Utah Utes: The Real National Champions

Brett LissendenSenior Analyst IJanuary 3, 2009

The Utah football team defeated Alabama 31-17 last night in the AllState Sugar Bowl.  The win sealed an undefeated 12-0 season for the Utes, something no other team in the FBS was able to accomplish.


Every other team has had at least one missed opportunity, and yet, Utah will not be the 2008 National Champion. Why?


They must not have really beaten anyone, right?


Utah defeated No. 11 TCU, a team that will rise further in the rankings after their defeat of Boise State in their bowl game.


The Utes also defeated No. 17 BYU, and Pac-10 runner-up Oregon State, who was the only team to defeat USC this season.


Utah won at Michigan in the first game of the season, before the Wolverines’ struggles began.


The Utes won at Air Force and against Colorado State, both teams that played very well in their respective bowl games.


Utah earned the right for a showdown with Alabama, the team that had spent the most time ranked No. 1 this season.  No one gave the Utes much of a shot, but Utah won the game in impressive fashion on a field much closer to Alabama than Utah.


The Mountain West Conference was the fourth best conference in the country this season, ahead of the Big East, ACC, and Pac-10.  And Utah went undefeated through that conference.


The Utes scheduled tough non-conference games, something that no power conference team seemingly ever does.  And they won all of those games.


This Utah team has done everything right, had everything go their way, and overcame every obstacle laid down in their path.  If they can’t become national champions, how could any non-power conference team ever hope to achieve that platform?


These so-called BCS Busters from non-power conferences are 3-1 in BCS bowl games. Obviously, the parity in college football exists to a much higher degree than most people think.


So when a winner emerges from the Florida-Oklahoma game next week, just remember that neither of those teams will be able to claim what Utah can this season.


Zero Losses.