Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Utah As No. 1: A Second Thought

There are a few good reasons for me to accept the legitimacy of Utah as the No. 1 team in the country:

(1) I voted them No. 2 and think that they are the only team right now that could give Florida a game. I'm not saying they would win, but I am more than convinced they could win.

(2) Your comments and feedback. You all make terrific arguments for Utah. (That said: I remain convinced that the AP voters who voted for Utah were, largely, just trying to be contrarian.)

(3) On almost all matters related to Florida football and statistics, I defer to the thoughtful thinkers at Saurian Sagacity. And so it was to my surprise -- an oddly pleasant one, actually -- that on their final BlogPoll ballot, they voted Utah at No. 1 ahead of Florida.

More than that, they backed it up with some very convincing arguments.

I maintain that Florida is the best team in the country. I maintain that Utah is a strong No. 2. I concur that - as in previous years - we will never know and that this is all speculation. (And, let's point out: If there was a 4-team playoff, Utah would not have been invited.)

I am more than willing to admit that I can't possibly sidestep my own bias in making the distinction between them. As quick as I am to credit Utah -- and I am proud to evidence that I have all season -- there is no getting around my own bias here. (Fair question: How would a "pre-2001" Dan Shanoff have voted?)

What I will say is that though I have tried to provide at least a few provocative opinions in my life, ranking Utah at No. 2 was not one of them -- this was no novelty pick, made for the sake of undermining the BCS or, worse, self-promotion. They are a truly excellent team.

(Hopefully, they and their fans take at least some solace in ranking as high as they possibly could have under the current system -- and stirring a debate that they even might be the best.)

Kudos to the Saurian Sagacity crew -- as die-hard Florida fans as anyone (and they are more than happy to boastfully celebrate an SEC title, as well as a win in the BCS title game) -- for their intellectual forthrightness and commitment to the knowable.

-- D.S.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Here is the problem with voting. Are you voting for the best team in the country or team who had the best season. Clearly, Utah went undefeated and had the best season. Nearly as clearly, USC is a superior team to to USC, and even to Florida in my opinion.

I don't see how you can say USC wouldn't give Florida a fight, but Utah would.