SALT LAKE CITY UT - NOVEMBER 6: Head coach Kyle Whittingham of the Utah Utes argues with an official during a game against the TCU Horned Frogs during the second half of an NCAA Football game November 6 2010 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City Utah. TCU Beat Utah 47-7. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
It's no secret - the Utes are big dogs entering Wednesday's bowl game against the Boise St. Broncos. No one is giving them a chance to even make it a game, let alone win it.
That's just fine. Odds don't dictate the final outcome. They never have.
But they are a creation of the current feelings toward a certain match-up and in that regard, the Vegas odds are exactly right - the Broncos should win and win by a comfortable margin.
Of course, should is not the same as will and when it comes to Kyle Whittingham and his boys, especially in bowl games, it's never smart to bet against them.
So I won't. I'll never bet against the Utes in a bowl game. I didn't in 2009 as they prepared for their impending slaughter against Alabama and I'm not going to do it today.
I believe the Vegas oddsmakers are wrong and though I'll stop short of saying I think Utah will win, I do believe they will be in position to win late in the game.
Yes, some of that belief is rooted in the simple fact I am a Ute fan - but it goes deeper than that. I'm not a total homer. I've called losses before and I'll surely call them again. I don't know if Utah has what it takes to win this Wednesday, but I damn well know they have what it takes to make it a game.
That is rooted in history. That is rooted in what Kyle Whittingham has preached since arriving at Utah. There is a reason he's 5-0 in bowl games and the Utes haven't lost one since the 20th Century.
It's not just luck. You don't luck into that many wins. It's skill, preparation, commitment and belief.
Utah believes they can win. They believe they can win because no one on this team has suffered a defeat in a bowl game. They are perfect - from the sophomores who were just freshman last year against Cal to the seniors who cut their teeth against Navy in the 2007 Poinsettia Bowl. They have yet to taste the bitterness of defeat in a bowl game as a Ute.
The team they're ling up against Wednesday can't say that. Their seniors have suffered defeat in a bowl game. It happened the year Utah, against all odds, tossed around the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl.
It explains why Christian Cox promised a win against the Broncos a couple weeks ago. I don't take that comment as overconfidence or reckless because I do believe everyone on this team is going to line up Wednesday expecting a win - promising each other a win.
It's not a guarantee, but more an assurance in what this program has built over the years.
They're proud of that streak and they believe in that streak. They believe in themselves. It's hard to bet against a team that has so much confidence and faith in its ability to prepare for a bowl game.
Vegas can't account for something like that.
As a fan, I can. It's what Utah has done over the years that makes me confident they'll show up Wednesday and leave it all on the field. I don't know if it will be enough to beat the Broncos, but it will give them a chance.
That's what I'm expecting Wednesday night. Even if the odds suggest otherwise.