Comments about ‘Utah football: Beat BYU or go to a bowl? Utah fans say rivalry game victory more important’

Return to article »

Published: Tuesday, May 28 2013 1:10 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Spokane Ute
Spokane, WA

@ My Good BYU Friends:

The polls are subjective; no two are the aame. They are all made up of various factors. Some what of a popularity contest. Your angle is like saying that Gonzaga was better than Louisville in hoops this year. Not true, but if that's what you believe; OK.

The game score is FACT. It's not subjective, it can't be debated or minipulated. Hence the term "Score Board"! Make no mistake, I can live with that and I sleep quite well. No reason to get all bent out of shape because some one has a different and biased opinion.

To each his own. It does make for a interesting and lively debate though.

Have a good evening and a good weekend.


Payson, UT


Texas A&M finished 20 that year in the final BSS, does that count?

Y Grad / Y Dad
Richland, WA

Spokane Ute
Spokane, WA

@ My Good BYU Friends:

Friend AND neighbor!

Points well spoken and well taken! But teams also play better or worse from week to week, and comparing the FACTS of scores from game to game creates conundrums. That's why we have subjective polls: to try to make sense of facts that don't add up.

Go ZAGS! Go Utes! But first and forever, go Cougs!

Baltimore, MD


@Talkinsports: "Texas A&M finished 20 that year in the final BSS, does that count?"


The final BCS standings are calculated at the end of the regular season, BEFORE the bowls, and are only used to determine the two BCS championship teams and which teams are eligible for at-large BCS consideration. The Coaches Poll officially crowns the BCS champion, NOT the BCS standings.

Tennessee destroyed Texas A&M 38-7 in the Cotton Bowl and knocked the Aggies completely out of the Final AP and Coaches Polls, so no, the Texas A&M didn't finish in the Top 25.

Baltimore, MD

Spokane Ute

Game scores are FACT, but so are these:

BYU beat Utah State who beat Utah who beat BYU.

Of the three, which team is best?

Based on head-to-head comparisons alone, there's absolutely no way of determining which team was best.

That's why overall records are used to determine which team is best.

It may be subjective, but so is the ranking system that ranks SOS. Win/loss records compared against a subjective SOS yields Sagarin and other computer rankings. Human voters do the same thing, only they're much better at factoring in intangibles such as weather, injuries, home and away games, short weeks, travel fatigue, rivalries, and enumerable other factors to rank teams according their overall performance.

Obviously, there isn't a perfect system, but when you have a pool of over 120 teams, there's no possible way to make a final determination based on head-to-head scores alone.

The Final AP and Coaches Polls rank the Top 25. For comparisons below the Top 25, the only impartial rankings we have are Sagarin and the like. It makes no sense at all to use Sagarin's SOS rankings, but ignore his team rankings.

Payson, UT


Good information there, thanks for setting me straight. How about Pitt? They finished 25 in the final AP poll right? The truth of the matter is neither Utah in 04 or BYU in 84 beat anyone worthy of their final rankings but they had great years and the voters felt they deserved what they got, a top 5 spot and a national championship. Considering USC should not have been allowed in the 04 game, correct me if I'm wrong but that title has been taken from them, it would have be fun to see what would have happened if Utah had gotten the chance. The same can be said about BYU in 84. It would have been nice to see Washington against the Cougars. Both teams were products of the system that was in place. Switch systems and neither team gets the chance. Utah was not the only undefeated team in 04 so I doubt they would have gotten the chance had the 84 system been in place. The 84 BYU team would have the same drawback with the BCS system of the strength of schedule. Both BYU and Utah had good teams those respective years.

Provo, UT

1984 BYU was, at best, the 4th best football season to come out of the state of Utah, and not even the best at BYU.

In order:

1) Utah - 2008
2) Utah - 2004
3) BYU - 1996
4) BYU - 1984

Snack PAC
Olympus Cove, Utah


Thanks for that interesting and obviously highly biased list Utah troll.

The truth is the best seasons, in order, are:

1) #1/#1 BYU 1984
2) #2/#4 Utah 2008
3) #4/#4 Utah 2004
4) #4/#5 BYU 1996
5) #7/#7 BYU 1983

The best teams, in order, are:

1) #7/#7 BYU 1983
2) #4/#5 BYU 1996
3) #1/#1 BYU 1984
4) #4/#5 Utah 2004
5) #2/#4 Utah 2008

Sandy, UT

BlueRampage - If you are loosing to the "doormat" of the PAC it does not say much for your bowl appearance. Yes, I would rather beat BYU and go 5-7, than go 7-5 and play San Diego St. in the Holiday Bowl. I still have more respect for BYU football than San Diego St.

While BYU has a proud football heritage, BYU fans talking smack to the Utes is silly. Yes a national championship beating a 6-5 Michigan team 29 years ago is nice. What have you done lately? Utah has owned you for two decades. (7-13 with your average margin of victory at 3.3 points is nothing to write home about). Your historical record against Utah is not much better (53-31-4).

You can tell your grand children about that magical '84 season, or do something in the present like break the BCS (Utes 1) have another undefeated season (Utes 2) or dominate your bowl games (BYU 6-4, Utah 9-1). Until then, realize that you are #2 in the state and potentially #3.

Oh, and can you stop wearing Utah State's colors?

Fashion Police
Olympus Cove, Utah


It's common knowledge that teams change from September to the end of the season - some improve, some become worse.

The BYU team that lost by 3 at Notre Dame and stomped Georgia Tech, would have crushed the Utah team that BYU played in September.

Provo, UT

@ snack WAC

I was hoping for a more reasonable response from someone. It is interesting though, that you list 84 BYU as the 3rd best team. So you admit final rankings aren't the end-all-be-all in how good a team was, especially in the 80's when strength of schedule was meaningless for some reason.

There is a reason why the system has changed so nobody could barely squeak by a bunch of horrible teams and be considered national champions. It's ridiculous. Anyone outside of Provo would agree that what BYU did in 96 was more impressive. They clobbered decent teams, and beat good ones. Take away the unfortunate loss to Washington, and they could've been playing for a LEGIT championship.

What's so amazing about the 2004 utes is their average margin of victory was 26 points, and their closest game was two touchdowns. That's insane. They beat then ranked #19 Pitt (not that impressive) 35-7 (impressive) in an actual BCS bowl. MUCH more impressive than barely beating bad teams, then barely beating a bad team from a horrible conference in your bowl.

Snack PAC
Olympus Cove, Utah


"So you admit final rankings aren't the end-all-be-all in how good a team was, especially in the 80's when strength of schedule was meaningless for some reason."

I don't admit any such thing.

Let me educate my jealous little friend.

The rankings are for an individual season and national championships are seldom won by teams that appear out of no where.

BYU's record from 1979 to 1983 set the table for BYU's national championship season.

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

Five straight WAC championships, four Top 12 finishes and a combined 53-9(86%) in five years established BYU's credibility.

An undefeated season in 1984, combined with teams like Oklahoma losing to Kansas, Nebraska and Washington not even winning their conference championships and then turning down invitations to play #1-ranked BYU, and Florida not even playing in a bowl, combined to make BYU the most deserving team to be crowned National Champions by a consensus of ALL FIVE major selecting organizations of the day.

Provo, UT

@snack WAC

No one needs to be educated on football by someone who just said they believe both 83 and 84 byu were better than both the 2004 and 2008 Utes.

"National championships are seldom won by teams who come out of nowhere."

Yeah, they're usually won by teams who beat several other good teams. Or, you know, at least one. It's probably why your own quarterback from that 84 team said there is no way that would be considered a national championship by today's standards. And also why you'll always be trying to justify it.


Riverton Cougar
Riverton, UT

As far as the 1984 season goes, you can ask a Utah fan who they believe the best team was. Most of the time, they will reply with an answer other than BYU. That's all fine until you ask them "How do you know?" That's when they can't come up with an answer other than strength of schedule. They can't give any logical reasons as to why BYU's NC team was inferior to any other team that year. They'll give a team name, but no logic to back them up.

Here's your chance, Ute fans. Tell us why BYU wasn't the best team in 1984.

Riverton Cougar
Riverton, UT

As far as comparing teams from different seasons, that isn't necessarily a fair thing to do, and could be highly inaccurate anyway. Was Utah's 2004 team better than their 2008 team? Possibly; it's hard to know for sure. And comparing teams from different decades, the game can change. If (note the word "IF", since it's difficult to prove) Utah's 2008 team was better than BYU's 1984 team, it could merely be because talent has improved overall in the last 20+ years. Similarly, BYU's 2011-2012 basketball team that barely went past the playoff play-in game could be considered much better than Utah's champion basketball teams of the '40s.

Was Utah's 2008 team better than BYU's 1984 team? Maybe.

Was Utah's 2008 team better than BYU's 1996 team? Maybe.

Was BYU's 1983 team better than Utah's 2008 team? Maybe.

Was Utah's 2004 team better than Utah's 2008 team? Maybe.

We can't tell for sure. All we DO know is that in 1984, BYU fielded the best team in the nation, and as a result was awarded the national championship by all 5 organizations of the day.

Provo, UT


Thank you, your comment was reasonable. Until the last sentence at least. That's partially my point- we have no idea whether BYU fielded the best team in the nation in 1984. We don't know if they even fielded one of the 20 best teams because they never beat anyone who was decent. I'd like to think they were top ten, but who knows? They were barely squeaking past bad teams. They also pounded some bad teams, but they simply weren't tested. Boscoe said they would've finished 4th by today's standards.

I agree with you about the difficulty of comparing teams from different eras. What you can compare, andhwhatisfuntodiscuss, reasonably, is a season's body of work: What the team actually accomplished onthefield. The 96 cougs were more impressive than 84. Winning the cotton bowl is BYU's biggest on-field accomplishment.

The 2004 Utes may have been better than 2008, they just didn't accomplish as much. But when someone starts telling me that barely beating the worst teams college football had to offer is more impressive than beating some of the best, including Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, then I know we aren't having a reasonable discussion.

Riddles in the Dark
Olympus Cove, Utah


Why do you continue to ignore Air Force(8-4) as a very good team. The Falcons finished #24 in the Final AP poll. Although, not technically ranked because the 1984 poll only included the Top 20, Air Force did finish in the Top 25, one place HIGHER than the best team Utah beat in 2004, #25 Pittsburgh(8-4)

#2 Washington and #4 Nebraska both turned down invitations to play #1 BYU in a national championship game in the Holiday Bowl. If you want to blame someone for BYU winning a championship without being "challenged", blame the Huskies and Huskers.

BYU would have gladly played either team and would have had a very good chance of beating either.

Gilbert, AZ


What BYU accomplished in 1984 was obviously impressive enough to convince the majority of nationwide panels of sportswriters and coaches that BYU was MORE deserving than ANY OTHER team of being selected the 1984 National Champions than any other team.

Unfortunately for U, the Utes didn't do enough in 2004 or 2008 do deserve the same acknowledgment.

btw, despite your mischaracterization of Bosco's statement, he also said that he felt that BYU deserved their #1 ranking.

Provo, UT

@ Riddles in the Dark

Thank you for the reasonable comment. Yes, BYU's most impressive win was Air Force, a team that went 8-4 by being in the horrendous WAC that year. But the cougs won this one by 5 points. All this proves is that they were 5 points better than the 24th best team. They also beat Hawaii by 5, Wyoming by 3, an awful Michigan team by 7 and an absolutely terrible Pitt by 6. Props for winning all those games, but that's a lot of one-possession decisions against bad teams. Hardly indicative of the true best team in the nation. The Y's strength of schedule was the 3rd worst in all of college football.

Since you brought up comparing them to the undefeated 2004 Utes; their closest game was a 14 point win, average margin of victory was 26 points, and they beat 19th ranked Pitt in a BCS bowl 35-7. And all that against the 57th best strength of schedule (compared to 96th). How could anyone say this wasn't a MUCH more impressive season?

You're right though, it is a shame that neither team got the opportunity to play a better opponent.

Provo, UT

@ Riddles in the Dark

To your last point, I am happy that BYU was awarded the championship in 84. Even though they avoided any good teams to get there, they were still ranked number 1 at the end of the season, and should've been able to play Washington in a bigger bowl. It served the system right, and completely changed things. It sorely needed to happen, and I'm happy it was BYU who got the job done.

I just have to laugh when people on these boards sometimes say the 84 cougs were picked "the exact same way a champion is chosen today."

No. The system is still broken, but nothing compared to the debacle it was back then.

"If strength of schedule had mattered as much, there is no way BYU would've been crowned National Champions in 1984." -Sports Illustrated

You couldn't win a championship today without playing at least one good team. And even then, well, see Rick Riley's column about the 2008 Utes.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments