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Who had the better season - football or basketball?

This past season marked successful years for both the Utah football and basketball programs. Looking back on the 2014-15 athletic year, which program had the better season?

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Both the football and basketball seasons were by all accounts a success. The Runnin' Utes advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time since the 2009 season and made their first sweet sixteen appearance since the 2005 season. The football team was able to end a two year bowl draught and make it to the Las Vegas bowl, where they dismantled a good Colorado State team on national television. After having missed out on both the NCAA tournament and a bowl game the past couple years, seeing both teams reach the post season was a welcome sight for Utah fans. Which program had the better year, though? Basketball or Football?

Here's a quick recap of how both programs finished their respective seasons.

The men's basketball team finished the year 26-9 overall, 13-5 in conference, good for a final ranking of 15th in the coaches poll and tied for second place in the Pac-12. The Running Utes faced six ranked opponents during the season, going 1-5, beating only Wichita State. Delon Wright was named a consensus all-american and first team All Pac-12, and Brandon Taylor was named second team all Pac-12.

In football, the Utes returned to the top 25, finishing the year ranked 22nd in the College Football Playoff rankings. They faced 5 opponents who were ranked at the time they played, finishing 2-3 against those opponents. Nate Orchard, Tom Hackett and Kaelin Clay were named all-americans. Devontae Booker, Nate Orchard, Andy Phillips, Tom Hackett and Kaelin Clay were named first team all Pac-12  with Jeremiah Poutasi being named to the second team. Utah football had the eighth toughest schedule as rated by Phil Steele.

It's hard to definitively measure the success of the basketball team against the football team. The two sports are very different from each other. The differences vary from length of schedule, to number of players on the team, to the type of statistics that are important in each sport. Each program is different in how they are run, and what the goals for the season are.

Expectations were higher for Larry Krystkowiak's Runnin Utes than they were for Kyle Whittingham's team on the gridiron. Heading into the season the basketball program was seen as being on the rise, while some questioned whether Whittingham would have a job at the end of the year. The basketball team was picked in the preseason to finish second in conference, and finishing second is exactly where they ended up, meeting expectations. The football team was picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12 south, and that is also exactly where they ended up. Due to the depth of the Pac-12 south this season, the fourth place finish doesn't tell the whole story. The football team finished the season in the top 25 with a both a winning record overall and in conference and qualified for a bowl game. It's fair to say they exceeded expectations by a good margin.

The best measure of success, however, is how close a team gets to winning it all. The best teams in Utah's history in any sport, are remembered because of their post season performances. In basketball, everyone remembers the run to the NCAA championship game. In football, it's the Fiesta Bowl and Sugar bowl teams.

By this measure, the basketball team had the better the season. Even though their base expectation was higher than the football team, they made it into the final group of 16 teams vying for the national championship in their sport. They were able to win two elimination games, one against a nationally recognized opponent in Georgetown, and the team to finally eliminate the Utes was the eventual national champion Duke, in a game they were very much in to the end.

The football team had a successful season in their own right, returning to the rankings, beating both the southern California schools, making it to a nationally televised bowl game and dominating an opponent many thought they might lose to. That being said, the Las Vegas bowl is still considered a lower tier bowl and no matter how dominating their performance was, because Colorado State is a mountain west team, national perception is the Utes should have beaten them anyway.

The fact is the basketball team finished three wins from finding themselves in the championship game while the football team was never really in the hunt. In measuring against all the great teams in Utah history, the 2014-15 basketball team this season ranks higher than the football team. What do you think? Let is us know in the comments who you think had the better season.