the Coaches’ Poll.

“This is a great football team,” an elated Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said to Utah fans chanting “Num-ber One, Num-ber One” in a postgame celebration. “I know where I’m moving us [in the coaches' poll]. I’m voting us No. 1.”

“I don’t know why [the Utes] wouldn’t deserve consideration,” Whittingham said. “Somebody explain it to me why they wouldn’t. There is only one undefeated team in the United States of America in Division I football, and it’s these guys right here.”

Not to get all major conference snobby on you, but I’d like to see Utah play Clemson, Ole Miss, LSU, Georgia, Tennessee, and Auburn and live to come away with an unblemished record (like Alabama did). Until they play that tough a schedule and win all their games they don’t deserve to be #1. Beating Wyoming, Weber State, and New Mexico just doesn’t cut it in my book. Beating Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Missouri all in succession — like Oklahoma did — gets my respect. Finishing undefeated is a great accomplishment, and beating Alabama is a nice statement and a fantastic win for the program. Unfortunately, beating one major team soundly does not mean you’re entitled to the top ranking in the country.

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  • mike

    Wow, your WRONG as could be on this.

    You talk about how Utah has “bad” wins against New Mexico, Wyoming, and Weber State, yet fail to to acknowldge Alabama’s “bad” wins against Arkansas State, Western Kentucky, and Tulane.

    Utah beat a damn good TCU team, a solid BYU team, a very good Oregon State team, and flat out dominated Alabama. Utah hasnt been good for just 1 year, they have been one of the best programs in college football for the last 5 years. Utah deserves the opportunity if they have another undefeated regular season to play in the BCS title game if there are no other undefeated teams. You couldnt have watched the game on Friday and thought Utah couldnt beat anyone in the nation, and I’m an SC fan saying that. The Utes are legit.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Actually, I did watch the game on Friday. What I saw was an unmotivated Alabama team playing without two of its top offensive lineman unable to protect their QB, lose to a completely motivated Utah team. I gave Utah credit for that win. But I’d like to see Utah go 13-0 playing the likes of Georgia, LSU, Florida, Ole Miss, Auburn, Clemson, and everything else that goes along with an SEC schedule. If they came out of the conference with two losses I would have been impressed.

  • http://freezer818.livejournal.com Freezer

    That argument is horsecrap. If Utah played that exact same schedule strength in the Big East or ACC, they’d be playing Oklahoma this Thurday, instead of Florida. Telling a team like this “You’ve done everything you can do to prove yourselves, but it’s not good enough, becaue we say so.” is BS. They beat every team on their schedule – which included five top 25 teams. If that’s not good enough nothing ever will be. You say that their MWC schedule isn’t good enough, as if Oklahoma’s schedule isn’t full of A&Ms, Baylors, and Iowa Sts.

    In every other team sport anywhere (and every other level of football under the NCAA umbrella), Utah would get the chance to prove themselves.

  • http://bandisonthefield.blogspot.com Bandisonthefield

    Utah is not the #1 team in the land… lets be honest they had some great wins this year but you can’t just call them the #1 team. That is what is wrong with the system today; college football has a knack for not playing the games and just stating who the best is.

    So no Utah is not the best team in the land. They do deserve the right to play for that distinction, however. Aka a playoff.

  • jman

    Call Utah what you want and rank them wherever you want to. The bottom line is that Utah went undefeated and they are the Sugar Bowl Champs. That much is clear- unfortunately not much else is. We know that whoever wins the Oklahoma/Florida game will earn the title “BCS Champions” (unless the trusty old margin-of-victory factor comes into play), but until we have a system that gives teams like Utah, or the undefeated Auburn, Boise State, etc teams from a few years ago a chance to play for the BCS title I cannot see how one can recognize any team as a “National Champion” simply because the BCS selection committee deems them worthy. Personally, I have not been able to take the “system” seriously having seen it get re-worked, only to fail and fail again, year after year. So I refuse to agree that BCS Champion=National Champion.

    With upwards of 120 Bowl Subdivision schools playing football, it is virtually impossible to narrow down the best 2 teams in the country in one attempt (that attempt currently being the BCS Bowl selection process). Until the “championship” field expands, we will always have legitimate arguments made by the top teams in the country that they should have a shot at the title. And even if/when it does expand, the next level of teams will lobby for a shot to be included. The good news is that it would be easier to stomach watching a second tier team not get included than having to watch teams like USC, Utah, Texas, etc not get a title shot (like the present system).

    Congratulations to Utah on one helluva season. People will take their shots at the Utes but they cannot take away Utah’s undefeated season and Sugar Bowl whoopin’ of Alabama- those two events are in the books for good.

  • http://fireandyreidnow@blogspot.com JFein

    Utah should be the number one team in the land. There is no doubt about it. They went undefeated. They beat everyone on their schedule, and went to the Sugar Bowl and flat-out dominated Alabama. They weren’t like Boise who used trick plays to get by, they flat out took the game and shoved it right down the throats of Alabama, and all BCS (and in particular, SEC) supremacist snobs.

    The posters above me already made this point pretty clear, but just to make it even more clear, Utah had as good a schedule as anyone. There will always be weak teams on schedules. Florida played The Citadel from the FCS, should they not be in the National Championship game because they played them? And let’s compare Utah to USC, a team that people at ESPN were absolutely drooling over after the Rose Bowl, and look at their schedule which includes the only winless team in the FBS. The only games that stand out are Ohio State, the loss to Oregon State, the dominating win over Oregon, and a 17-3 win against Cal. Minus them you have the aforementioned winless Washington, Washington State, UCLA, Notre Dame, Virginia, Stanford, Arizona State, and Arizona. That is by no means an overwhelming schedule. Back to the signature games, we’ll learn a whole heck of a lot about Ohio State tonight, Oregon is a fairly solid team, beating Oklahoma State in the Holiday Bowl improved their image big time. Cal is pretty much one-dimensional. So by looking at the signature wins of both teams, Utah, who beat TCU, BYU, and Oregon State, clearly has a tougher schedule than a team some feel like are good enough to beat Florida and/or Oklahoma.

    The way I see it, there are two solutions to this. They can institue the playoff system (which would make a lot of people happy) or if they absolutely insist on keeping the BCS system, what should happen is the Mountain West invites Boise State to the MWC, the MWC then somehow becomes a BCS conference, and everyone would be happy and Utah would then rightfully be called the #1 team. That MWC would hands down be the 3rd best conference in college football (behind only the SEC and the Big 12).

    And for those of you that say that San Diego State is not worthy of being in a BCS school, look at the PAC-10. The worst team in the FBS is in a BCS conference (Washington in the PAC-10, in case you could not figure it out

  • ryan

    take your cupcake schedule and stick it up your ass, utah. get real.

  • Spencer

    Here’s the Utes resume for you “SEC kool-aid” drinkers out there. Compare it to Florida please. The comparisons might surprise you. It’s a good thing they eeked that one out against Bama or that would have been their asses that got punked Friday.

    two wins over top-ten opponents
    four wins over ranked opponents
    14-game current winning streak (longest in the nation)
    8-game current bowl winning streak, including two BCS games (longest in the nation)
    Has won 21 of last 22 games dating back to last season.
    2 undefeated seasons in the last five years (best in the nation)
    2 BCS bowl victories in 5 years (equaling the total BCS victories of the ACC since its inception)
    Best record of any non-BCS team vs BCS conferences since the inception of the BCS ten years ago.

    And for those who think the MWC is a cupcake, go do a little research on conference head to head match-ups and see how the MWC performed this year. It might surprise you too. Here’s a little preview: MWC vs SEC = 2-0.

    So keep you BCS championship. We don’t want that crock of SH!T anyway. Everyone knows it’s a worthless trophy. When you want to settle it on the field we’ll be ready; just ask Alabama.


  • Mark

    Sorry, Utah, you really don’t deserve to be #1. And I live in Utah! You’re just all twitter-pated over the Sugar Bowl victory, which was an awesome win, but your wins (a few of them squeekers) were really pretty weak teams. You all need to get a little real and settle down with the ‘National Champions’ bit. Everyone thinks they should be national champions.

    I agree, there should be some sort of playoff system!

    UTAH – 2009 Sugar Bowl Champs NOT National Champs!

  • http://www.thehounddawgsportsblog.com/ theHoundDawg

    Utah IS the National Champion.

    They played a tougher schedule than everyone’s darling, the University of Spoiled Children, and Utah defeated, while the brain surgeons lost to, their one common opponent.

    The BCS itself is only part of the problem. With its dependence on polls that are rigged from before the start of the season to eliminate any possibility of an upstart like Utah from ranking near or at the top, despite merit, no Utah, Boise State, or BYU, as they once were able to do, can now have a chance to even get to the “Championship” game.

    The MegaBuckBowlCartel has to be ended. There is no sane, reasonable ground to NOT have a true playoff system.