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.