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Utes against the BCS

Last year I took a look at Utah's record against BCS opponents. It showed the Utes were one of the most successful teams against BCS programs over the past 15 years. Well since a season has passed, I thought it best to look back on these rankings, updating them to reflect the 2007 results.

In 2007, Utah played 3 BCS teams, Oregon State, UCLA and Louisville. They defeated two, the Bruins and Cardinals, to finish with a 2-1 record. In their bowl game, they did not get a shot at a BCS opponent, instead playing Navy, who are a non-BCS independent, unlike say, Notre Dame.

I also compared Utah's numbers to other programs and the Utes from 1992-2006 ranked 2nd behind TCU, as well as from 1998-2006. The difference between the two set of numbers was minimal. At least from the Utah point of view.

So in 2006, the Utes' record against BCS opponents was 18-17 ('92-'06) and 12-9 ('98-'06). Adding in their three games from last year, the Utes now stand at 20-18 and 14-10, their winning percentage increasing both times.

Adding in this change, the Utes are still ranked behind TCU in winning percentage, who owned wins over Baylor and Stanford, while losing to Texas. Among Mountain West teams, the Utes have the most wins over BCS opponents, with BYU's 18-wins coming in 2nd. 

For the Utes, they can build on their win total with games against Michigan and Oregon State this season. One thing is clear, however, the Utes have been pretty solid against BCS opponents and that should continue in the future, especially when you compare their success to Hawaii and Boise State, two programs that crashed the BCS after Utah. 

Hawaii only managed one victory last season, against Washington, and were embarrassed in the Sugar Bowl by Georgia, giving them a record of 7-14 since 1998. Boise State failed in their lone game against a BCS opponent last year, an early season loss at Washington. That means, since 1998, Boise State only owns 4 wins against the BCS. Think about that for a second, since the Utes managed half that last season. If Utah sweeps their BCS games this season and Boise State loses its road game against Oregon, Utah will own the same amount of BCS wins in two years as Boise State has attained in 10. Ouch.

Of course, all those BCS wins don't amount to anything if you can't win the conference games. That has been an issue for Pat Hill and Fresno State, along with Kyle Whittingham and the Utes. Hopefully the latter changes this season.