Utes Get Snubbed From ESPN’s Best College Football Teams Of All-Time List
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In honor of 150 seasons of college football, ESPN compiled a list of the 150 greatest teams in college football history.
They had a panel of 150 media members, athletic administrators, former players and coaches select the 210 finalists before being narrowed down to 150.
ESPN and the panel left off the 2004 Utah team that became the first group of five school to bust the BCS when they won the Fiesta Bowl and had an undefeated season. Also left off, the 2008 Utes that finished undefeated and busted the BCS once again with an upset win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, but the Florida team that won the BCS title that same season is the 67th best team. Many think that the 2004 team would compete with the Gators.
They listed the 1984 BYU team that won the national championship under coach LaVell Edwards as the 146th best team in college football history.
ESPN did not have an honorable mention section or teams that barely missed the list. It’s hard to believe that at least one of those two Utah teams didn’t make the list.
This was discussed on the Crimson Corner podcast.
Former Ute and member of the 2004 Fiesta Bowl team Eric Weddle of the Los Angeles Rams tweeted his displeasure of leaving the Utes off the list.
Fiesta & Sugar Bowl Teams
After reading the reasoning behind each team that was listed in the Top 150, they mentioned how dominant the teams were and players who won individual awards.
In 2004, Utah had an undefeated 12-0 season and won every game by 14 points or more. They won nine games by 20 points or more. After winning the Mountain West Conference championship with a 52-21 win over BYU in Salt Lake City, Utah was selected to a BCS Bowl, they faced No. 19 Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl with the Utes as a No. 5 team in the country.
Utah smashed the Panthers 35-7 under head coach Urban Meyer, who was coaching his last game for the Utes before joining Florida as their head coach and handing the reins to Kyle Whittingham.
As far as individual awards, Meyer was named National Coach of the Year, quarterback Alex Smith finished fourth in the Heisman voting, losing to USC quarterback Matt Leinart, Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson and quarterback Jason White.
Offensive lineman Chris Kemoeatu, safety Morgan Scalley and wide receiver Steve Savoy were named All-Americans.
In the Mountain West Conference individual awards, Utah swept all three awards with Meyer winning Coach of the Year, Smith as Offensive Player of the Year and Scalley as Defensive Player of the Year.
Utah had six players named to the All-Mountain West first team, four to the second team and five honorable mentions.
In the 2005 NFL Draft, five players were taken, including Smith as the No. 1 overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers. Defensive tackle Sione Pouha was taken in the third round, Kemoeatu in the sixth round, with wide receiver Paris Warren and defensive end Jonathan Fanene in the seventh round.
Once again, Utah finished with an undefeated record of 13-0 in 2008, winning the Mountain West Conference and defeated No. 4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl 31-17. During the season, Utah’s closest game was a two-point win on the road at Michigan in the season opener. Three other games were decided by three points.
Utah’s non-conference schedule consisted of Michigan, on the road, at Utah State, followed by home games against Weber State and Oregon State.
Teams Listed That Didn’t Win National Championship
Out of 150 teams that were listed, 47 of them did not win the national championship, here is the list:
- 31. 1971 Oklahoma
- 36. 1983 Nebraska
- 37. 1949 Oklahoma
- 38. 1966 Alabama
- 42. 2015 Alabama (lost in title game)
- 46. 1969 Penn State
- 47. 1972 Oklahoma
- 48. 1954 Oklahoma
- 49. 1978 USC
- 52. 2005 USC (lost to Texas in title game)
- 54. 2003 USC (won a share of title by votes)
- 55. 1973 Oklahoma
- 57. 2004 Auburn
- 60. 1973 Penn State
- 65. 2016 Alabama (lost in title game)
- 71. 1988 Miami
- 77. 2002 Miami
- 87. 2018 Alabama (lost in title game)
- 88. 1987 Florida State
- 93. 1977 Alabama
- 95. 1957 Auburn (no bowl due to probation)
- 98. 1945 Alabama
- 99. 1978 Penn State
- 101. 1940 Stanford
- 103. 1973 Michigan
- 104. 1951 Maryland
- 109. 1980 Pittsburgh
- 110. 1975 Arizona State
- 111. 2010 TCU
- 113. 1986 Miami
- 117. 1952 Georgia Tech
- 120. 1942 Grambling
- 121. 1970 Notre Dame
- 123. 1934 Alabama
- 124. 2009 Florida
- 127. 1904 Minnesota
- 130. 1946 Georgia
- 131. 1962 Ole Miss
- 132. 1982 SMU
- 133. 1946 Army
- 137. 1973 Ohio State
- 138. 2006 Boise State
- 140. 1933 Princeton
- 144. 1951 San Francisco
- 145. 2012 Mount Union (Division III)
- 149. 1959 Ole Miss
- 150. 1944 Ohio State