Last night (Jan. 2), under the scrutiny of naysayers and the glare of the national spotlight, Coach Kyle Whittingham and the University of Utah proved they belong among the nation's elite college football teams. The Utes played with poise, passion and precision and made a mockery of those who said they could not match up against an outstanding Alabama team and were not worthy to play in a BCS game or of national championship consideration.
Utah beat Alabama more convincingly than Florida did, despite playing the Crimson Tide in what essentially amounted to a home game for the Southeast Conference powerhouse. Moreover, the Utes beat Oregon State, which defeated the University of Southern California, and Texas Christian University, which bested a very good Boise State squad. Impressive victories over Brigham Young University and Michigan further underscore just how good Utah is. Regardless of what happens in the Florida-Oklahoma game, the outcome will not change the fact that there is only one undefeated team in Division 1 college football: the University of Utah. For the second time in four years, the BCS-busting Utes have gone undefeated and yet uninvited to play for a national championship. That needs to change because the system is broken. The BCS is fatally flawed and, until it is fixed, will continue to produce a flawed college football champion.
The Mountain West and WAC conferences should receive an automatic bid to the BCS as does the SEC, Big 12, Big 10, Pac 10, Big East and ACC. The current system runs counter to the principal of fair competition and Americans notion of fair play. Unfortunately, Utah doesn't get a shot to play for the national championship this year. But the fact the Utes won't wear the official BCS crown won't change what Alabama's players and everyone who saw the Sugar Bowl know in their heads and in their hearts: The Utes are champions - and I could not be more proud of them. I join with Utahns and football fans across the nation in saluting the champion Utes and their coaching staff for an outstanding season.