Utah's top team sports accomplishments

Published: Monday, April 25 2011 10:03 p.m. MDT

#10 - Utah gymnastics national titles (10) Next » 1 of 10 « Prev
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Not a ton of teams competing, not much global appeal, but you can’t win 10 titles and not get some credit. Leading the country in attendance is an accomplishment in itself.
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Cedar Park, TX

Makes sense that there are 5 Utah Utes accomplishments compared to 2 for BYU.

Also, I think the Sugar Bowl was more impressive than 1984, but I'm a Ute fan, so that's understandable.

That being said, a pretty good list, with the 5/2 ratio of Utah to BYU accomplishments very accurate as to both school's national impact in athletics.

South Jordan, UT

That is simply wrong. BYU didn't even know they won the NC. It was even a surprise to them. They played 11 "New Mexico State" type teams. Possibly some bias. Ask the national media which is more impressive. Breaking the BCS twice should both be ahead of 1984. There were 10 teams that would have spanked BYU in 1984.

Salt Lake City, UT

Goofy, RockMonster, just goofy.

Utah's 1998 run to the NCAA Championship game has to top this list, by a mile. The Utes not only beat North Carolina in a Final Four Game, but the previous year's champion, Arizona, with it's top 7 players back from that team, in the regional final.

If the list has to do with what was accomplished by the players, on the field or court, Utah's 5-1 record in the 1998 NCAA tournament is the State's top team sports accomplishment.

It's impossible to reasonably argue otherwise, at least with respect to college team sports.

Frisco, TX

KamUte - funny that you consider Utah a "New Mexico State type team", since that was one of the teams we beat in 1984.

Who am I sir?
Cottonwood Heights, UT

In 1984 BYU won the National Championship by being the only undefeated team in the couuntry. They beat a 6-5 Michigan team and I believe no other team in the top 25.

In contrast, the 2009 Utah team defeated Alabama then ranked #6 but had been ranked #1 for the last 5 weeks of the season. And it was how they defeated them. Came within a touchdown of scoring more points on them in the first quarter than all other Alabama opponents combined. Utah led from start to finish when Alabama had been behind less than 20 minutes (I believe) all season. Held their running back to 37 yards. How good was Alabama? The next year Alabama was undefeated and national champions. (Alabama was not motivated? 1) Sabin was coach of the year 2) Alabama's 2nd and 3rd string were supposedly better recruits 3) This was Alabama first vist to the Sugar Bowl in nearly 20 year and they consider it "their bowl" Quoting a LSU fan before the game "Sabin is a masster motivator!)) Also, Utah defeated 5 teams (I believe) that went to post season bowls.


Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

I mean no offense to the '84 Cougars, but putting the '84 NC above both Utah BCS bowl victories is ridiculous.

Simple logic proves this.

Who am I sir?
Cottonwood Heights, UT

RE: KamUte

He says to ask the national media. (I double, dog, dare ya!!!!) But wait, we don't have to ask.

Let's see how others (outside Utah) reacted to the two results.

BYU's "national championship" was the single biggest factor in the formulation of the BCS system. To insure nothing like that could happen again. The failed premise of the BCS was to match the two best teams in the country in a championship game. (Obvious a failure - but it was the 1984 season that started the process.

On the flip side, Utah's 2009 was a major factor in their invitation to join a BCS conference. (If you can't beat them - let 'em join!!!)

The evidence is in as to how the nation would regard the two accomplishments!!!

Any takers on the "double dare"?!!!!!

west jordan, ut

No utes fan. Logic dictates that number one is always better than number two. That is unless that utah education teaches that funny math. Finish first, get a trophy, and talk to me.

South Jordan, UT

@Who am I sir? | 10:56 p.m. April 25, 2011
Cottonwood Heights, UT

They beat Pitt (ranked #3) in Pittsburgh. Besides most of the BCS busting teams of the last ten years have had some pretty cake walk schedules too.

History Minor
Jacksonville, Florida

If I have this right, you're telling me that a team, the Utah Stars, which won a championship, winning three best-of-seven series that year and beating a Kentucky team with two future hall of famers on the roster (Issel and Gilmore) in the finals, is, in the DNews' mind, not as notable as two Utah Jazz teams that didn't win titles and a University of Utah basketball team that also finished second? Does that about sum it up? So the Stars are number six on the list even though their seminal title came in a league that was every bit the equal of the NBA from a talent standpoint (if not financially)? Is that where we are? Just making sure.

American Fork, UT

Is it at all possible to not turn every sports discussion into another inane battle between ute and cougar fans? Can we all just be proud of these two good athletic schools and take a Prozac or two? I thought it was a pretty inclusive list by Mr Rock.

Orem, UT

Jealous Utah fans spin in vain and they know it.

A National Championship is the epitome of major college football... anything less, is just that, less.

BYU has one.

Utah has none.

Sandy, UT

Get over it Utes.

BYU has a Waterford Chrystal Trophy and UPI Trophy from the Coaches. They have the AP Naitonal Title from the Writers. It was Unanimous. They have many other Organization's Trophy's from 1984 as well.

They were basically undefeated for 2 straight years, losing once in 1983. Also beating the Pac-10 champ, UCLA in '83, which beat Illinois (ranked #1) in the Rose Bowl.

Sixteen players off the '84 team drew Professional paychecks, many of them have Super Bowl rings.

Lavell was National Coach of the Year.

It's in the Books, it was not split and there was no debate in the end.
Even Bryant Gumbel has retracted his previous bias, which was only to promote Switzer and Oklahoma's invite to the Orange Bowl, which NBC was covering.

How ironic, that 24 years later, that same Switzer, was giving it to the Utes in like fashion. "Not one player from Utah would even be recruited by Alabama".

Washington could have settled their claim on the field, they were invited to the Holiday Bowl and turned it down for money.

BYU played the system and were rewarded by never losing.

BYU NationalChampions1984

Herriman, UT

Remember, BYU didn't win the '84 national championship, they were awarded it.

Y Grad / Y Dad
Richland, WA

By the predominant logic on these posts, Utah gymnastics is CLEARLY the number one accomplishment. And I think I would go with that.

Had the title aluded to impact, then the list is pretty spot on.

Because no matter how you twist it, a national championship in the nation's biggest sport has more impact than being number two.

Two teams undefeated, did everything that was asked of them. One is a national champion, one is not. I don't think it's fair either, but please note that the fault lies clearly with the system so many Ute posters now suddently happily embrace.

Bloomington, IN

National Championship (no matter how you spin it) will ALWAYS trump BCS/Final four (no matter how cool those runs were).

National runner up, and Sugar Bowl champions are definitely cool, but when you look at the list of national champions, BYU will always have the opportunity to say they are there.

If the Utes are ever able to win a title in the current era of college football, I'd concede that is a greater accomplishment, it would have to be. But until then, being number 1 at the end of a season will infinitely be better than anything else.

Pocatello, ID

Well, the gymnastics team has 10 NCs. That trumps all of them, and should be #1. Certainly not #10

Sandy, UT

Utah's '44 NCAA Championship should not be here.

The NIT was the Premier Tournament in 1944 which determined the National Champion. The best teams played there, not the NCAA. This is not debatable.

Teams which lost an NCAA tournament game in '44 were not then invited to the NIT. Utah, however, lost their NIT game and were then invited to the NCAA, the Lesser tournament.

Winning the 1944 NCAA tourney, was the equivalent of winning the NIT today.

The NIT was still the Premier NC Tournament in 1951 when BYU won it all.
Therefore, BYU's '51 Championship is more legit and prestigious than the '44 NCAA Utah win.

By 1966 the tide was shifting with the NCAA beginning to assume Top Tournament Status.

Utah's 1966 Final Four was achieved by winning 3 games, the amount of games BYU won in this years tourney. This was also before seeding and only 24 teams were invited.

But I'm sure these facts will fall on Deaf Ears to Ute fans, they've never let Facts nor History get in their way.

Sandy, UT


Utah won 2 games to get to the final four in 1966...the same number BYU won this year.

Rocket Science
Brigham City, UT

I certainly think that the Utah Womens gymnastics should have been much higher. 10 National titles - they have the record of most national titles in the state. BYU Track and Field I believe had a couple of National Championships too that should have had them up in the top 10.

San Antonio, Texas

when soccer is a real sport played by guys who CAN make the football team, I'll pay attention.

The Disillusionist
Alexandria, VA

I love hearing Ute fans weep and wail and gnash their teeth. I will always be grateful for BYU's 1984 national championship if only for that reason. I am grateful for this article if only for that reason. Thank you, Rock-monster, you've made my morning. :D

DEW Cougars
Sandy, UT

Thank you DS for picking BYU 1st, let those trolls rolls!

Sandy, UT

Byu...... National Championships

1-Track and Field
3-Mens Volleyball
4-Womens Cross Country
2-Basketball (NIT '51 '66)

13 Total

Utah......National Championships

10-Womens Gymnsatics
2-Basketball (NCAA '44 NIT '47)

Total 22

Putting aside the rivalry for just a moment.......

It's pretty cool that this little corner of America has had so much to boast of with 2 schools just 35 miles apart.

Add many other achievements, Heisman, Outlands, NCAA runners-up in many sports, World Series MVP, NFL players etc. and it's quite a statement.

Orem, UT

To BMW, may all your kids and grandkids choose soccer over traditional American sports! :) Then maybe you'll learn to enjoy it (I did!). And, I doubt whether very many football players, at any level, could make the RSL roster. It's a different sport. Maybe some safetie or corners could learn to play. But no 6'6" 325 pounder could last 10 minutes on the pitch.

I'm a BYU football season ticket holder...I love all BYU sports...but I also appreciate and love to watch RSL...when my son invites me to share one of his season tickets.

And now, on topic: I too think Rock focused too much on the big-ticket sports. What about tennis, track, golf...where Utah schools have had some impressive runs. And BYU has 3 men's volleyball national championships, coming out of the very best conference in the country (and I thought they had a chance for another this year :(.

Arlington, VA


"Well, the gymnastics team has 10 NCs."

Did gymnastics or skiing have anything to do with the Ute's invite to the PAC 12?

Just saying.

Some championships, regardless of how few, are infinitely more meaningful.

Boise, ID

I still remember Boscoe throwing that pass. A NC will be remembered forever.

Provo, UT

As remarkable as gymnastics can be, lower tier sports that attract little national attention simply cannot hold the same torch as the major sports. Otherwise we may as well add the BYU National Championship is Rugby (finally dethroning Cal) or this year's national champions in track from BYU to the list. Ten titles is very impressive however! Even a BYU fan like me would raise the Utes Gymnastics run above #10, since that program may be the only sports "dyanasty" in the State at any level.

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT


"No utes fan. Logic dictates that number one is always better than number two. That is unless that utah education teaches that funny math. Finish first, get a trophy, and talk to me."

Then if you think that an extremely controversial VOTED NC is greater than TWO perfect seasons in recent years then go for it. You are entitled to your perplexing opinion. Of course, you think that 1 > 2 - maybe your math should be checked.

I will take Utah's TWO (count 'em: TWO - that is greater than one) perfect BCS bowl recent seasons over a controversial, disrespected NC over 25 years ago any time.

Yuma, CO.

Wow, I love the football accomplishments however I noticed a LOT of basketball mentioned on this list...and I thought this article was going to be about actual sports???

And while we're on the subject of sports why isn't any college wrestling mentioned.....oh that's right the "U" and the "Y" haven't seen fit to support the best sport going.....tsk, tsk it must be a little too rough and tumble for them!! Sad!

Who am I sir?
Cottonwood Heights, UT

RE: cowboy99

I respect you for attempting to provide any legitimacy to BYU's 1984 results!

In law school they teach "If you have a case, argue the case!!! If you don't argue the law." That is why I fully expected the only defense of the Y's national championship would be the Y was declared the national champions. Can't argue that!!

Let's look at your point - The Pittsburgh Panthers were voted number 3 (as you stated) in the PRE-season poll. And they did win 3 games that year!!! (Maybe that's the 3 you were referring to?) BYU did defeat them. So did 6 other schools including that football powerhouse - Temple!!!! It was Pittsburgh first losing season in 12 years.

Well, there you have it, jurors. What is the verdict? Which was the greater team accomplishment? 1984 BYU or 2009 Utah

Highland, UT

Poor bitter utah "fans" LOL Obviously the National Championship is better than any 2nd, or 4th, place finish no matter how much they wish differently. I love their obvious pain, angst, frustration, consternation, and the vitriol they spew about it.

"Look at us! Please! We were #2! Why don't you all realize that is better than #1!"


Big J
Bountiful, UT

Nice list but.

Both Utahs 2005 Fiesta Bowl and 2009 Sugar Bowl were harder and greater accomplishments than BYUs 1984 National Championship.

The 2008 Utes beat four teams with a final ranking in the top 25
Alabama 6
Oregon St 18
BYU 21

1984 Cougars had a cream puff schedule and never would have played for NC in the current system.


Who am I sir?
Cottonwood Heights, UT

RE: Bluto's"Utah's 1966 Final Four was achieved by winning 3 games, the amount of games BYU won in this years tourney. This was also before seeding and only 24 teams were invited." He corrected himself in a later post to indicate Utah won 2 games the same as BYU won this year. He did not change the number of teams invited. I believe it was 16. Four brackets of four teams.

That means ONLY THE TOP 16 TEAMS IN THE COUNTRY WERE INVITED!!! In the entire history of BYU basketball, only once have they defeated a team ranked higher than 16th in tourney play!!!

BYU has an impressive basketball history, except for post season play. They do have one streak going though. The most number of appearances while never reaching the final four. In contrast, Utah's overall NCAA tourney record is over 50% wins. (Remember that half the teams in tournament play end with a 0% and only 1 of 4 teams ends with a 50% tourney record!!!) Now that's impressive.

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

C'mon Ute fans. If we expect credit and respect for our accomplishments, we have to give it for the accomplishments of others. Even our biggest rival. They won that Championship in 1984 the only way possible and they were the unanimous pick in all the polls that year. Congratulations to the Cougars! The Utes move to the PAC-12 will hopefully give us an opportunity to do the same one day.

Whoa Nellie
American Fork, UT

Rock gets paid to write articles; no commenter can say the same. His list is one of "accomplishments" and he placed a national championship in the biggest spectator sport in Utah as his number one "accomplishment". I agree with Big J about the difficulty of Utah's two BCS seasons being harder than BYU's 1984 football season but their prize (accomplishment) is less valued than being awarded a national championship.

Bottom line is BYU got the trophy, Utah got the shaft, both years.

And finally from Ms. Samaratan01: "And while we're on the subject of sports why isn't any college wrestling mentioned.....oh that's right the "U" and the "Y" haven't seen fit to support the best sport going.....tsk, tsk it must be a little too rough and tumble for them!!"

If you really are a fan of college wrestling you would know that the BYUs and Utahs of the world had to drop their wrestling programs so the girls could play tennis or basketball. Ever hear of Title IX? Do something productive today and write your congressman to get that discriminatory law repealed.

Saint George, UT

Utes Fan and Big J: It's only controversial or more important if one is a Ute fan. Thank you, Mormon Ute, and others.

Why can't the accomplishments of all Utah schools be celebrated and not relegated to this constant, nasty bantering?

Mesa, AZ


"Remember, BYU didn't win the '84 national championship, they were awarded it."

Nice try, no one wins a national championship in football, it is always awarded. If there is no playoff, there is no earned national champion.

No matter how Utah fans want to diminish it, the trophy sits at BYU.

You can't have it. You can't take away its shine or luster. Nothing you can say can change the fact that it is there.

I think the Utes b-ball team had an amazing run. Their football team has done it twice. Good for you.

It doesn't negate what the BYU football team did in 1983 and 1984. No matter what you say, or what your opinion is.

Provo, UT

As it should be! BYU is number 1.

Provo, UT

@ Big J

The refs helped you win the Oregon St game, TCU kicker gave you the game, Robert Anae passing pride handed you the game and Alabama had no desire to play the game.

Call it what you want, but ute had a cream puff as a schedule too. None of your wins were that impressive. Schedule someone other then Weber and a horrible Michigan team, then maybe your schedule would have more credibility for the 2008 season.

But you can alway be proud of the fact that utah was the first and third loser to the real National Champions of 2008 and 2004.

Big J
Bountiful, UT

Yes all you Cougar fans, 1984 your team was awarded the Football NC. In 1944 Utah was awarded the Basketball NC. This list is the top team accomplishments not which team ended up #1.

Clearly the 04-05 and 08-09 Utah Football teams had vastly more difficult schedules than the 1984 BYU team. This can be agreed upon by all.

Some may still debate on the 1984 BYU and 04-05 Utah team schedule, but there is no debate on the 08-09 team. It was clearly superior to any prior Utah or BYU team.


South Jordan, UT

Really? How about Gene Fullmer becoming a 2 time World Middle Weight Champion?! Beating the best pound for pound boxer in history, Sugar Ray Robinson not once, but twice! Wow, you guys and your lists. YOu really need to do a bit more research.

Mike W
Syracuse, UT

Re: Cowboy99

"They beat Pitt (ranked #3) in Pittsburgh"

Where was that Pittsburgh team ranked by season's end? They finished 3-7-1, that's hardly a win to be proud of... you'd be better pointing to the 1990 win over Miami, because by season's end that Miami team was still clearly one of the 2 or 3 best teams in the country.

sid 6.7
Holladay, UT

Forget about the Utah accomplishments. You place a BYU team, who lucked their way into a NC, above an ABA Championship, 2 Trips to the NBA Finals and a MLS Championship? You have to be off your rocker to even consider the BYU NC in the top 5.

BYU should have never been National Champs in 84. Were they a good team? Yes! National Championship caliber in 84? Not even close. Had they played any one in the top 20 they would have been beaten senseless. They played a sub-par 6-5 Michigan team that took them to the wire. Not to mention they played in the WAC, probably one of the top 5 weakest leagues in the country at that time. Utah included! Were the 84 tem ever to play todays BYU team they would be pounded into the dirt and todays team won't set foot any where near the top 15 this year.

Sorry BYU Fans, I will give BYU credit where credit is due but your team no more deserves the 84 NC then fly over the moon! You know it, I know it and the whole country knows it.

Ragnar Danneskjold
Bountiful, UT

I'm sure I will be ridiculed for this, but RSL is the only team in the state to win a championship at the highest level (in our country at least). Seems like they should be a little higher.

Just Truth
Saratoga Springs, UT

Except Utah's 5 accounts for all their top 25 finishes in the past 40 years, whereas BYU has finished in the top 25 20 some times out of the last 40 years. So the question is do you want recent success or constant success? Go BYU!

Murray, UT


A big omission on your part. The 1944 NCAA tourney included Ohio State, Missouri and Iowa State among others. Dartmouth was built into a powerhouse by the US Navy who ordered star athletes of the day to the campus to train. Utah beat Dartmouth in the NCAA championship game and then went over to Madison Square Garden a few days later and beat St Johns (who had just been crowned the NIT champs) before 18,000 fans. That game in the Garden was considered by the national media as the national championship game. The coaches and players regarded it as such. The fans paid money to watch the "national Championship of 1944". BYU fans denigrate this accomplishment but the fact is when Utah returned home the local and national papers heralded Utah as the national champions.
Also, in 1947 Utah won the NIT. That was before BYU won it in 1951.

Captain Sweatpants
Hampstead, NC

I am a Ute fan, but I have no problem with this list.

BYU was crowned National Champion in 1984. It is a matter of history.

Yes, Utah has two undefeated seasons, including convincing BCS wins, in the last decade. But being National Champion trumps those two great Ute accomplishments.

That's A Good One
Meridian, ID

RE:Who am I sir? | 10:07 a.m. April 26, 2011

And yet in current terms the Ute basketball program is a laughing stock and in shambles. Ute fans are pretty big on the "forget the past - what are you like today" syndrome. How's looking that theory in basketball working out for you?

Salt Lake City, UT

How can you leave out the Trappers' 29 game winning streak? It's in the baseball HOF

Farmington, UT

To all the Ute fans:

BYU did something that no one else did in 1984- they were undefeated, the ONLY TEAM in the country to be able to say that, regardless of schedule.

Utah couldn't say it in either of their glory years in the BCS business. If they could, then maybe they'd have a national championship, too. Circumstances were different, you say. So what?

Arizona State, under Frank Kush, was undefeated one year too (pre-Pac 10), but was voted #2 in the final poll. Why haven't Ute fans pointed out that ASU deserves to be national champions, as well? It's because they're all TOO young to really know that Utah's good football fortunes are very recent. They will be temporary, too. Since they love to say BYU didn't play anyone what happened last year to the mighty Utes when they played Notre Dame and a few others? That's where they'll be in the PAC 12 and all this drivel about deserving to be a national champion vs. actual results will be comical.

Lavell and BYU got the job done. Utah didn't. Period.
(Quit whinning, already!)

Ragnar Danneskjold
Bountiful, UT

Re: toosmartforyou

I thought you were going to give the great Barry Switzer quote, "BYU did what only 5 other teams have ever done. Beat Michigan in 1984."

FWIW, I think the 84 NC belongs at the top of the list even if many people think the Utes had a more difficult road to a #2 ranking. It was really the culmination of multiple years of respectability. I don't think that recognition of your rivals accomplishments dampens your own success. In fact, it is the opposite. If your rival weren't respectable, there would be no fun in beating them (see USU, no offence because I like the Aggies). As childish as these comments have become, the trash talk (the respectful stuff at least that is actually what you see with true fans) is what makes the rivalry great and fun.

Zona Zone
Mesa, AZ

The irony of it all is that all the complaining envious Ute fans have done over the years in their attempt to disparage BYU contributed to the animus against small-school programs that precluded the Utes from winning a deserved national title in 2009.

Magna Ute Fan
Magna, UT

toosmartforyou, I have one little correction for you. Utah WAS THE ONLY undefeated team in the 2008 football season. In addition to that, Florida lost at home to an unranked cupcake early in the season. Florida barely squeaked by Alabama in the fourth quarter of the SEC championship game. Utah pounded Alabama. Utah got shafted because tradition trumped what happened on the field. Florida didn't earn the championship. They were awarded it, like all the others.

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT


In 2008 that wasn't true. Utah was the only undefeated team left and we weren't invited to the Championship Game nor were we voted national champs, so the changing rules did have an impact. Contrary to your belief.

As far as being too young, actually some of us are old enough to remember the days before LaVell Edwards when we dominated BYU in football. You might look back at a little history and see that we actually lead the overall series, even when you include BYU's glory years under Coach Edwards.

Sandy, UT

@who am i sir

Actually, there were 22 teams invited in '66. Utah was one of the teams which recived a first round bye.

Nobody is knocking Utah's tournament history.

Just learn to enjoy it. Those days are long gone, never to be matched again.

BYU on the other hand, their future is all uphill.

Enjoy Wazzu land.

Sandy, UT

@sid 6.7

"Sorry BYU Fans, I will give BYU credit where credit is due but your team no more deserves the 84 NC then fly over the moon! You know it, I know it and the whole country knows it".

Do you think your opinion has any merit whatsoever to anyone, let alone with BYU fans?

Again, Pay Attention, 5 trophies sit in BYU's Legacy Hall, indicating they were the 1984 National Champions in Football.

This was not a Consensus Conclusion, this was "Unanimous" Conclusion, judged by those in the know at that time. Every historical article notes this fact. Read them and weep.

Take a visit to BYU's Legacy Hall, and educate yourself.

You'll also see:

A Heisman Trophy...Two Outland Trophies...A Doak Walker...4 Davey Obrien's...7 Sammy Baugh Trophies, 16 Consensus All-Americans, 58 All-Americans, 7 Hall of Famers and the list goes on....

BYU does not spend one second of any day trying to impress you. Your ignorance is blissfull....

Now let me introduce U, to the Household of Wazzu in the Land of Obscurity, wher nobody will be able to tell you apart in a couple of years.

Magna, UT

All those trophies, from back in the day, still can't buy you a sniff from a BCS bowl. I guess the glory days are over for you.

Big J
Bountiful, UT

Cougar fans think Ute fans are jealous of BYUs 1984 Football NC. The reality is that we only wish cougar fans would put it in the proper perspective.

In a year where better teams had losses they managed to stay undefeated and defaulted to the NC. Certainly an accomplishment any time you go undefeated.

It is not on the same level as busting the BCS twice and going undefeated. It might equal one BCS bust but not two.

I would much rather have the BCS fame and the PAC-12 invite than a dusty trophy.


Veritas Aequitas
Fruit Heights, UT

Big J | 3:50 p.m. April 26, 2011
Bountiful, UT
Viewing: #10 Utah gymnastics national titles (10)

"Cougar fans think Ute fans are jealous of BYUs 1984 Football NC. The reality is that we only wish cougar fans would put it in the proper perspective.

It is not on the same level as busting the BCS twice and going undefeated. It might equal one BCS bust but not two.

I would much rather have the BCS fame and the PAC-12 invite than a dusty trophy."


Big J, let's put it in perspective then.

Inside LES there is a National Championship banner.

Outside RES are two "bowl" banners. I am waiting for the new one to be unveiled for last years beatdown by the WAC at the "LAS VEGAS BOWL"!!!

Viva, Las Vegas...

BTW, what is BCS "fame"? How many teams play in BCS Bowls every year?

How many teams win an NC every year?

Soooooo... Your "perspective" is that you would prefer to be one of the many, than one of the Elite?

You are correct about one thing. A BCS Bowl is NOT on the same level as a National Championship...

Won't ever be.

Valley Center, KS

Good list. There will always be debate over order but they are all there. I would have ranked the ABA championship higher.

Veritas Aequitas
Fruit Heights, UT

KamUte | 10:36 p.m.
South Jordan, UT

"That is simply wrong. BYU didn't even know they won the NC. It was even a surprise to them. They played 11 "New Mexico State" type teams. Possibly some bias. Ask the national media which is more impressive. Breaking the BCS twice should both be ahead of 1984."

What is simply wrong? Besides you?

BYU knew they won the NC. The trophy is in the case, babe...

11 "New Mexico State" type teams? Was Utah one of those teams that year, KamUte?

Dude, if Utah would have beat BYU that year, this would not even be a topic. But, Utah doesn't beat BYU very often, do they.

"Ask the National Media"?

Do you have the "national media's" phone number, or e-mail address?

KamUte, who do you think "Voted" BYU the NC in 1984? Was it the "national media"...?

Hang your Vegas Bowl Banner at RES against the WAC, prepare for the PAC, and enjoy the paycheck of being the right fielder with headbands, and wristbands that the PAC needed to get a made for TV championship...

Be happy with who you are, and who you aren't....

Farmington, UT


You have your wish. PAC 12 membership, two great teams that broke into the BCS Bowls, and NO national championship. You should just be estatic!

Bountiful, UT

The Jazz championship appearances are more impressive than anything done at the collegiate level. Small market team, that good for that long. Beat only by MJ. Give me a break with all the BYU / Utah talk. Outside of this region, noone really cared much (except maybe Alabama)about the Sugar or Fiesta Bowls. How important was the TCU Rose Bowl win this year? Does anyone remember? Quick who won the college football national championship in '83 and '85? (stop Googling it!). I love my Utah basketball, but the national championship game run - again - noone outside of Utah (except maybe a couple guys in St. Louis now and one in Portland) really gives it a thought. The Jazz's accomplishments were epic and recognized nationally and still are.

Layton, UT

# 3 - Utah's 2005 Fiesta Bowl
Utes beat everybody. Too bad Pittsburgh was the best they could find in the post-season.

BYU played an easy schedule in '84 and to quote the author "Too bad Pittsburgh was the best they could find in the post-season." Pittsburg was a better opponent than a 5-5 Michigan team. The Utes Sugar bowl victory is the most spectacular athletic accomplishment, dismantling a power house SEC team in the National spotlight is by far the best accomplishment by a Utah team.

West Jordan, UT

The comments above regard the populace's fetish with ball sports. BYU's mythical 1984 or Utah's near misses are fine for the corpulent has-beens to discuss as they head to the water cooler many years after their JV careers in men's gymnastics and lacrosse.

The true sports achievement that our mainstream-media-dominated correspondents will never address? 5 girls, living within a driver - 5 iron of the front door of the school, setting a national record that stands today for running 5000m in cross country faster than any other of the 30,000 high schools ever, in any year. An 18:13 average at the Great American Meet, that revolutionized HS cross country and stands today as the greatest achievement in HS running sports. Their efforts launched the Great American Meet in XC, now also an NCAA meet, and 5 little girls from South Jordan, Utah started it all.

No recruits from Vegas, Russia, Orem, or elsewhere like others. Just guts and heart and a national best that still stands. Oh, and the boys from the same school won the US Championship in '95. I'll let you look up what school that was . . .

I Still Can't Say It
Holladay, UT

We all know the Utes 2004 and 2008 undefeated runs were more impressive than the team in Provo's (TIP) 1984 run. TIP didn't beat one ranked team that year.

Also, the biggest sports accomplishment in the history of our Great State isn't on the list. Hands down, the biggest sports feet in Utah history is Utah to the PAC-12. We all know it.

Murray, UT

Utes Fan | 10:58 p.m. April 25, 2011
Salt Lake City, UT
Viewing: #1 BYU's 1984 football national title

I mean no offense to the '84 Cougars, but putting the '84 NC above both Utah BCS bowl victories is ridiculous.

Simple logic proves this.

A national championship is the ultimate accomplishment and will always top winning a bcs bowl and only finishing second or third. And oh how people forget that BYU went 11-1 the year before they won the national championship so BYU went 23-1 over a two-year span. Whats more impressive is they won 11 straight that season and proceeded to win 12 in row in '84 giving the 23 straight wins and a national Championship over a two year span.

Salt Lake City, UT

Lots of comments, none address accomplishments earned on the field or court.

BYU's 1984 football team had an impressive run. No doubt. Give the team full credit. Undefeated is undefeated. The Cougars have the trophy. The accomplishment deserves mention on the list.

It is also true that BYU played 0 teams that ended the year ranked. It's bowl win came against a team with a 6-6 final record. BYU struggled to win 4 or 5 games in 1984. It did little on the field to demonstrate that if it had played a more difficult schedule it would have been undefeated.

But, BYU won the beauty contest that is the NCAA football championship.

No other college football team went undefeated in 1984. Since the teams played different schedules, that fact means little.

BYU's closest competitor was Oklahoma, a team coached by Barry Switzer and known to have several players with, shall we say, undesirable backgrounds.

So, the vote was between LaVell Edwards, the gentlemen genius, and Barry Switzer. Pretty easy.

But, what does that say about what was accomplished on the field?

Utah's 1998 run in the NCAA basketball was a greater accomplishment on the court.

Riddles in the Dark
Olympus Cove, Utah

#1 > #2

Only a jealous rival who is unwilling to accept reality would try to argue otherwise.

BYU finished 1984 on a 24-game winning streak, with two road wins over Top 15 teams, and back-to-back Top 10 finishes; something Utah has never even come close to accomplishing.

Utah's BCS wins pale in comparison.

Schenectady, NY

Utah's '44 NCAA Championship should not be here.

The NIT was the Premier Tournament in 1944 which determined the National Champion. The best teams played there, not the NCAA. This is not debatable.

I agree. He put RSL's 2009 championship behind it saying it was 'nice in a small league way.' Problem is, the NCAAs (the second-tier tourney) were small-time too in 1944 (and that's ignoring how much less popular the whole sport was then than it is today), and the difference between the two is that if you consider the CONCACAF tournament to rank highly, that 2009 championship is what qualified RSL for this tournament. Utah's NCAA tournament didn't help them in the NIT.

There was tougher competition in MLS in 2009, and in women's gymnastics today, than there was for the NCAA tournament in 1944. If it should be rated at all, it should be #10 behind both of those two.

Omaha, NE

I guess for Utah breaking into the most corrupt sports organization (twice) in the history of sports is an accomplishment. I'd take a national title any day.

North Summit 05
Coalville, UT

If it was Utah that won the 84 title the same way BYU did it would be just fine yes I will admit that both BCS seasons were great but not good enough to be number one Utah played a horrible Michigan team to start the 09 season and let me see wasnt that a losing season for Michigan. Let's just see how Utah does this season when they actually play quality teams

Big J
Bountiful, UT

North Summit 05

You are correct about that Michigan team in 08 but Utah beat four teams that year that had final rankings in the top 25 and two of those were in the top 10.

Like I said before, going undefeated is a great accomplishment. Period. Utah has done it twice in the last 10 years and in 08 they were the only undefeated team in the country.


Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT


"A national championship is the ultimate accomplishment and will always top winning a bcs bowl and only finishing second or third. And oh how people forget that BYU went 11-1 the year before they won the national championship so BYU went 23-1 over a two-year span. Whats more impressive is they won 11 straight that season and proceeded to win 12 in row in '84 giving the 23 straight wins and a national Championship over a two year span."

I didn't say it wasn't impressive. It was. Although there were plenty of people nationwide then that did not think it was impressive. Obviously there are people today, as seen in these comments, that are not impressed. Personally, I was then and am impressed now at the BYU '84 team. However, I just think that Utah's two recent perfect seasons and BCS bowl victories is more impressive, given the much greater competition in 2004 and 2008 (particularly in 2008 with Utah's 4 victories over top-25 teams and two vs top-10 teams) vs what existed in '84 - this is the reason for my logic.

Farr West, Utah

All this banter about BYU vs. Utah (both great schools, by the way) completely ignores the biggest flaw in this article. Real Salt Lake won a national PROFESSIONAL championship and that feat is sorely underrated. As is the statement that an RSL win tonight would make the "top ten" list. A victory tonight would give RSL a distinction no other team in the state can claim - a championship that goes a step ABOVE the national level - a continental championship. And don't bother whining about soccer being a minor sport in this country. In most of the other CONCACAF countries that RSL had to beat (as in most of the world) soccer is THE MAJOR SPORT.

Cedar Hills, UT

To allseeingeye - how could the 1984 NC have been a contest between Lavelle and Switzer when Washington beat Oklahoma in their bowl game? Those who cast dispersions on BYU usually claim it was Washington that deserved the NC. Everyone was looking at the first game of the following season - BYU vs. Washington, as the game that would put the argument to rest, because despite being a new season, both teams returned pretty much the same teams. Many people were quite surprised at BYU's victory, and I think everyone was shocked at the lopsided beatdown.

BTW, Washington and BYU beat Michigan by about the same margin in 1984. Most of Michigan's regular-season losses that year occurred after they became depleted by injuries. BYU, with an injured, limping quarterback, beat a very good, fully recovered and healthy Michigan team, that was far better than their record indicated. Still, BYU should never have played any team with a 6-5 record that year, especially since bitter Ute naysayers usually never consider a fair perspective (see KamUte and Sid 6.7 - beaten senseless by any top 20 team - you mean like Washington in the very next game?)

Phoenix, Arizona

So lets get this straight --BYU gets a higher ranking on the list for winning two NIT championships while Utahs 1944 NCAA championship is lower on the list and its 1947 NIT Championship is ignored (when the tourney was in its prime)?

Not to mention Utahs 1944 team beat 1944 NIT team champion St. Johns in a charity game played against each other following the two tourneys.

A flawed list at best.

Cedar Hills, UT


"Utah doesn't beat BYU very often, do they."

How about 11 times out of of the last 20, 2 of the last 3 and SCOREBOARD!

Is that "often" enough for you?

Tuscon Ute

Don't expect logic from the Dnews or the byU homers that run it. Nice point though.

Cedar Hills, UT

Too all those questioning the 1944 team as the National Champions...

The Utes have a banner up in the rafters that says "NCAA Tournament Champions- 1944". Duke has one from last year and UCONN from this year that says the same thing.

You all can try and discredit it all you want but it's "in the books" as you all like to say about the debacle of a "NC" in 1984.

Let's just see who gets one next. My bet would be on a PAC 12 team though :)

Highland, UT


You're right the banner says "NCAA Tournament Champions- 1944".

It does not say "National Champions- 1944" and the reason it doesn't is because the "NCAA Tournament Championship- 1944" was not the "National Championship- 1944".

On the otherhand if you drive over to Legacy Hall you will see several trophies awarded by several different presitgious organizations which state "National Champions- 1984" and that is because the "National Championship- 1984" is actually the "National Championship- 1984".


Bountiful, UT

All of these whining Ute fans show just how insecure they really are by bashing BYU's NC. Rather than bringing more attention to BYU, how about just be proud of your own accomplishments.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

This list can't get more self serving than to list a mythical championship game with a win over a 6-6 opponent, as the state's Greatest Athletic Achievement! Please!

Highland, UT

Great point gordie. The only way it could get any more self serving is if it had listed a 4th place finish as the greater acheivment.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

If one as a loss in one year and goes undefeated the next year, one cannot be "basically undefeated two straight years." Unless of course, you are still in remedial math or you want to create fantasy out of reality!

But then, constantly mentioning something that happened over a quarter of a century ago, like it has impact today, is a fantasy dish Cougar fans have been serving ever since then.

Personally, it has grown stale, and I would prefer to ask, "What have you done lately?"

Answer: No BCS National Championship games. No BSC Bowl appearances. No membership in a BSC conference.

Reality is always a tougher pill to swallow than the pablum of fantasy.

Highland, UT


You actually believe you've accomplished something don't you? You do realize you are just some girl watching games don't you? I don't think you do realize any of that. You really think you have something to do with this stuff.


Cottonwood Heights, UT

Bluto you knowledge of College Basketball history is in need of a refresher.

1) The NIT was not more pretentious than the NCAA tournament in 1944, the two tournaments were of roughly equal level until 1950 (see below)... in fact for three years on the 1940's (1943, 1944, and 1945) the winners of the NIT and NCAA tournaments played each other in a Game to Benefit the Red Cross (it was WWII of course) in each of those years the NCAA champ won. In 1944 Utah beat the NIT champ, St John's to be the undisputed College Champion.

2) If you love the NIT then note Utah won the NIT in 1947 (why is this not on the list).

3) There was famous point shaving scandal in the NIT in 1950 that crippled the NIT. From 1951 on, the NCAA tournament was the clear #1 tournament, BYU's NIT wins are NOT on par with NCAA tournament success.

4) If fact in 1966 Utah won the WAC and went to the NCAA tournament, to the Final Four no less, that was much bigger accomplishment than BYU winning the Not Invited Tournament in '66.

ogden, utah

The Salt Lake Trappers in 1987 were more impressive than any of those feats. BYU is garbage, Utah isn't much better, so when it comes to accomplishments, The Trappers take it hands down. End of Story

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