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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Pro/Con: Should an undefeated BYU or Utah be considered for the BCS Title?

    By Bobby Stover

    In this Bowl Championship Series age, it’s easy to become wrapped up in the fiction that the six major BCS Conferences – the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific 10 Conference and the Southeastern Conference – are the only main contenders for a national title.

    Yes, it’s true that it is typically a majority of these teams atop the final standings year after year. But there is usually at least one team each season that is quietly sitting undefeated, only to not be mentioned in any title discussions.

    This year there are two teams with legitimate chances at not only a BCS bowl, but perhaps even national championship consideration: Brigham Young (5-0) and Utah (6-0) from the Mountain West Conference.

    So far this year these two teams have combined to beat four teams from the Pac-10 and Big 10 conferences. The Cougars have knocked off both Washington and UCLA while Utah has dropped Oregon State and a Michigan team who just two weeks ago took out then-No. 9 Wisconsin 27-25.

    But those four teams are not the only tough opponents the two MWC squads will face. After all, the Mountain West is not a pushover conference anymore. Many Pac-10 fans remember the week of Sept. 13 when four teams fell to Mountain West opponents, three in convincing fashion.

    It is time to see the Mountain West as a true contender. Year after year the conference has posted multiple big wins against major conferences. With these upsets, the small conference feel continues to shrink while the image of each of the team turns into one of national prowess.

    While it is impossible for both BYU and Utah to finish undefeated – the teams meet in Salt Lake City on Nov. 22 – it is likely at least one team will. And for teams that have averaged more than 29- and 16-point margins of victory, respectively, those are numbers fitting for a title contender.

    The last time a Mountain West team played in a BCS bowl was the 2004 season. An undefeated Utah team blew out Pittsburgh by 28 points in the Fiesta Bowl.

    BYU and Utah have proved they can contend this year. And with blowouts in both of the last two title games, how much worse could one with a Mountain West team be?

    By Vincent Balistreri

    If either Utah or Brigham Young are chosen to play in the BCS National championship game, it will be a disaster in the making. It will be another year in which the championship game doesn’t include the top two teams in the nation.

    Sure, the Mountain West is 6-1 against the Pacific 10 Conference this year, but it’s obvious the Pac-10 is not the same conference compared to recent years.

    This year is probably the first year that the Mountain West and Pac-10 can be described as equal from top to bottom, excluding Southern California.

    That makes for two pretty weak conferences compared to the Big Ten, Southeastern Conference and the Big 12. That being said, the Mountain West’s record against the Pac-10 is irrelevant in a year in which a win against a Pac-10 team does very little to bolster your resume, unless you beat USC. Looking at the schedules of both the Utes and the Cougars, neither has a USC-caliber squad on their schedules this year.

    While many continue to speculate about the possibility of the Cougars or Utes in the title game, I’m confused as to what the fuss is about. BYU is 5-0 but their opponents’ records are a combined 8-18. Their two highlight wins have been against two very bad Pac-10 teams in a 28-27 win over Washington and a 59-0 beating of UCLA.

    The game against the Huskies could have very well been a loss if it weren’t for an Ed Hochuli-like call by an official. BYU is a good team but not a team worthy of being in the title game. They would be destroyed by an Oklahoma or an Alabama. While BYU has won 15 games in a row in Provo, the home field advantage wouldn’t come into play in the title game.

    On the other hand, I don’t understand why Utah is even mentioned as a potential championship participant. Even if the Utes remain undefeated and beat an undefeated BYU team, that still doesn’t make them a contender. It tickles me how their season-opening win against Michigan in the Big House was considered a big win, when the Wolverines are clearly down this season.

    BYU and Utah are two good teams that should both be given two pretty good bowl berths, but if the BCS committee is crazy enough to put either of these teams in the title game then college football fans around the country will scream “”playoffs”” louder than ever.

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