In a great insightful article by Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel, multiple Harris Poll voters were quoted as saying they watched very few, if any, of Utah’s games this year.
Let me remind the readers that the Harris Poll makes up one-third of the BCS, which pits No. 1 versus No. 2 for the mythical national champion of college football. The AP pulled out because they did not want to make the news, and they were replaced by many former coaches, athletes, and others to vote.
The Harris Poll voters make up a diverse group of people from across the country, but that did not stop voters from watching games.
Just ask some of the voters in the Harris Interactive Poll, which helps determine the title-game matchup.
“I did not see them play [in the regular season],” Bobby Aillet said.
“I didn’t see any live games,” Lance McIlhenny said. “I just [saw] highlights.”
“I don’t recall if I saw them play specifically during the regular season,” David Housel said. “I don’t remember a specific game.”
All I can say is, WOW! Another excuse was that the Utah games are difficult to find because they are broadcast on Versus, CBS College Sports, and the league-owned Mountain West network.
In years past, the Mtn. was only available in the great Mountain West region, but this year the league-owned channel is available on DirecTV. The argument that the games are hard to find is somewhat valid, but the Pac-10 has a crummy TV deal that requires viewers to purchase the same package to see all the games that are on their Fox Sports Net regional channel.
Yes, the Pac-10 has some games on ESPN and ABC, but Versus is in as many households as ESPN and CBS. These voters do not need to watch every game of every league, but one would think that they would watch something, especially with Utah, who was undefeated and finished their regular season the weekend before Thanksgiving.
Another great quote from this article is Wetzel’s comment: ‘Whether Utah deserved to be ranked No. 1, 2 or 25 isn’t the point of this argument. The Utes deserved to have voters at least see them.’
The worst offender is broadcaster Don Criqui, who didn’t even bother to cast a final ballot. That vote should be taken away for not caring about this process. But why would he care if the title is not really decided. Utah has the disadvantages of playing in a league that is 10 years old, and does not have the history of the team they just embarrassed on national television.
,If the same players donned the unis of a Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, or any university with history, they would have been in the title game, no questions asked.
Utah may not be as good as Florida, Oklahoma, or USC, but the Utes have been in the same class as those schools this year and in the past decade. If history does matter, then schools should do their research and know that Utah has been to six consecutive bowls and won their last eight bowl games.
The Utes are the only school in the BCS era to finish undefeated twice. Is that enough history for you?
Also, I am posting a link to ESPN’s video where former Ute Jamal Anderson debates Skip Bayless, who is a complete idiot! Watch the video and you'll see what I mean.
Bayless' big argument is that Alabama was deflated for not making the title game and losing Andre Smith. Those arguments are weak, because just after Bayless says those tings, he follows straight in line by saying that the Utes right end, better known as Paul Kruger, ran wild.
So, what does that say about the Alabama backups? Yes, not having Andre Smith in the game hurt, but he does not play defense and does not throw the balls.
Bayless came out like the typical East Coast homer, saying history does not count. But history and tradition are what gave Alabama the benefit of the doubt of being No. 1.
And it gives USC some credit for getting a share of the title. The same USC team that go handled by Oregon State, who was defeated by Utah.
Just go watch the video, it is priceless.