Before tonight's game, I figured that the Horned Frogs from Texas Christian were the true powerhouse of the Mountain West Conference.
With a convincing win over BYU, and losing only to the then-No. 2 team in the country, I assumed that TCU's powerful defense would have squashed Brian Johnson's hopes of bringing the Utes a much-needed win for their chances at being this year's BCS Buster.
While TCU was effective in holding Utah's normally effective running game to a mere 45 yards, they were unable to create any turnovers from Utah's inconsistent offense.
Brian Johnson struggled during the first three quarters of play to have much success in the passing game, but was finally able to pull together a consistent string of passes when they needed it the most.
TCU's inability to put points on the board after two great possessions in the fourth quarter sealed their fate. Missing two likely field goal attempts gave Utah just enough momentum to pull off an amazing drive and capture the win.
Utah's win over TCU improved their record to 10-0 for the second time in school history. By beating a top 15 team, the Utes will undoubtedly gain the respect they have been looking for, and assuming we have some top 10 losses this weekend will move up even higher in the BCS Standings.
On a conference level, this win sets the stage for a very dramatic finish. TCU is the only conference team to beat BYU in the last three seasons.
Assuming TCU wins out, and BYU and Utah win the next couple of weeks, the Holy War in Salt Lake will mean much more than pride...it will likely mean a three-way tie for first place, with each of the one-loss teams beating each other!!!
While BYU's offense is remembering how it started the season, its injury-filled defense is having a hard time keeping up. Max Hall is on his way to breaking records, while BYU's opposition is breaking through their secondary as if it was non-existent.
Unless they can get the second team secondary up to speed, even Brian Johnson will be able to make BYU's defense look weak. Brian Johnson's ability to wake up and put together a drive in the final minutes of a game should make BYU's defense very nervous.
Not to play for too large of a long shot, but assuming BYU can stay undefeated and beat Utah in the final game of the season, BYU could not only take a share of the conference championship, but work itself into a potential BCS game.
If Boise state loses, the stars are in alignment, and the Cougars keep the honor code to a "T," it could happen!
Either way, Utah's win over TCU was a significant stepping stone that BYU needed for any chance at a shot a share of their third straight conference championship! Go Cougars!