The Utah Utes are 6-0 and ranked 14th in the AP poll. Let's get one thing straight: Utah is a good Mountain West team. In fact, they are a great Mountain West team. But that is as far as it goes.
Utah is a strong team in their conference, but they are unproven outside the Mountain West. The Mountain West is a conference comprised of perennial homecoming opponents for teams from the SEC, ACC, Big 12, and Big Ten, the toughest conferences in football.
In case you are wondering if I forgot to include the Pac-10, the answer is no. Besides USC the Pac-10 is fairly equivalent to the Mountain West.
So far this year, the Utes have defeated powerhouse programs like Weber State, UNLV, Air Force, Utah State, and Oregon State. To their credit, Utah did beat Michigan at the Big House, but Michigan's program is going to suffer under Rich Rodriguez. Two years from now, beating Michigan in Ann Arbor will be nothing to write home about.
In fact, if you look at Michigan's horrid performance, then Utah's victory in Ann Arbor is not all that surprising.
This year's Utes are led by a stellar defense, one that allowed 21 points to Weber State. The argument in favor of Utah is that two of the touchdowns were garbage time stats.
Garbage time stats? It is Weber State, for crying out loud. Garbage time stats are a field goal, or maybe a touchdown, not two. The other TD by Weber State was scored late in the first quarter, tying the game at 7-7.
This very same powerhouse Utah program trailed by seven at the half against a tough Air Force team. In fact, Utah didn't lead the whole second half until Darrell Mack scored a touchdown to put Utah up by seven with less than a minute remaining in the game.
Last weekend Utah bested a tough Oregon State team, in a battle of the titans of college football. Yes, the same Oregon State who lost to Stanford and then beat USC. The win against USC failed to surprise me, and we are all aware that year in and year out USC is grotesquely overrated.
However, Oregon State's embarrassing loss to bottom-feeding Stanford further proves that Utah's last-minute victory over them isn't that amazing. Utah blew a halftime lead and failed to score the entire second half until they caught a lucky break with 1:29 to go in the fourth quarter.
This weekend Utah travels to Laramie, Wyoming to face the feared Wyoming Cowboys.
Honestly, Utah plays nobody. Absolutely no one. The one team with a shred of credibility they play is BYU.
BYU, much like Utah, is overrated. They achieve high rankings playing against cake schools. BYU's 59-0 rout of UCLA was impressive, but UCLA has managed just two wins this season.
To everyone who says that teams like Utah and BYU are for real, all I ask you to do is prove it. Show me where they established themselves—and a 58-10 win over Utah State is not proving yourself.
If Utah wants to be the next Boise State, a small team who has proved themselves, than Utah needs to play a team with the respect of Oklahoma instead of scheduling an opponent like Weber State.