Urban Meyer Repeats Claim 2004 Utes Would Have Beaten USC
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Utah head football coach Urban Meyer still believes the 2004 Utes would beat the USC Trojans.
On the FOX Big Noon Kickoff pregame show on Saturday morning, Meyer called out former USC stars Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush.
“I was a part of the non-BCS in 2004 and I am officially going on record telling you that we would’ve beat the USC Trojans,” Meyer declared. “You can write that in sharpie, it’s done.”
In 2004, Utah became the first non-BCS school to win a BCS Bowl Game.
"BYU's not a good team, they're a great team."@ReggieBush, @CoachUrbanMeyer, @Brady_Quinn and @MattLeinartQB break down @BYUfootball's top 25 matchup with Coastal Carolina on #BigNoonKickoff pic.twitter.com/i5rqI87zpR
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) December 5, 2020
Urban Meyer On Crimson Corner Podcast
Back in July, Coach Meyer joined the Crimson Corner podcast and declared that Utah would’ve beaten anyone in the country in 2004.
When Meyer was asked if the 2004 Utah football team could’ve competed for a national championship, Meyer didn’t hesitate with his response.
“I know so. You’re talking to someone who has some experience in that big game and there’s absolutely no doubt that Utah team on any given day could beat anybody in America,” Meyer told KSL Sports. “Could we have sustained and survive an SEC schedule? That’s a whole other conversation. Because we survived the Big Ten schedule and even back then the Pac-12 schedule because I thought that conference was a little more difficult back then. You asked me if we could on any given day, if we went to play for the national championship, or could we competed and I believe we could have won and there’s no doubt in my mind.”
Happy Birthday, @CoachUrbanMeyer 🎂
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) July 10, 2020
After leaving Utah following the 2004 season, Meyer went on to win three national championships as a head coach. He led the Florida Gators to two titles in 2006 and 2008. His most recent championship was with Ohio State in 2014.
Top CFB Teams In 2004
Back in 2004, the BCS Bowl games included the following programs:
- Orange Bowl (Championship game): No. 1 USC vs. No. 2 Oklahoma
- Rose Bowl: No. 5 Texas vs. No. 13 Michigan
- Fiesta Bowl: No. 6 Utah vs. No. 20 Pittsburgh
- Sugar Bowl: No. 3 Auburn vs. No. 8 Virginia Tech
The Trojans won the National Championship while Auburn took down Virginia Tech.
At the end of April, KSL Sports hosted the “Great Ute Debate” with running back Quinton Ganther and safety Eric Weddle from the 2004 team. They both wanted to play Auburn in their BCS Bowl Game.
“We wanted to play Auburn,” said Ganther. “That was who we wanted because we wanted to make a statement to the country. We were up for that challenge. That was one thing about that team was that we wanted the best and we felt like Auburn was one of the best teams in the country. We didn’t feel like Pitt was one of the best. So we just made it our thing that we have Pitt and we can’t control it. We will go out and show that these guys shouldn’t be on the same field as us. We made it personal to make a statement that they shouldn’t have sent Pitt to play us. They are not ready.”
Eric Weddle also wanted to see how the Utes would’ve lined up against Auburn.
“We were hoping for Auburn,” Weddle stated. “Because USC played Oklahoma so their were three other undefeated teams and it didn’t work out that it happened that way. We were a little bit slighted just to get there and finish it off.”
Utah Utes Scoreboard
Utah Utes Team Leaders
Utah Utes Standings