College Football BCS National Championship Sleeper: The Utah Utes
Currently seven teams ranked in the top 10 are undefeated after two weeks of BCS Standings, and with six of those being the teams ranked in the top six, NO ONE is talking about the seventh.
After the first official BCS rankings were made public, the media and most passionate college football fans thought that Boise State got the snub. Even Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops did not like the fact that his Sooners were ranked No. 1.
Well now there's a new No. 1. The question is, will another No. 1 ranked team lose for a fourth consecutive week?
Much of the attention thus far whether be on the radio, television, or print, has largely been discussed about No. 3 ranked Boise State and No. 4 ranked TCU crashing the party for a second consecutive season. Then you have No. 1 ranked Auburn being back in the mix for the first time since 2004, and No. 7 ranked Alabama creeping back since their loss to South Carolina.
Not to mention Cam Newton being discussed as a potential Heisman Trophy Candidate, and Les Miles, well, being Les Miles. In addition to that, with the SEC being the most competitive conference, the controversy and arguments it creates are almost about as consistent as death and taxes.
Just like Michigan State, Missouri is making a lot of noise, and Oregon is sharing the publicity out west with Boise State. However one undefeated team is lurking in the shadows, and going under the radar.
That team being the No. 8 ranked Utah Utes (7-0). If you want to know who set the standard for all future non-BCS conference contenders (Boise State and TCU), pay tribute to the Utes because they were the originators.
Back in 2004, the Utes became the first non-BCS conference school to crash the party.
And did they hit it hard. Beating the Big East Champion Pittsburgh Panthers 35-7 in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl finishing the season 12-0 and ranked fifth. We also have to remember that back then the Big East was quite a legitimate conference with Miami, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Louisville each making BCS appearances prior to the expansion of the ACC.
Then again in 2008 Utah defeated heavily favored Alabama 31-17 in the All State Sugar Bowl to finish the season ranked second with a record of 13-0.
Well Utah is once again unbeaten, but this time going overlooked due to their in-conference rival No. 4 ranked TCU being undefeated as well.
Utah has a well-balanced attack with 205 passing attempts, and 230 carries. The two QB's Jordan Wynn and Terrence Cain who can throw the ball rather efficiently, do a great job of distributing the football. Six of their receivers have at least 10 catches, and two with over 20—DeVon Christopher with 26, and Jereme Brooks with 32, respectively.
The Utah run game rely on the legs of Matt Asiata and Eddie Wide. Between the two, they total over 800 yards, and average over five yards-per-carry. Overall the Utah Utes offense ranks third in all of college football averaging just over 47 points-per-game.
The defense ranks fifth in yards given up per game (247), third in total yards given up for the season (1,731), and fourth in points against per game (12).
In terms of individual defense, no one stands a part from one another. Cornerback Lamar Chapman is the team leader with five and a half sacks, which tells us that they have the ability to play a zone-blitz scheme with out having to drop a defensive lineman into coverage to make up for the person blitzing.
The Utes defense has no big name players, but their coaches do a great job game planning, and having un-selfish/coachable players speaks for itself when you look at the success they have had.
The next three weeks will determine whether or not the Utes make a run at the National Title.
On the road this week against The Air Force Academy will be a preliminary test before taking on the No. 4 ranked TCU Horned Frogs at home on Nov. 6. Then on Nov. 13, they travel to South Bend, Ind., to play Notre Dame. If they win against Air Force and TCU, the Irish could be a potential trap game.
However, right now no ones is talking about the Utes. And if they finish undefeated for the THIRD time in less than a decade, they deserve a shot at the National Championship.
As the saying goes, "Third time is a charm."
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