The sixth ranked Utah Utes just completed a dominating victory over the fourth ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, a team that spent ten weeks of the season ranked either first or second in the country.
Utah is the only team in the top ten that is undefeated. In total they have beaten three ranked teams and three teams from BCS conferences (yes, we have to count Michigan). To their credit, though, several years ago when the Utes scheduled Michigan, they expected the Wolverines to be a highly ranked team. I'm willing to give them some "anybody, anywhere, anytime" points for that, even though it didn't work out too well. All in all, theirs is a very impressive record.
So, should they be number one in the country? Unfortunately for Utah, the answer is pretty simple: No.
According to the BCS rules agreed to by all eleven Div 1-A conferences, including the Mountain West, the national champion is determined by a playoff between the number one and number two teams in the country as of the end of the first week of December.
Technically, their game against Alabama was a consolation/exhibition game that doesn't count in terms of who is or who is not national champion. Anyone who tries to declare Utah the national champion is trying to change the rules of the game after they have lost. That's called bad sportsmanship.
Utah should be proud of their great season. Unfortunately, because they lack a national reputation, they didn't draw the kind of high preseason ranking that teams need to get to the top of the polls. Their fantastic win over Alabama and their undefeated season will go a long way toward establishing a national reputation. Therefore, their victory is very important and will be very valuable to them in the future.
Even more importantly, if the other two teams in the division, TCU and BYU, can continue to build their programs, they will have strong teams inside their conference to compete against every year. As we all know, this is another requirement for success in the BCS.
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