There is a small -- and hopefully it remains that way -- group of people out there who want to prop up the notion Utah somehow doesn't deserve a national championship. I'm sure in the coming days and weeks they'll become more vocal as we make our case, which is why I see it fit to nip this foolish and completely false argument in the bud.
Utah couldn't beat USC, Florida, Oklahoma and Texas! How do they deserve a championship?
Firstly, basing a championship around something so utterly subjective is ridiculous. Without a true playoff, no one knows the answer to this, so there really is no point in arguing it. Secondly, those same people who say Utah wouldn't stand a chance against any of those teams were singing the exact same tune prior to the Sugar Bowl.
Think about it, 91% of the country had written Utah off even before the game started against the Tide. How did that turn out? The Utes proved the game isn't played on message boards or in sports studios, radio shows and newspaper articles. It's played on the field, where it should be and that is the only way you can decide the real national champion.
Utah plays a weak schedule, put them in the SEC or Big 12 and they wouldn't go undefeated!
Ok, well neither did Oklahoma or Florida, yet they're preparing for the championship game. This is probably the most laughable argument, since whoever wins Thursday will have lost on the season. In fact, counting this year's champion, the last three will have had at least one-loss, including LSU, who finished last season 12-2 and still managed to win the national championship.
Maybe Utah wouldn't go undefeated in the BCS, but that really isn't the point, since it isn't a prerequisite to winning the national championship -- at least according to the BCS. If Notre Dame had Utah's exact schedule and managed to win every game, is there any doubt they would be playing in Miami Thursday?
Either Florida or Oklahoma will have defeated the #1 or #2 ranked team to win the championship, no win by Utah compares.
Maybe so, but then again, do we really know if these are the two top teams in the nation? Beyond that, Utah has done something neither of those teams can claim, they've gone undefeated. Nothing Oklahoma or Florida can say or do will compare to that.
One slip-up shouldn't derail an entire season.
Maybe not, but had the Utes lost earlier in the season, it would have. That's the double standard non-BCS teams have to live with and it's unfortunate. However, Utah didn't slip-up, they took care of business for 13 straight games. They didn't allow an excuse to derail their undefeated hopes, Oklahoma and Florida did. The Gators can build a wall of excuses for their loss to Ole Miss, but it doesn't change the fact it happened.
Excusing that loss away so easily also kind of puts a dent into the argument that the regular season acts as a playoff. Because obviously it doesn't. Under the current system, Florida & Oklahoma proved they weren't up to the snuff week in and week out. Utah did. There is no excusing that.
Alabama didn't want to be there, so Utah's victory is hollow.
Bull. Did Ohio State get rolled in consecutive national championships because they didn't want to be there? Is that why Penn State was abused by USC in this year's Rose Bowl? Of course not and no one will ever use this argument to justify those losses. So why are they doing it now? Georgia felt they had as equal of a shot at the championship as LSU last year, then got stuck playing an undefeated non-BCS team in the Sugar Bowl and won 41-10. Did they want to be there? Maybe, maybe not, but they didn't let it impact their play on the field against Hawaii.
What about USC's win in the 2008 Rose Bowl? The Trojans thought they had a beef when it came to the national championship and were rejected for Ohio State. Who'd they get instead? Illinois. A team that was 9-3 and didn't even win the Big Ten. Obviously the Illini won, right? I mean, the Trojans didn't want to be there, playing another Big Ten team in another Rose Bowl. And for Illinois, it was a huge game, since they hadn't been to the Rose Bowl in like 23 years. They were probably jacked and maybe they were, but it didn't result in a victory. The Fighting Illini didn't give up much of a fight, losing 49-17.
This excuse might bother me the most because it's the one we hear the most. Non-BCS fans hear it every single time their team defeats a BCS opponent. Yet when the shoe is on the other foot or a BCS team gets throttled by another, that excuse is rarely brought up. It's only used to stifle any argument that maybe, just maybe, a non-BCS team could really be this good. Add in all those other excuses and you have a pathetically light and superficial case to make against Utah.
These facts belie their argument because if you give the Utes' resume to USC, there is no debate and there is no denying them a spot in the national championship. Did the Trojans really accomplish more this season than Utah? No. Yet the fact they are in the BCS automatically gives them the benefit of the doubt. The fact Florida and Oklahoma call the BCS home will give them an advantage no non-BCS team can ever receive. And every time a team like Utah comes along and does everything asked of them, there will be those who'll add yet another requirement and create another excuse.
Well to that I say, "Not this time."
Who'll join me?