We are about to embark on the 10 year anniversary season since the Utah Utes went 13-0 and beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. With the current Utes being picked 2nd in the Pac-12 South, I’ve been thinking about what the 2008 Utes were picked in the preseason media poll, so I went back and took a look.
Thanks to our sister site, Mountain West Conneciton, they have a write up that covers the entire media day, you can check it out here. It was the 10 year anniversary of the inception of the conference, when teams like BYU, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado State and other broke away from the 16 team WAC to establish a new conference. Going into that 10th season, the conference had three headliners, Utah, BYU and TCU. The Cougars were coming off of back-to-back conference titles, Utah had a 9 win season, and TCU was loaded as well, so there was a ton of hype around those three programs. And that’s how the media picked the conference to shake out.
Rk. Team (first place votes) Points
1.BYU (29) 299
2.Utah (5) 274
4.New Mexico 197
6.Air Force 141
7.San Diego State92
8.Colorado State 73
Coming out of spring and into the fall, there was a lot of confidence around the program, just due to the amount of players Utah had returning, and how loaded the senior class was. Led by Brian Johnson, the anticipation for the 2008 season was as high as it’s ever been. Everyone just knew if Brian Johnson could remain healthy, they’d have a chance to do something special. I remember thinking the BCS wasn’t out of the realm of possibility going into the season, just based off of the way the 2007 season ended, and what Utah had coming back. Another reason for optimism going into the season was the schedule. The Utes started on the road at Michigan, a potential big stage to jump into the national conversation. Then they had home games with Oregon State, TCU and BYU. The table was set for the Utes to do what they did because of the roster and the schedule. I have no doubt the media was apprehensive to pick the Utes to win the league due to the injury history they have had the previous couple of seasons.
Utah did have some guys on the preseason All-Conference team as well, including:
Louie Sakoda (named both P and K)
The list was littered with BYU players, and of course, Utah would surplant them in almost every way that season.
Take a look at the article from the MWC Connection and see everything that was predicted that season.