ESPN has been asking its readers to write about the face of their favorite college program and of course, you can discuss Utah football as well. Unfortunately, their list has been overtaken by BYU trolls who have no life, so they sit at the computer all day bashing and attacking anything Utah. Pretty pathetic, but also fairly humorous if you think about it.
Anyway, who is the face of Utah football? I think this is a tough question to ask and really, the case can be made for a ton of people. Mostly, though, because the program's coach is not well enough known and hasn't been here long enough in his current capacity to be the face of the football program. Obviously Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno are the faces of the Florida State and Penn State programs, but I don't think you can make the case Kyle Whittingham is the current face -- at least nationally -- of Utah's football program.
So who is it? Well, let's look at the list:
Kyle Whittingham - Let's throw him up here just for kicks, even though, as stated, I do not believe he is the face of the program. Whittingham is the head coach, so obviously he's the biggest piece for Utah football, however, how big? I don't think, at this time, he's made a big enough impact to be picked.
Rice & Eccles families - Rice-Eccles Stadium, home of the Utes, is named after these two families, so they have some presence here. But how many people actually know who these family members are or who the stadium is named after? Probably not many.
Alex Smith - Smith easily is Utah's most famous football player. He was picked #1 in the NFL draft -- the first time that ever happened for a Ute -- and led Utah through two unbelievable seasons. Of course, it was all capped off with a dominant victory against Pittsburgh in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl. Hard to top that.
Steve Smith - He's found a lot of success in the NFL and actually isn't shy about showing his love for the Utes, often wearing a Utah cap on national television. Steve Smith so far has had a better pro career than Alex, but his time at Utah can't compare.
Jamal Anderson - Always a friend to Utah football, Anderson had a successful pro career cut short by an ACL injury, yet he's still a popular figure within the NFL and among Utah fans, sporting Utah gear at any chance he gets.
Scott Mitchell - From 1994 to 1998 led the Detroit Lions' offense, setting single season franchise records which included 32 touchdown passes and 4,338 passing yards.
I'm sure there are others, but this is my list. Vote or let me know if I missed one.