Alabama has came out in full force feeling they have been disrespected for matching up with Utah, hey would you rather be playing Cincinnati's? In less then 24 hours Utah is getting slammed by EVERYONE, why because they play in the Mountain West. This is not the 2004 team who is much better and would have given any team in the country a game and yes I include that USC team.
In my opinion, which is biased even though I try not too be, is that Utah can play with anyone in the country with the exception of Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida. Those three schools would beat Utah by two touchdowns if both teams played well. As for USC, Alabama, and Penn State the game would by no means favor Utah but they are on equal footing in regards to this years talent.
Back to the Sugar Bowl, Brian Johnson the Utah quarterback put it the best. His first question was asked by some reporter about the history of Alabama football and not the 2008 Alabama team, but then Brian Johnson cut him off mid sentence to say we are not playing history we are playing their eleven guys on the 2008 team, and we will not see Bart Starr or Joe Namath coming out of the tunnel along side Bear Bryant.
Here is the video about the comment it is in the first 30 seconds:
Here is the link to ESPN's commentary on the Sugar Bowl matchup. The best thing they mention is that Utah can hope to hang with Alabama.
This game is not about Bear Bryant, 12 national title, 13 Sugar bowl apperances, but rather the 2008 Utah Utes against the 2008 Alabama Crimson Tide. A memo to all of those Alabama fans who at any time they read a comment, blog post, news article, or anything that does not say Alabama is God's gift to the world in football do not need to start rambling off the numbers I just did or many more that I am not aware of. Good smack is fun but no need to bash the other school or just pound your chest and say the SEC is king, Utah is a good team and so is Alabama they are both in the top 10.
For amusement purposes and what will be considered bulletin board material for the Ute players, I will start a post a day until Januaray 2nd and postcomments from fans and media outlets that could be used as bulletin material for Utah. Alabama fans may find this like a slight against them, but some Alabama fans and media are giving the Utes no respect. Again this is all fun.
This first one comes from an ESPN.com chat near the end of the chat
Derek, Atlanta: Why does Bama get the short end of the stick and play Utah? I would think they would prefer a match up like Bama and Texas.
Derek would you rather be playing a 9-4 Virginia Tech or 11-2 C incy who lost to U Conn? Brad Edwards puts it best:
"The selection order often dictates the matchups, and that's what happened here. The first pick went to the Fiesta, which chose Texas. The second pick went to the Sugar, which chose Alabama, so there was never a chance to match those teams."
Alabama coach Nick Saban said the Tide were "the only team that plays in a real BCS conference that went 12-0." -Chattanooga Times Free Press
That may have been a slip of the tongue but many people in Utah feel slighted about that remark.
Here is the title from The Birmingham News
Alabama to face Florida Light in Sugar Bowl Vs. Utah
Real classy, yes the article is balanced but the title is a slap in the face, but does it mean since they refer Utah to Florida that Utah wins? Just a thought. Also in the article Sugar Bowl executive director Paul Hoolahan said "Well," he said, "I'd be less than honest to say we weren't a little concerned about the outcome of last year's game." Not even close because Utah's schedule is much better, but Hoolahan also said that since Utah was able to win at Michigan Utah " was a safe bet."
I came across the blog, The Rap Sheet, by The Birmingham News writer Ian R. Rapoport and I am not sure if he is writing a tease to get readers to check the blog tomorrow or he really does not know why Utah is matched up against Alabama, and it does not help when CEO Paul Hoolahan said:
"There was no other choice," Hoolahan said. "That was it. That was the choice. Alabama and Utah was the choice. It makes perfect sense for us. I mean, we can go through the steps, but you know obviously, we had the replacement factor..."
For those Alabama fans who did not know how the selection work it goes as follows:
Bowl that loses team to BCS title
Bowl that loses team to BCS title
The first two selections went with Fiesta taking Texas and then Sugar taking Alabama, both choose to keep their conference affiliation in line. Then the pick went back to the Fiesta and they had teams like Ohio State, Boise State, TCU, Utah, and Cincinnati. Fiesta took Ohio State for a bigger named matchup and the Sugar felt Utah was the next best selection, in their minds.
In the same blog post there is a comment, by delahaya puts things in perspective and does not whine or complain about playing Utah.
Guys, Utah ain't chopped liver. They are undefeated and will be motivated to beat an SEC team. Don't take a win for granted.
Alabama has had a great year and has the opportunity the cap it off with a Sugar Bowl win. The players should be proud of what they've done.
Also, one last thing Alabama fans, as Utah fans, should be excited because last year Alabama lost to Louisana-Monroe and played in the Independence Bowl, while Utah was in the Poinsettia Bowl.