Before the BCS.

Ron StilesCorrespondent IJanuary 3, 2009

I saw no Cinderella team on the football field last night, I did not see a team that was exposed or overrated. What I did see was a team, for whatever reason, that was well-coached and played with more grit than the other to win its BCS bowl game and remain undefeated. What we watched was Utah win over Alabama.

The game came at you from all directions. It had all the highs and lows of smash-mouth football. As a fan, it had you wining and losing. It left you hoping and hurting.

In the days before the BCS, it was the game of the bowl season that made a statement. The end of the season that made you believe in America again. It was the underdogs who earned it. The team that had the look that said anyplace anytime chiseled in their faces. The stare was a challenge, you gave us your best, we are undefeated.

The Utes just laid to rest any argument that a one-loss team in the NCAA can or will raise to say they are the best.

Texas, yes, you beat the Sooners but you lost to Texas Tech, undefeated.

USC, you won in the Rose against a team that was ranked No. 1 in the nation. The Pac 10 did not lose a bowl game, undefeated.

Alabama, you, who they defeated.

Florida, that home-field loss to Ole Miss was looking good in the Cotton Bowl yesterday, undefeated.

Oklahoma, your only loss came from the third best team in America, undefeated.

The shame of it all is the only thing Utah has won is second place. First place was decided in early December. It will be Oklahoma or Florida for the title. This the BCS has told me for the last month. It must be true.

Everyone knows I'm a Sooner fan and have believed that Oklahoma and Florida should be playing for the whole bag of marbles. Can the Sooners get the jump over the Gators? Of that I have no doubt. Are we really playing for first place? As I stated before the BCS told me we are.

Everybody is screaming for a playoff these days. I'm not. I'll still lean towards the days of old.

I want a vote. And unless I see a champion rise up in the final game, the Utah Utes just earned my vote.