Never an organization to pass up the chance to get more Internet hits, ESPN.com conducted a college football mock draft, today. In it, three respected writers - Pat Forde, Ivan Maisel and Mark Schlabach - took turns drafting their favorite programs.
Three teams which made the Top 40 list are Utah, BYU and Boise State.
And you said Intermountain area teams got no respect.
Utah was drafted No. 17, Boise State No. 20 and BYU No. 23.
I'm assuming the list (http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=4375901) is an overall look at programs, including at least passing reference to their histories. Otherwise, Michigan wouldn't be No. 11 and Nebraska No. 12. The Utes made the list because of their recent history - two BCS bowl victories in five years. But to rank the program ahead of BYU's - which won two of the last three MWC titles and had a nice, long 20-year run of success - is minimizing a long, impressive legacy.
It's hard to argue that Utah's program, for the moment, doesn't have the upper hand. Who wouldn't select a two-time BCS bowl winner? But if you take into account BYU's national championship in '84, it's Outland and Heisman winners, its NCAA records, and its 22 conference titles, different story. ESPN.com also has a Prestige Ranking that has BYU the No. 25 team historically, Utah 43 and Boise State 54.
If you're asking which is the better program right now, today, I'd pick the Utes.
If you're picking the best program historically, I'd take the Cougars.
We're all in agreement on that, right?