The University of Utah was belatedly proclaimed national champion for the 2008 football season, which, of course, meant one thing.
A scintillating quote from Kyle Whittingham. Drum roll and get ready to stop those presses — or pull the plug on the servers or whatever we do nowadays …
"That was interesting."
Whittingham reconfirmed what many knew: He voted the 2008 Sugar Bowl champions as the top team in the country that year, and why not?
On Saturday, the 2018 NCAA football records book listed the ’08 Utes champion of "major selector" Anderson/Hester. Jeff Anderson and Chris Hester have published their mathematical football ranking system for the Seattle Times since 1997, but this was the first year in which the NCAA listed Utah as an alt-champ.
"I haven’t been educated on the particulars of it, but we thought we were a pretty good team that year,” Whittingham told reporters Monday. "I voted us No. 1."
As a bonus to Whitt's insight and interesting quote, fans from Utah and BYU had a heyday, including, of course, going after each other on social media.
Here’s a sampling of the tit-fot-tat:
To any BYU fans discrediting the Utes championship because it was a “poll championship” just remember what method awarded yours...a poll. pic.twitter.com/YMMQbjIbQf— RVAUte (@RVA_Ute) August 27, 2018
To which a BYU fan replied, “Google ‘Consensus National Champion.’”
It was then brought up that Washington also claims a share of the 1984 national championship — the Pac-12 even acknowledges this on its official website.
This GIF might be the most accurate to describe both fan bases — neither wants to really hear what the other says unless it opens the door for a good retort or insult.
BYU fans right now: pic.twitter.com/fwD8EDbiXr— Konlovan Korvzmaft Fredettingham (@Quoth_the_Maven) August 27, 2018
Ute fan Jeff Dart described the declaration like this:
“The NCAA adding Utah's 2008 season to their list of recognized championships the week before the season may be the greatest troll job in the history of college football in the state. Some organizations just want to watch the world burn. #2008Champs #Utes.”
Hey BYU, we all know you are having a hard time deciding to back to the MWC or not, and honestly it's understandable. But remember this. Utah did win a national championship while in the MWC.— Utah A&M (@Utah_AM) August 26, 2018
This Ute fan learned math because 2018 minus 33 equals everything since 1985 and on, which conveniently and humorously leaves out BYU’s magical 1984 ride.
Retweet if your team won a national championship in the last 33 years! #Utes— Kansas City Ute (@KansasCityUte) August 27, 2018
Andrew Fox, son of Channel 2 sportscaster Dave Fox, had this to say:
Hang your hat on any voted-on championship you like. But they're either all legitimate or none of them are. Trying to claim which is more legit between two years (say, for example, 84 and 08) is pointless since no one cares about either of them anyway.— Fox (@FoxOnABox_) August 27, 2018
Which, of course, merited a response from a BYU fan, Jason Ludlow:
1984: Champ decided by 2 major polls, AP & Coaches. #BYU finished #1 in both. 2008: Champ decided by BCS title game. #Utes did not play in the BCS title game. One team has the official hardware. The other has a cute footnote. Hang a banner for that footnote
This all matters, right? OF COURSE IT DOES!
I've seen people question if Utah fans are serious about this national championship thing and I'm 100% serious. If Utah's media guide doesn't mention what the NCAA & PAC12 call it, it is a failure of the athletic department #Utes https://t.co/g7OU9aeKZ2— Jeff Dart (@jdartute) August 27, 2018
So, when’s the parade?
Who knows, but here’s one idea for a celebration moment.
Halftime of the BYU game in November the 2008 National Championship team is awarded their rings. The banner is unfurled. Utah is up by 27 so Coach Sitake can come out and accept his ring without feeling the pressure to make in-game adjustments.— ^MJO (@mckinleyj) August 27, 2018
“Reported for hate speech,” a BYU fan responded.
Not so fast said another Ute fan. “This is a high quality tweet.”
Someone else replied “Tasty,” so now I’m kind of hungry but don’t know for what.
Utah fans are going to be just as obnoxious about 2008 as BYU fans are about 1984, aren't they?— Ryan McDonald (@ryanwmcdonald) August 27, 2018
And the answer, Ryan, is yes. Definitely yes.
Let’s end on this note, which basically and fairly sums it up.
As The MightyAlaskanUte put it:
1984 -BYU goes undefeated and a group of peoples opinion is they were the National champ— THE Mighty Alaskan Ute (@MightyAlaskaUte) August 27, 2018
2008- Utah goes undefeated and a group of peoples opinion is they were the National champ
Literally no difference between the two. Other than one was 1984 and the other 2008. #champs
1984: BYU goes undefeated and a group of people’s opinion is they were the national champ.
2008: Utah goes undefeated and a group of people’s opinion is they were the national champ.
Literally no difference between the two. Other than one was 1984 and the other 2008.
And with that, let all BYU and Utah fans sing in unison, "We are the champions, my friends."