Rock On: Robert Anae's theory on BYU title

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • GD Syracuse, UT
    April 18, 2014 8:06 p.m.

    I think there were at least nine players on the 84 team that played pro ball. They were a good team with good players. Some of you mention luck, well I think that always occurs. I don't recall which undefeated team Utah had but Oregon State should have beaten Utah but didn't. So do we say it was luck or was it extra effort by Utah to pull it out. I prefer the latter. The cougars had their share of luck in 84 but still won. It is always fun to see the local teams have success. Why do we have to belittle any team or the athletes that play. That's why I moved to Utah was to watch the four Universities along the Wasatch front. I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    April 14, 2014 6:20 p.m.

    @navalvet, etc.

    In typical ute fan fashion you try and rewrite history and desecrate the biggest accomplishment of any FBS program ever in the state of Utah... The bottom line is that BYU won, they have the trophy and according to the majority of AP writers and FBS coaches they finished the year (1984)on top... Thus the National Championship...

    In fact, if BYU were in the big bad pac12 They would be one of only 5 schools in the entire conference who have EVER earned this achievement... USC, Washington, BYU, UCLA and Stanford...

    Only USC, Washington, BYU and UCLA have a championship that was decided by Polls (which started in 1936)... Only USC and Washington have Championships more recent than BYU (USC has 2003 and 2004 but they were only AP Championships as they were stripped of the Coaches Poll Championships... And Washington has only a Coaches Poll Championship in 1991 as Miami received the AP Championship that year)...

    In summary, BYU would be the only team in this comparison that has won both the AP and Coaches Poll Championship in the same year since 1972... OUCH... Yet the pac12 is suppose to be some tough conference... Why?

  • MrPlate Lindon, UT
    April 11, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    Since I'm loyal to my cougars, AND gracious toward their opponents, including the Utes, why would I be surprised or unable to handle that military service is not about cougar sports? It wouldn't have occurred to me to think about it.

    On the other hand, Naval Vet, you must have been tremendously relieved to get out of the military, because I know life/service in the military has absolutely nothing to do with hating BYU sports, which is so very important to you. I'm sorry if that was a crushing realization upon graduating from Basic Training.

    I have to assume you're referencing yourself when you say "And THAT little brother is schadenfreude," because only one of us has expressed gleeful hope of seeing someone else crushed by supposed false expectations, and it ain't me. Schadenfreude isn't usually something to brag about, but way to own it proudly.

    I wish Cougars and Utes well in all their competitions, and hope all fans quit that club referenced by LetsDebate and find simple enjoyment whether either team wins or loses. And THAT, my big brother (since that's important to you), is NOT Schadenfreude.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    April 10, 2014 3:18 p.m.


    "You may want to look up the word Shadenfreud."

    You might want to look that word up too. It's "schadenfreude"; not "shadenfreud". And you might also want to look into enlisting in the service yourself. I would have loved to have seen the look on your face after graduating from Basic Training, only to find out that life/service in the military has absolutely nothing to do with cougar sports. You'd have been so crushed.

    And THAT little brother is "schadenfreude".

  • MrPlate Lindon, UT
    April 10, 2014 1:37 p.m.

    I would think that being a Naval Vet would give a person enough fulfillment, purpose, and perspective on life to avoid getting all worked up over a 30-year-old football game. You may want to look up the word Shadenfreud. It's not a very attractive descriptor for one so proud of his military service.

    Revel in the glorious memories of your favorite team's best moments. Be gracious to your rivals in their best moments. Even with some spirited banter, don't spend too much time denigrating the current or recent status of your rivals. For heaven's sake, don't spend a minute carping about your rival's 30-year-old accomplishment.

    @LetsDebate - Embarrassingly Bitter and Jealous Fan Club - good one, and such an appropriate designation for some obsessed fans. Such an unworthy club for our nation's bravest.

    April 10, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    Think of how sad it is when the highlight of a person's life is his high school athletic accomplishments. It's a similar kind of pathetic existence to obsess about the perceived injustice of your rival's greatest accomplishment 30 years later. That Embarrassingly Bitter and Jealous Fan Club really has a hold on many members.

    Case closed. 'Nuff said. The End. LOL. Move on. Talk to the hand. That's All Folks. End of story. I'm done.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    April 9, 2014 4:47 p.m.


    "It's best not to close your case by grasping at irrelevant straws with a very weak argument."

    You said:

    "...anyone who says Michigan was a 'sub-par' team in 1984, when all their players were healthy as they were against BYU (and as they were NOT for most of the season), is tremendously ignorant of that Michigan team."

    I just showed you that their starting QB was NOT "healthy" (broken arm), and who was replaced by a "Freshman", who was recovering from a "cracked vertebrae". That is NOT called "grasping at irrelevant straws". That's called "refuting your case with facts".

    The "irrelevant grasping of straws" was your insistence that because a Harbaugh-led Michigan team beat the eventual 18th-ranked team in the country, it somehow meant that beating a 6-6 Michigan team led by a Freshman QB (with a cracked vertebrae no less) was an airtight case favoring the cougars' claim to have been the best team in the country that year.

    It wasn't. You were just lucky. That's all. Case closed.

    April 9, 2014 3:24 p.m.

    Naval Vet - you may want to Google "biggest college football upsets." Flukes do indeed happen, even to very good teams, even to national champions.

    It's best not to close your case by grasping at irrelevant straws with a very weak argument.

    Congratulate BYU for 1984, or forget it, and move on. Continual whining about it only exposes an embarrassing level of bitterness and jealousy.

    BTW - very sincere and enthusiastic kudos to the Ute's 2004 and 2008 football squads. Those teams could possibly have beaten anyone in the country. Any BYU fan who chooses to minimize those great BCS-busting teams only exposes an embarrassing level of bitterness and jealousy.

    Why does anyone choose affiliation with the Embarrassingly Bitter and Jealous Fan Club? I don't know, but it doesn't seem to be a lonely club.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    April 9, 2014 3:08 p.m.


    Miami finished 1984 ranked 18th. Being overrated to start the season does not validate the victor, and coaches have said for years: "You're only as good as your record."

    And in Michigan's case, they were 6-6.

    In 2013, a 5-7 Utah team beat Stanford. Stanford finished that season as an 11-3, 11th-ranked Pac-12 Champion. So we beat a better team [#11 Stanford (11-3) > #18 Miami (8-5)] than the '84 Wolverines, yet I don't recall ever hearing cougar fans argue we belonged in the title game vs. FSU to determine whether or not the Seminoles were the best team in the country. And don't forget, Utah was an injury riddled team as well.

    Bottom line -- just like Anae said: the cougars were "lucky". They were lucky they got to play a weak 6-6 Michigan team, rather than an 11-1 Washington team. They were lucky that Michigan's QB (Jim Harbaugh) was NOT healthy (broken arm), and got to face Chris Zurbrugg, who was a Freshman, and who was recovering from 2 cracked vertebrae in his back.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    April 9, 2014 2:53 p.m.

    All cougar fans who think beating Washington in 1985 validated their fortuitous backing-in to the national title the year before need look no further than 6-wks later to their loss to 1-10 UTEP.

    Would a REAL national champion lose to a 1-10 WAC team?


    Case closed.

    April 9, 2014 1:56 p.m.

    @Wookie - by your logic, almost no team ever "earned" a national championship prior to the BCS era, because conference champions were tied into specific bowl games. It was very rare for a #1 and #2 team to end up in a bowl game. There was almost never an opportunity for the #1 and #2 teams to be paired in a bowl game to determine a national champion.

    Ironically, 1984 was close to one of those years, when Washington and Oklahoma played each other in the Orange Bowl as the #2 and #3 teams, Washington having just one loss which kept them from the Rose Bowl. As mentioned in prior posts, BYU played Washington in the very next game the following season and trounced them.

    Under the system in place, BYU "earned" their national championship just like every other team in that era - with a very good team, and undefeated year (or close to it), and some luck.

    And, anyone who says Michigan was a "sub-par" team in 1984, when all their players were healthy as they were against BYU (and as they were NOT for most of the season), is tremendously ignorant of that Michigan team.

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    April 9, 2014 1:01 p.m.

    So help me understand the counter points shared as to why BYU should have the NC back in 1984 when playing a team that finished 6-6 on the year? It is my understanding that the two best teams, or at least close in accomplishments shoudl be paired together to play for the NC. Here, we have a subpar Michigan team playing a good BYU team. What I am trying to say is that the luck here is in that BYU was awarded the NC rather than earning it. Earning it would have been to have played a comparable team.

    Anyway, it doesn't matter, it was 1984...

    GO UTES!!

  • Jack of trades SLC, UT
    April 9, 2014 12:25 a.m.


    Sounds like what he is hoping for from his quick to 3rd down offense.

  • OnlyInUtah Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 8, 2014 9:06 p.m.

    Re: Naval Vet

    When you say that "All that the cougars "accomplished", back in 1984, was "go undefeated", you miss a very important fact.

    If you check your history books you'll learn that after going undefeated they were actually proclaimed as "National Champions'. You see, many teams go undefeated but only one team is awarded the National Championship trophy. And while even Utah has gone undefeated they still don't have a trophy in the trophy case that says they were National Champions. I know it's a disappointment to Ute fans but you don't need to let it twist the reality of the facts that it was something that the Cougars really truly accomplished.

    You can spin it anyway you like... was luck involved? Yes most likely it was but we'll take that kind of luck any day of the week. Stay a faithful fan and maybe someday your team will get lucky too.

  • Scores Idaho Falls, ID
    April 8, 2014 8:47 p.m.

    There's not a Ute fan alive that wouldn't have taken the National Championship the same way that BYU won it in 1984. Or any other team in the country for that matter. You can digest it any way you want, but the Trophy is STILL IN PROVO!

  • Long Lost America Salt Lake City, UT
    April 8, 2014 8:45 p.m.

    I am both a Utah and USU graduate and cheered for the Utes to beat BYU back then. But I have always considered piling on BYU for being ranked #1 in 1984 to be sour grapes from anyone who has attempted that line of reasoning. One measure of the quality of that BYU team that is often overlooked was the number of NFL players it produced, and there was a significant amount. BYU in fact was holding their own in the 1980's as an NFL factory on a rate comparable to most college programs across the nation.

    It is an oversimplication for "fans" posting here claiming they represent all Utah fans in their biased comments the same way some "Cougar" fans might claim all Utah fans hate the fact they won a national title. The best comparisons to what BYU accomplished in 84 was what Utah did in 2004 and 2008.

  • PP Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 8, 2014 5:44 p.m.

    Lets also look (Yet again) at that Michigan team. They started the season by beating #1 Miami. In 83 they had 3 losses and finished 8th and in 95 they had 1 loss and finished 2nd. Injuries took their toll on MU in 84 but by the time the Holiday Bowl rolled around the were healthy. Also, Michigan lost to the second best team in the country that year (Washington) by almost the same score that they lost to BYU by.

    In other words, all the evidence points to the fact that Michigan was a good team that year and that BYU and Washington were equally better. Add in that BYU killed Washington the first game of the next season and gee... I guess BYU really did win the national title. And I thought that big trophy was a fake.

    That's OK Utah - Your 6th place Sugar Bowl trophy is big and shinny.

  • broman idaho falls, ID
    April 8, 2014 5:39 p.m.

    Lets Debate I like the points. I am a BYU fan and at the time the system was in place and BYU proved to be National Champions. I didn't like the BCS and I was at the Sugar Bowl in 2008(2009) and I believe Utah by far was the best team in the country. They should've been national champions, but under the dumb system that was in place they didn't get the trophy. For me it doesn't take away the team I watched in New Orleans that should've been holding the national trophy. It is annoying on both sides to see the comments that is so one sided. Let's try to be realistic and open minded instead of only Blue or only Red exists. I think Urban Meyer said it best when he was at Utah he said we can compete with anyone in the country, but if we have a player go down we dont have the depth the other schools have. I agree. BYU proved that, Utah proved that. What else needs to be said.

  • PP Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 8, 2014 5:26 p.m.

    Actually Naval Vet everyone except a few UU "fans" say that BYU won the national title. If any reporter or coach had thought otherwise they could have voted otherwise - but it was unanimous. Every major poll thought that BYU had won the national title.

    Of course the situation was fortuitous. How does that change the reality?

    Face the facts, the people that mattered back then thought BYU was the best team in the country and they well knew who the Michigan team was (unlike current UU "fans"). In fact there was a SOS element to the voting because it is in the minds of all the voters. You don't need an actual number because there were no computer polls back then. But the reality is that Utah recieved a worse ranking in the human polls in 2006? (who can really remember) than the computer polls. I guess none of the human voters thought much of Utah - and in the only poll that mattered that year Utah was.... 6th.

    April 8, 2014 4:18 p.m.

    @Naval Vet - so, who did "win" the national title in 1984? Perhaps Washington, who finished second and, along with the Oklahoma team and coaches, whined all bowl season that whoever won their bowl game should be national champion? I suppose it's BYU's fault that neither Oklahoma or Washington had the guts to accept an invitation to the Holiday Bowl.

    BYU thoroughly trounced Washington in the very next game the following season, with both squads being very similar to the ones that ended the previous season. It was the best available arrangement to give credibility to BYU's title, or to destroy any credibility, and nearly everyone thought Washington would give BYU their deserved comeuppance. Har-dee-har! I guess that game shut up everyone except a few BYU-obsessed ankle biters 30 years later.

    Really - BYU won it fair and square. Well past time to congratulate them and move on.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    April 8, 2014 2:51 p.m.


    "You make it sound so easy. As though it shouldn't be recognized as an accomplishment at all. And yet with all the hot air you use you fail to mention that the Utes have never accomplished it before or after."

    Not so. All that the cougars "accomplished", back in 1984, was "go undefeated". And it's been the cougars who had never accomplished it before or after. Utah had done it 5 times prior to 1984, and twice thereafter.

    And while it isn't "easy" to go undefeated, it's a whole lot easy-ER when you play a schedule like the one you did back in 1984. I doubt a single other team who finished ranked in the Top-10 that year wouldn't have likewise finished "undefeated" with your ultra weak SOS schedule.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    April 8, 2014 2:33 p.m.


    "Utah went undefeated, along with Auburn, but the luck part didn't work out for the Utes because there was another team that also was undefeated."

    Utah was the only undefeated team in 2008. So there goes your argument.

    The "lucky" part Anae was likely referring to, was that back in 1984, SOS wasn't taken into much consideration. Unlike the case in 2008. And that's why a 13-0 cougar team* -- who narrowly edges an unranked 6-6, Michigan team in the Holiday Bowl -- could be "awarded" ("awarded"; because you certainly didn't "win" it) a national title, whereas a 13-0 Ute team** -- who routed a Top-10, 12-2 Alabama team -- had not.

    I know it's a bitter pill for cougar fans, but nobody reveres your '84 squad as anything more than a "zeitgeist" team under "fortuitous" circumstances. Not an actual "best team in the country" kind of squad, which is to whom the Nat'l Championship was intended to be awarded.

  • BigCougFan Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 8, 2014 1:44 p.m.

    Re: Wookie & others

    You make it sound so easy. As though it shouldn't be recognized as an accomplishment at all. And yet with all the hot air you use you fail to mention that the Utes have never accomplished it before or after.

    Was luck involved? Most likely. And the Utes have never been so lucky themselves. Nor was any other team as lucky in 1984. It's something we Cougars will remember and cherish. It must be pure jealousy that makes you cut it down and belittle the accomplishment.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    April 8, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    Well, at least then we had an offense. Now we have one of the worst offenses in the country. Mr. Anae remains the weak link in the chain...but at least he's better than Doman. We have a weaker schedule than last year, but I see only 7, maybe 8 wins. If this happens, perhaps we'll hire a real offensive coordinator with a proven track record of success.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    April 8, 2014 12:47 p.m.

    Well, Wookie, they did do one thing no other team ever did that year and that was go undefeated. They were rankled 33 and then #1 and #2 lost. What's supposed to happen when you are undefeated and those above you lose a game?

    Frank Kush went undefeated at ASU one year, but finished #2 in the country. Utah went undefeated, along with Auburn, but the luck part didn't work out for the Utes because there was another team that also was undefeated.

    No one that wins a national title as being the only undefeated team is awarded a championship they didn't earn, especially when every other teams had losses. Luck had to do with the other teams, not BYU. They had a great defense that year, giving up at least 5 turn-overs to Michigan, but they still won the game, even with a QB that was injured.

    I know it's been a bitter pill for Utes all these years, but BYU did win a national championship. (And had a Heisman Trophy Winner, and numerous conference crowns at the time they were in the same conference as Utah.)

    Maybe never again....but in 1984---YES!!

    Go Cougars!!

  • dww722 North Salt Lake, UT
    April 8, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    BYU was very lucky in 1984. Every team above them in the polls (including no-names Navy and South Carolina)had their shot...and lost it. They eeked out a win at Hawaii with a gem of a goaline stand at their own 1 inch line. The Holiday Bowl committee tried hard do get the Cougs' biggest detractor (cry babies) Oklahoma to put their money where their mouth was, man up and play the Cougs in the Holiday bowl for the title...which they declined. (If Oklahoma had won the Orange Bowl they probably would have jumped BYU in the polls and won the championship anyway...but they LOST!!) The Holiday Bowl settled for Michigan and BYU won despite 5 turnovers in a game with immense national pressure to win. Bottom line, they won the national championship fair and square under the system of the time...which caused the eventual birth of the elitist BCS. Yes, BYU was very good that year and very lucky...but who really cares. The trophy is in their trophy case and that says all that needs to be said. Nobody can ever take it away. Football Champions Forever! Eat your heart out Utes!

  • LouisD Las Vegas, NV
    April 8, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    I was at that game covering it for the Football news (Detroit). I remember thinking what a sore looser Bo Schembechler was. BYU was fortunate to win. Had Bosco's knee and ankle been any worse, he never would have come back on the field. Blaine Fowler had actually done fine when he took over, but the reality is, BYU needed luck just to win that game. They had also lost many Holiday Bowls on the basis of bad bounces and odd poor luck prior thereto. Luck however is best defined as the point at crossroads of preparation and opportunity. Auburn was incredibly lucky this past year. You can make your own luck if you are ready! BYU held Michigan to 200 yards under their season average in that game. They actually won it with defense of all things. Yes! BYU was lucky. Every National Champion always is!

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    April 8, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    Lucky is the most honest answer I have heard any BYU player/fan use ever. They played the 3rd best team in the Big 10 who finished the year 6-6. Miami and Nebraska were far superior teams that BYU should have played. They were awarded the national title rather than earning it, which coincides with the honest answer of luck provided by Anae.

    Go UTES!!

  • Robyuuki Lewisburg, PA
    April 7, 2014 6:49 p.m.

    That was my last year at BYU. It was a great year and unbelievable #1 ranking starting off with the big win at Pitt. Now, all of us look like we at the Pitt. But we still love our BYU football. Go Cougs.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    April 7, 2014 6:28 p.m.

    I'm pretty sure Lavell Edwards said that going undefeated in CFB always takes a measure if luck. Obviously it follows that winning a NC takes a measure of luck as well. If you go back & look at the national champions from the last 5 or even 10 years you see at least one or two games that they very easily could have lost & more than a few against opponents that shouldn't have been close. Kind of a non issue Rock, moving on...

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    April 7, 2014 6:09 p.m.

    Luck? Heck, magic happened in 1984. I knew George Orwell personally.

    Anyway, moving on 30 years into the here and now, this headline had me thinking Coach Anae would be talking about current title hopes and chances along those lines. It could happen again. The formula is there.

    Here is what needs to happen; keep playing the exposure games against a couple of big name schools a year and win those games. Take the rest of the schedule by storm and beat Idaho State 8 times a year (done deal). And then use an undefeated record and BYU brand name to lobby for a National Title Game. If all works out up to this point then BYU will need to use their bowl prep for actual practices and bust out their magic spin wheel and cross their fingers.

    Sarcasm? Yes. Possibility of goal to be attainable? Actually, that is a yes as well.

    I took my shot and gave hope in return. That is the balance Daniel son.

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    April 7, 2014 5:23 p.m.

    It's better to be lucky than good!

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    April 7, 2014 5:19 p.m.

    Take both of your hands, firmly grasp the spoon, and stir the pot.