Everyone knows Utah was the original BCS buster, crashing a BCS bowl game in 2004. Yet with their victories over UCLA and Louisville this season, the Utes have solidified their spot as the best non-BCS team when it comes to playing BCS opponents. Forget how poorly they do against lesser teams, Utah is far and away the top program to take on the BCS. Don't believe me? Well try and find another non-BCS team that has had as much success against the BCS recently.
Fresno State, billed at one point the best against BCS programs, hasn't defeated a BCS team since 2004 -- when they went out and crushed Washington and Kansas State (both of whom finished with losing records). This season alone, Fresno went 0-2 against the BCS, albeit against tough competition.
Boise State, the non-BCS darlings of media, garnered two big BCS wins last year, defeating Oregon State and then a top-10 Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. However, that was only their third BCS win since defeating Iowa State in the 2002 Humanitarian Bowl. Boise State had a chance to grab the schools first road victory over a BCS team this year when they played Washington in Seattle. But the Broncos were clearly overmatched in their 24-10 loss.
BYU, coming off its best season since 2001, has a grand total of 3 BCS wins since 2004 (Arizona this year, Oregon last year and Notre Dame in '04). And they haven't won a road game against a BCS opponent since defeating Mississippi State in 2001.
TCU, once picked to crash the BCS this year, picked up a BCS win this year against Baylor and has a chance against Stanford next week. They also defeated Baylor again and Texas Tech last season. And of course their biggest BCS win came in Norman, against Oklahoma, in 2005. The Frogs, who also defeated Iowa State that season and Northwestern in '04, are probably Utah's biggest rivals in this regard.
Then there is Utah. The Utes already have won 2 of 3 BCS games this year. Lost their lone BCS game last year (against UCLA), defeated Georgia Tech in the Emerald Bowl in 2005 and opened that season with a victory over Arizona. In 2004, the Utes beat four BCS teams, Texas A&M, Arizona, North Carolina and Pittsburgh in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl. In that span, Utah has gone 8-3 against the BCS. Clearly the best mark of any non-BCS team, since TCU has only played seven BCS opponents since '04 (beating all but Texas Tech in '04).
What I think this clearly shows is that Utah needs to go independant and just schedule BCS opponents. Ok, not really, but obviously the Utes know how to get up for a BCS team and they're not afraid to schedule them, as well. Now if they could just play this well against lesser opponents, then Utah would truly be the best non-BCS team and not just the best against BCS opponents.