(Above: Utah LB Stevenson Sylvester makes clear who he thinks is No. 1.)
Let the debate commence—again.
Utah stunned Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Friday night by a score of 31-17, completing an undefeated season and igniting another controversy over college football's lack of a playoff system.
Behind the passing attack of senior quarterback Brian Johnson, the Utes stormed to an early 21-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. The Crimson Tide briefly cut the lead to 21-17 early in the third quarter after a Utah turnover on the opening drive of the second half. But Johnson's 28-yard touchdown pass to David Reed less than 100 seconds later gave Utah the breathing room it would need the rest of the way.
It's the second time in five seasons that the Utes (13-0) have finished a season undefeated. It's also the second time in five seasons that an unbeaten Utah team will not get a chance to play for the BCS National Championship.
Meanwhile, the season for Nick Saban's Alabama squad (12-2) ends on a decisively sour note. After holding the #1 spot in the BCS standings for four weeks, the Tide has since squandered its berth in the title game, and now its presumed consolation prize.
Unfortunately, the Utes never received the same chance that Alabama did. For that, we have the college presidents and their beloved BCS to thank.