correction...Brian Johnson didn't win the Sugar Bowl MVP in 2005...it was
I was at the game. I remember Pitt fans talking trash about "who did you
beat". Our reply, "After we throttle you, still no one. We want
Great season and great memories that I'll never forget. Thanks to everyone
involved with the 2004 team; and congratulations! You all changed Utah football
The BCS did everything it could to minimize Utah's year by refusing to
match Auburn and Utah when both were undefeated. The did match USC and Texas (I
believe) both undefeated and then declared the winner would be the National
Champion. Had they matched Utah with Auburn one would have ended the season
undefeated - leaving it and the USC/Texas winner as the two undefeated with fans
demanding for one more game between the winners for a more valid national
champion. Utah's win over Pittsburgh was great and leaving the stadium I
felt I had watched the pinnacle of Utah football. Little did I know 2008 would
reach a new height!
I think without question the 2004 team was better. The only game you felt the
Utes were really tested in was the game against Air Force, who was actually
pretty good that year. They didn't get the sexy opponent in the BCS Bowl
game as they did with Bama in 2009 but the stats don't lie, the offense was
much better in 2004 and with both Urban and Whit in control of both sides of the
ball, this team was darn good.
Who am I sir, USC-Texas was the next season, the 04-05 season was USC-Oklahoma.
USC had a very dominant team that year as well, and I think the only team that
would've beaten Utah, but Auburn or Oklahoma would've been much more
interesting than Pitt.
The thing I remember about the 2004 Fiesta Bowl-winning team was how incredibly
dominant they were in each game. They didn't have a game closer than 14
points. As I watched those games in person, I was struck by the fact that Smith
and his offense could easily have scored into the 70's and 80's
against most all of the teams they faced. Sheer domination. And I would have
given anything to see how the Utes would have stacked up against USC and Auburn.
I'm very confident we would have beaten either team. What a year to
remember! Go Utes!
That was an awesome season. Much like the 2008 season, it left me wondering how
Utah would have done against the so called National Champion that year. They
beat Alabama by more than Florida did in 2008, and didn't lose a game; like
Florida did to Ole Miss. Would they have beaten Florida? Maybe, maybe not; we
will never know. The BCS was like a really, really good book; with a horrible
ending. Go Utes!
Memorable times, memorable players and coaches. Let's never forget, it was
Ronnie-Mac who put the program back on it's feet and it was his recruits
that did what they did under Urban and Whitt. Go Utes.
Who am I sir?Utah 2004 only beat three regular season opponents with
winning records, none better than 7-5, Utah didn't beat any ranked teams
during the regular season, and the Utes were only ranked #6 in the final BCS
standings.What made U think you deserved a chance to play in the BCS
Oh it does not matter it is in the past who cares.
"The Utes, he continued, were determined to show that the BCS setup was not
only unfair but kind of wrong." - Alex SmithIt has been a while
since I have heard from Ute fans on this subject...since about 2008.How the view changes from the foot of the throne.
My sources are also telling me Harvey Langi has already changed his mind again -
a couple days at byU was enough!Go UTES!
pleblian,The Utes knocked down the door and forced their way in.Your team cites 30 year old accomplishments and grovels about unearned
Yeah remember when the utes could make it to a bowl game?
Utah may have been the first BCS buster, but Boise State is clearly the best BCS
buster. I think head-to-head competition proves that.
utebusters is right. Beating bad teams in 1984 was way harder.
Great time, great game,great atmosphere. It was then repeated 4 years later in
New Orleans. The Utes and the players made the state proud. Something the
state had not seen before and to do it twice in 4 years was incredible!
What a great year that was!! The university and its sports programs are still
benefiting from what that team accomplished.
That was a great year for the UTES. I enjoyed the reminiscence. Thank you for
publishing that story.
Glory daysWell they'll pass you by.Glory daysIn the
wink of a young girl's eye.Glory days, glory days.-Bruce Springsteen
Joe Schmoe,Yeah, remember when your team could beat the Utes? Too bad, LaVell is never coming back. lol.
Mormon Ute, you are right, it opened the doors for other teams in the BCS era.
Its pretty incredible what the three big teams from Utah have accomplished on
the national stage. The state has a great tradition of great football. Im
excited for the season to start. Go Utes, Cougs, and Aggies!
2004...a season that dreams are made of. The Utah Utes busted the BCS and
busted onto the national stage, and now a member of the Pac-12. I never thought
this would be possible.Exceptional article, Dirk. Thanks! IronmanSANTA CLARA, UTI gave you a
'Like' for that one. The 2004 and 2008 seasons were pivotal in
ushering the Utes into the Pac-12. Clearly, the best and brightest glory days
for the University of Utah are yet to come.
Ironman,I'm working on a dream,Though sometimes it feels so far
away ...I'm working on a dream,And I know it will be mine someday. Bruce
Well, they finally got the idea when they decided to match Alabama with Utah in
the Sugar Bowl in 2009. They thought that Utah would be a patsy for the Tide.
I was there, with my family, sitting among Alabama fans, who were totally
frustrated.Utah should have been ranked number 1 in the nation,
being the only team to go undefeated in 2008. TCU, who Utah beat in the regular
season beat the Boise State Broncos in the Poinsettia Bowl, but like 2005, they
didn't get to be ranked no. 1 in the nation.Utah frustrated the
heck out of Saban and his crew, 31-17, the same crew that had the no.1
recruiting class in the nation in 2009, went on to win the National
Championship, going undefeated.Now that they are in the PAC12, Utah
kids realize that Utah kids can play with the big boys and are choosing to go
out of state (California, Oregon, Washington) to play. Too bad. They will come
back to Utah after it is all over and wished they had stayed and played for the
home team, but such is the effect of success.
mufasta,No, Utah state and byU haven't accomplished much on the
national stage in several decades. And no, simply having a top 25
finish is not doing something on the national state - 25 teams do it every
year.Try doing something that only a couple teams in the nation
do(if that) - like go undefeatedGO UTES!Go Pac 12
It is interesting to note how there is are lot less comments in this article
than BYU articles.
@uteBusters"Utah 2004 only beat three regular season opponents with
winning records, none better than 7-5, Utah didn't beat any ranked teams
during the regular season"Sounds like 1984 BYU.
@Big 12 call yet?Yeah if only. A lot of people have talked smack on
Langi, but I am one fan that would not mind having him stay at Utah. He had one
year at Utah as a true freshman and we can't tell anything from that. Good
luck to him. At least he finally talked to Whitt.
A BCS Bowl is nice, and I remember being happy for Utah then, and for the Sugar
Bowl later. When you get a National Championship and a Heisman Trophy, come back
to gloat. In the annals of college football, there is no category for "BCS
Buster" and no one will remember in 20 years. But the 1984 undisputed
National Championship will always be there and the 1990 Heisman as well (along
with a few Outland, Maxwell and Doak Walker awards that no player from Utah has
ever even sniffed). But at least your PAC10+2 stickers are nice.
@ eric2002Yes, what a fantastic season 1984 was. Getting that fast
pass to the National Championship* (NC*) .Winning the NC* without beating a
single ranked team, by beating only one team with a winning record, and
squeaking by a 6-6 Michigan team. What a great NC*. Time to re-fill the time
Congrats on having 2 BCS victories, as a BYU fan I am genuinely envious of that
achievement. However, Utah is a flop in the pac-10.5 (0.5 for Cal, 0.5 for
Colorado, 0.5 for utah). What was all that talk about being ready to compete at
a higher level? Utah has lost more games than it has won since joining the
pac-10.5, something they probably never thought would happen. In fact,
Utah's conference record has declined every year since it joined the
pac-10.5. Sure, it's a tougher schedule than what you had in the MWC.
Sure, it's probably a harder SOS than BYU's. But utah was also the
one saying it could handle the pressure, that it was "ready for the big
time." Apparently not.
re: "Utah 2004 only beat three regular season opponents with winning
records, none better than 7-5, Utah didn't beat any ranked teams during the
regular season, and the Utes were only ranked #6 in the final BCS standings.What made U think you deserved a chance to play in the BCS championship
game?"It's interesting that not a single Utah fan even
tried to answer the question; Utah fans can dish criticism, but they obviously
can't take it when it's thrown back at them.
eric2002x,The Utes did everything they could those two seasons, same
as BYU did in 1984. The difference is the Utes did it twice. You can't
fault the Utes for the skewed opinions of the poll voters.At least
being in the Pac 12 gives us the opportunity to play for a title. How does BYU
fit into that?
eric2002xThe jealousy is literally oozing out.
SchneeRe: "Utah 2004 only beat three regular season opponents
with winning records, none better than 7-5, Utah didn't beat any ranked
teams during the regular season""Sounds like 1984
BYU."Truthfully, it doesn't.BYU 1984 beat four
regular season opponents with winning records, three of them on the road,
including Air Force(8-4), which finished #24 in the Final AP poll, and destroyed
their bowl opponent, Virginia Tech.Although technically unranked,
because the AP only "ranked" the Top 20 in 1984, Air Force finished
higher in the Final AP poll than Utah's Fiesta Bowl opponent, Pittsburgh,
which finished #25 in the Final AP poll.Also, unlike the 2004
season, BYU was the only undefeated team in 1984. BYU managed to avoid the
upsets that other contenders couldn't.
@ericI enjoyed your humorous post, claiming the 1984 disputed
championship was greater than Utah's two BCS bowl victories. Remember, BYU
beat a very weak schedule on their way to defeating a 6-6 Michigan team in a
minor bowl. But the rules weren't yet in place to stop a non-major team
from coming out on top. What Utah did in 2004 was much harder, defeating every
time by at least two touchdowns, and then defeating BCS Pittsburgh by four
touchdowns in the BCS Fiesta Bowl. But the most impressive season by
any team in the state was 2008, when Utah defeated four ranked teams on their
way to crushing an Alabama team that had been ranked #1 for 5 straight weeks.
They beat Alabama farther than did one-loss Florida, who ended up being given
the supposed #1 championship only because the power conferences were not about
to repeat what happened in 1984.By the way, what has BYU done on a
national scale over the past three decades?
Two BCS bowl wins == PAC 12 conference membership. Big thanks to Urban Meyer for
putting the U on the football map.
@Whatsnu"BYU was the only undefeated team in 1984. BYU managed
to avoid the upsets that other contenders couldn't."Because
BYU managed to avoid playing any good college football teams. It was the weakest
schedule in the entire country.
@65TossPowerTrapSalmon, IDUtah may have been the first BCS
buster, but Boise State is clearly the best BCS buster. I think head-to-head
competition proves that.-------------If you did a little
research you would know that without Utah's 2004 season, Boise would NEVER
have played in a BCS game. Go to the BCS website, under "BCS selections
history".On that page search for "Other teams qualifying
automatically". The ONLY four teams under the original top 6 qualification
rule to bust the BCS were:1. 2004 No. 6 Utah 2. 2008 No. 6
Utah3. 2009 No. 3 TCU3. 2010 No. 4 TCU"Prior to
2005, non-BCS schools had to finish in the top six to get an automatic berth.
That meant the likes of Tulane (12-0, No. 10 in 1998) and Marshall (13-0, No. 12
in 1999) didn't get a shot. Utah did break through, finishing sixth in
2004." -- Denis Dodd (CBS)Boise State was never
ranked in the top 6 in the BCS, only when the rule changed to top 12 did they
qualify. What about BYU? Well even a top 12 standard was too much of a hurdle.
SchneeSalt Lake City, UT@uteBusters"Utah 2004 only
beat three regular season opponents with winning records, none better than 7-5,
Utah didn't beat any ranked teams during the regular season"Sounds like 1984 BYU.-------------No it doesn't.
We actually beat a final ranked team.
@WhatsnuAlthough technically unranked, because the AP only
"ranked" the Top 20 in 1984, Air Force finished higher in the Final AP
poll than Utah's Fiesta Bowl opponent, Pittsburgh, which finished #25 in
the Final AP poll.-----------WRONG!* Air
Force was tied with Notre Dame with 26 votes each and un-ranked in the final
poll.* Utah throttled AP #19 Pitt who dropped to final AP #25 with
GoRed"I enjoyed your humorous post, claiming the 1984 disputed
championship was greater than Utah's two BCS bowl victories."LOL!Don't kid yourself.We all know that there
isn't a Utah fan alive who wouldn't trades Utah's Fiesta and
Sugar Bowl trophies for a Crystal Football National Championship trophy in a
@ truthsandwichLets not exaggerate. It was the second weakest
schedule in the entire country...
@uteBustersDid I say we deserved to play in the championship game?
I said the BCS pairings matched two undefeated teams but refused to match up the
other two undefeated teams! Why because there would then have been two
undefeated teams which would have beaten the only other two undefeated teams.
If they had and Utah happened to beat Auburn then their credentials would have
been much improved and fans would have wanted a clear national champion but by
matching Utah up with the Big East champion - Pittsburgh fans could claim Utah
did not really beat anybody much like you are saying now.This is the same
logic that they used in pairing TCU and Boise State in a BCS bowl. They avoided
the embarrassment of two small conference champions beating more high profile
and they could claim that the winner had only beaten another non BCS team. That is why it is so impressive Utah, Boise State, and TCU were able to rise
above all efforts of the BCS system to "hold them down". And all three
earned invitations to BCS conferences.
U's little brother:"We all know that there isn't a
Utah fan alive who wouldn't trades Utah's Fiesta and Sugar Bowl
trophies for a Crystal Football National Championship trophy in a heart
beat."Don't be too sure about that. I doubt that there
would be many Ute fans who would trade even ONE BCS bowl trophy for a Crystal
one if it meant having to constantly try to white-out the asterisk assigned to
it, on account of having not actually "earning" it. You "backed
in" to that title, and it's considered one of the most laughable titles
in the history of college football. And that has to be pretty embarrassing.
On the other hand, Ute fans have nothing to be embarrassed about for
2004 or 2008. We still get to hold our heads high. Cougar fans can only
fantasize about that. I wouldn't be surprised if there would be a large
(albeit embarrassingly silent) contingency of Y fans who would trade happily
trade places with Utah.
@ Y's little brotherI wouldn't trade Utah two BCS seasons
for BYU's 1984 season.
Big Picture ComparisonBYU 1979 to 198466-9(88%), 5 Top 12
Finishes, 2 Top 7 Finishes, 6 Conf Champions, 6 Bowls, 1 National ChampionUtah 1999 to 200448-22(69%), 1 Top 12 Finish, 1 Top 7 Finish, 3
Conf Champions, 4 Bowls, 0 National ChampionsBYU 1984 beat
Tulsa(6-5) at home, and Hawaii(7-4), Air Force(8-4), and Utah(6-5-1) on the
roadUtah 2004 beat Texas A&M(7-5) at home, New Mexico(7-5) and
Wyoming(7-5) on the road, and Pittsburgh(8-4) at a neutral site 1984
BYU's toughest opponent, Air Force(8-4), finished tied with Notre Dame at
#24 in the Final AP poll, and beat Va Tech(8-4) 23-7 in their bowl game2004 Utah's toughest opponent, Pittsburgh(8-4), finished #25 in the Final
AP poll, and lost to Utah 7-35 in their bowl gameBYU finished 1984
on a 24-game winning streak, including 3 opponents that finished #13, #17 and
#24 in the final AP pollUtah finished 2004 on a 16-game winning
streak, including 1 opponent that finished #25 in the final AP poll
gored"The thing I remember about the 2004 Fiesta Bowl-winning
team was how incredibly dominant they were in each game."Unfortunately for U, the BCS didn't even allow point differential to be
considered.As Sagarin puts it:"In PURE_ELO, only
winning and losing matters; the score margin is of no consequence... The
PURE_ELO will be used by the BCS."
Every one seen we done it once so we can do it again this year.Go
Who am I sir?"The BCS did everything it could to minimize
Utah's year by refusing to match Auburn and Utah when both were
undefeated."Many Utah fans felt that way, but the truth is,
after selecting to the top two teams to play in the BCS championship game, the
other BCS bowls simply followed a predetermined rotation in picking their bowl
participants. Unfortunately for U, the Fiesta Bowl drew the short
straw with the very last pick and was forced to take the auto-bid team from the
Big East. Pittsburgh actually finished in a four-way tie for first in the Big
East, but won the auto-bid on tie breakers.
2fer"I wouldn't trade Utah two BCS seasons for BYU's
1984 season."Here's a clue:One Crystal Football
National Championship Trophy > however many "also ran bowl" trophies
U want to compare it to.You can spin it however helps you sleep at
night, but the most important and elite list in major college football is the
list of Major College Football National Champions, which includes BYU.
I'm with 2 for flinching and Naval Vet, there is no way I would rather have
a National Championsip (**, +) won by default vs Sugar and Fiesta bowl,
undefeated seasons. BYU loves playing weak schedules winning imaginary titles
and going to weak bowls (Miami Beach Blanket Bowl), then claiming that they
actually accomplished something.** Weakest regular season of any
National Champion. One team with a winning record.+ Weakest Bowl opponent
(Michigan 6-6) of any National Champion.
"You can spin it however helps you sleep at night, but the most important
and elite list in major college football is the list of Major College Football
National Champions, which includes BYU."I googled "Major
College Football National Champions" and found that 2008 Utah IS on that
list.Then I googled "Bowl Championship Series". Utah was on
that list too. Twice!...No mention of byu though.
The "original BCS busters" ended the BCS era without a national
championship, but they have started a nifty collection of SOS trophies.
That was a very special team that played a tough schedule and a very tough bowl
opponenet from the premier conference in college football. It's too bad it
was 6 years ago and the last two seasons have been so dissapointing. Oh well, at
least Utah fans haven't been reduced to bragging about a National
Championship, won by default, 30 years ago. Oh the Horror. How sad to have
nothing to look forward but the possible bid in the Beach Blanket Bingo Bowl.
The bid that can be won by beating up on weak competition.
@Just the FAX: "Big Picture Comparison"-------------SOS Rankings:1984 BYU #1042004 Utah 58Another
muti-year to 1984 title argument? Robbie Bosco disagrees with you, under the BCS
system BYU would have been ranked around #5. For example, Boise State 2002-2009
to 2010 14-0 and they could only pull off a #4 final ranking. They
couldn't even match Utah's 2008 #2 (16 first place votes) team. @talkinsports: "But the most important and elite list in major
college football is the list of Major College Football National
Champions"The other Y (aka Yale) disagrees.
Ten years from now U guys will probably still be reminiscing about 2004, 2008 as
proof U were ever relevant on the national landscape.And at the same
time U will be chiding BYU fans about living in the past.And
Colorado still won't be the hated rival to obsess over.
ekutelol at your frantic attempt to rationalize some sort of
national championship relevance for UtahTotal Major College Football
National Championship selections by major selectors:BYU - 1Utah - none-----------National Championships
recognized by Major selectors:BYU - Associated Press (AP), Football
Writers Association of America, National Football Foundation, United Press
International (UPI), USA Today/CNNUtah - none-----------National Championships recognized by Minor
selectors:BYU - National Championship Foundation, Billingsley
Report, College Football Researchers Association, Poling System, Sagarin
Ratings, and Sports IllustratedUtah - Anderson & Hester, Massey
College Football Ratings, and Wolfe-----------If you
search hard enough, you might even be able to find a couple of Utah fan websites
that also recognized Utah as a football national champion.
Spokane UteIt's laughable that you're forced to make stuff
up to help you sleep at night.BYU 1984 beat FOUR regular season
opponents with winning records:Tulsa(6-5) at home, and Hawaii(7-4), Air
Force(8-4), and Utah(6-5-1) on the roadUtah 2004 beat THREE regular
season opponents with winning records:Texas A&M(7-5) at home, New
Mexico(7-5) and Wyoming(7-5) on the road, and Pittsburgh(8-4) at a neutral site
@ talkinsportsI'm not trying to spin anything. I, personally,
would take the two BCS trophies (and the conf. upgrade that came with it) over
BYU's 1984 title.
Ute euphoria is funny to witness, especially after a 5th place prediction in the
south division.Live it up Utes, these are the best times... then the
Joe SchmoeOrem, UTYeah remember when the utes could make it to
a bowl game?-----------Yes, 2 years ago.Remember when the Cougars could actually beat a bowl-less Utah team?
byu "fan" euphoria over a prediction that Utes will finish 5th in the
southern division is funny to witness. So is the euphoria over a prearranged
beach bowl. lol.
Thanks byU "fans" for flocking to yet another Utah article.We deeply appreciate your obsession with all things Utah.Come back
anytime, you are indeed entertaining!!Go Utes! THE original BCS
Utah Utes were original and best BCS buster. Boise's Not A State won neck
and neck game versus Oklahoma on trick play, but had no chance without Utah
paving way by destroying Big East Pitt, a mismatch from the get go.This year will be Ute's break out PAC 12 season. Respect process. Wax
on, wax off. Banzai!
2008 > 2004 > 1984. No logical, rational thinking sports fan can dispute
this fact.Yes, the 1984 Cougs were a good football team who did great
things but, the Utes had a much stronger resume in both 2004 and 2008 and left
NO doubts that they belonged.The Utes throttled Pitt 35-7 going into the
4th quarter.The Utes embarrassed Alabama even more by taking a 21-0 lead
in the 1st quarter. The Utes held Alabama to 208 total yards with only 31
rushing yards. This was the same Alabama team that went 8-0 in SEC play and
averaged 150+ rushing yards per game.There is no doubt that Utah was more
dominant in 2004 and 2008 than BYU was in 1984.The only difference is that
in 1984, going undefeated was rewarded with a *NC and the legendary comment from
Barry Switzer about their "Bo Diddley Tech" schedule.The Utes were
awarded 2 BCS trophies, the title of "Original BCS Buster" and are
credited with paving the way for Boise St. and TCU. The Utes also were able to
humiliate Barry Switzer and make him eat crow on national television.The
Utes accomplished more in 2004 and 2008 than BYU did in 1984.
Time for people to mark this down:If Utah can get past the BYU
centric team (since they don't play the Y this year this is good) then they
will be in top competition for their division title. It seems like
Utah has been getting up to beat BYU then throws games they should win in the