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Published: Monday, Aug. 8 2011 8:00 a.m. MDT

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Riddles in the Dark
Olympus Cove, Utah


Skywalker's argument was that you can't have a mediocre year the year prior to a national championship run if you're not a legacy program.

Since BYU had a great year the year prior to its national championship season, the legacy exception doesn't apply.

BYU 1979-1984: 66-9(88%), 5 Top 12 finishes, back-to-back Top 7 finishes
ranked #7/#7 in 1983

1979 11-1 #13/#12
1980 12-1 #12/#12
1981 11-2 #13/#11
1982 8-4 unranked
1983 11-1 #7/#7
1984 13-0 #1/#1

Utah 1999-2004: 48-22(69%), 2 Top 21 finishes, one Top 4 finish
ranked #21/#21 in 2003

1999 9-3 unranked
2000 4-7 unranked
2001 8-4 unranked
2002 5-6 unranked
2003 10-2 #21/#21
2004 12-0 #4/#5

Utah 2003-2008: 59-16(79%), 3 Top 21 finishes, two Top 4 finishes
unranked in 2007

2003 10-2 #21/#21
2004 12-0 #4/#5
2005 7-5 unranked
2006 8-5 unranked
2007 9-4 unranked
2008 13-0 #2/#4

Riddles in the Dark
Olympus Cove, Utah


Until we have a major college football playoff, every national champion has been and always will be "elected".

USC won the AP National Championship in 2003 without playing in the Bogus Championship Series "championship" game.

Gilbert, AZ


The difference between dependent Utah and independent BYU is the Cougars will now be judged entirely on their own merits, whereas the Utes will be judged by the success of their associates.

Except for USC, BYU, by themselves, has won more concensus national championships (#1 in both polls, AP and Coaches), than the rest of the PAC 12 COMBINED!

Irvine, CA

...Utah needs to do well to show that teams like Utah, TCU, BYU, and BSU are just as good as the BCS teams...

It's too funny that you group BYU in with Utah, TCU and BSU--3 of the teams in mid-majors that actually made it to BCS, won BCS games and remained unbeaten at end of season--while BYU hasn't done squat in the BCS era. BYU is not even close to Utah, TCU and BSU.

Orem, UT

"BYU hasn't done squat in the BCS era"

Bronco: 4 AP Top 25 finishes
Kyle: 2 AP Top 25 finishes

BYU back-to-back Top 15 finishes in 2006-2007

Utah has NEVER had back-to-back Top 15 finishes, ever

Provo, UT

@SoCalUtahFan "while BYU hasn't done squat in the BCS era."

BYU's the first team in the BCS era to go independent, get an exclusive contract with ESPN, get recognized as a national brand program by being put on a minimum of 10 games on the ESPN family of networks this season, and utilize their own network to show sporting events, etc.

Utah's a team that backed into the PAC 12, with a horrible Colorado Buffaloes squad, for the sole purpose of gaining access to the Salt Lake and Denver TV markets.

Apparently the PAC 12 finds the "Most Important Team in the Nation" so important, they decided to put their first PAC 12 game EVER (against USC) on Versus...and didn't schedule any other U conference games on national TV.

Colorado gets an ESPN2 date with USC...seems like a slap in the face, don't you think?

Basically, the PAC 12 said to Utah "Welcome to the 'big boys' table...here's the high chair and a bib, sit still and don't make waves".

Chris Hill was happy to oblige.

But there's always basketball to look forward to, right?

Oh wait...never mind :)

Go Cougars!

Riverton Cougar
Riverton, Utah

"It's too funny that you group BYU in with Utah, TCU and BSU"

I hate to break it to you, but EVERYONE except BYU haters groups BYU in with those other three. Just because last year they went 7-6 doesn't suddenly make them irrelevant and just because Utah had a couple of great seasons does not make them national powerhouses.

Chrissy Bee
Atlanta, GA

BYU had a down year last year. All great teams go through that on occasion. Texas last year, for example. The utes are about to find out what that is like, since their memories are such that they cannot recall what was their typical end result prior to just seven years ago.

In the utes way of thinking, football was invented in 2004. It never existed prior to that year. But considering their sorry performance on the field for the previous century, I would not want to remember it either.

2011, meet pre-2004. Welcome back to irrelevance.


Wow. I can only think of one place where "top 15 finishes" is the consistent rebuttal to actual BCS wins, to show dominance in the BCS era. Welcome to Provo folks.

Highland, UT


And I can only think of one place where finishing 2nd or 4th is somehow better than finishing 1st. Welcome to "the hill" folks.

BWhineU Not
San Diego, CA

@trueblu, @riverton coug, @truecoug1...

blah, blah, blah...BYU still hasn't done squat to step up to the BCS level to establish itself as a BCS-caliber team.

No BCS bowl game qualification--let alone BCS bowl win.

BYU isn't in the same group with Utah, TCU and BSU.

BYU, though, may be in the top-tier of the 100 or so mid-major teams, but behind TCU (which is getting into Big East soon) and BSU--I will not argue with you here.

Irvine, CA

BYU still hasn't done squat to get into playing in BCS bowls--can't hang with the big boys, can't be compared to the big boys.


Magna, UT

OK, Ok, I give props to u for two BCS wins and an invite to a BCS conference. u have a right to beat your chests and talk smack.

Just two years ago, most if not all u fans despised the BCS (HH, CB, MGR and others not included), now many of u worship it like it's the end. u have arrived but you snub your noses at those who haven't or won't ever arrive because u are now one of them.

Even the dregs of the BCS conferences are on the dole and have become dependent, unable to shed the heavy hand of the cartel bosses. They become the whipping boys for the strong and mighty.

Who knows how it will all play out, but u being the most important team in the country may or may not be so.

I contend that BYU's independence will have far more influence on the future college football landscape than little ole u.

In the mean time I hope Utah does well in the PAC12 and I hope you keep the perspective of where you came from and I hope BYU fans do the same.

Ivins, UT

Motorbike...that is surely a cute little post. I am prowd of you.

Bountiful, UT

At some point BYU fans are going to have to accept the fact that their primary run of glory was in the previous century.

The rest of the nation seems to have come to that conclusion, as even with the Mighty Heaps and an impending national championship, the Cougars were only ranked #43 in the coaches preseason poll.

I suspect either Ole Miss or Texas will end this year's Quest for Perfection.

Fully Exposed
Irvine, CA

...At some point BYU fans are going to have to accept the fact that their primary run of glory was in the previous century...

What do you mean?
Do you mean like 1984 was in the last century?



Even as a Utah fan, I love the BCS and I hope it never goes away.

Escondido, CA

BYU fans just can't leave any article on the Utes alone, can they?

It's called sour grapes.

Lees Summit, MO

BYU's independence will not change the football landscape. The name schools are not looking to go independent, no matter how well BYU does. Texas, for example, wants their own network and conference affiliation too. Alabama, USC, Oklahoma, Florida, Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, and other traditional powers are not looking for independence. It is much more likely that super conferences will emerge and function as a de facto play-off system. There is more money, regional recognition, and structure in this approach over the long run.

Utah is not the most important team in the country this year. They are not likely to be a factor in the national championship race or finish higher than second in their PAC-12 division. They are not likely to be as weak as BYU fans would like for them to be either.

The importance of BYU's football program is consistently overstated by BYU fans as well. BYU does have a national following, driven by transplanted Latter-day Saints. As an ever larger percentage of the Latter-day Saints are educated elsewhere it is possible that this following will be diluted over time.

Springville, UT

@ Westcrust

Ute trolls just can't leave any article on the Cougars alone, can they?

... Cougars land Hinds (168 comments), this article (59 comments)

It's called jealousy.

... back to the story, 'Utes most important team in college football'

You're kidding? Right? Laughable at best.

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