What are the 10 best wins of the century for Utah football?
There's no denying how talented of football program head coach Kyle Whittingham has created at Utah.
Since the turn of the century, the Utes have been one of the top teams in the nation in regards to wins, winning percentages and bowl-winning percentages. They've also gone from a Group of 5 power to a Power 5 squad that is one of the tops in the Pac-12 and a perennial top-25 team.
Whittingham is 131-64 (.672 winning percentage) since taking over as head coach in 2005 and 11-3 (.786 winning percentage) in bowl games. Utah has won 169 games since the turn of the century, ranking among the top-25 in the nation over that time period.
With that being said, let's take a look at Utah's top 10 wins of the century — the ones that changed the trajectory of the program and has made Utah the national power that it is.
10.) Utah 27 — Oregon State 8 (Oct. 29, 2011)
*This game has to be up here for the sole purpose of it being Utah'a first victory as a member of the Pac-12 conference. While Oregon State is far from being a Pac-12 powerhouse, this win signified that the Utes could compete in the conference and was the first of four consecutive Pac-12 wins.
9.) (11) Utah 33 — Washington 27 (Nov. 2, 2019)
*Led by one of the nation's top defenses and record-breaking offensive players, one could make the argument that the 2019-squad was the best Utah has ever has in the Pac-12. The Utes took down Washington in Seattle for their biggest win of the season, doing so in dramatic, come-from-behind style.
8.) Utah 24 — (25) BYU 21 (Sept. 15, 2012)
*It's known as one of the craziest games of the century when the Utes took down the Cougars in dramatic fashion. BYU had a chance to tie/win the game three different times in the final seconds, but what ensued was two missed field goals and the fans rushing the field three different times before the dust settled.
7.) Utah 24 — Michigan 17 (Sept. 3, 2015)
*Kicking off the season and with the entire nation watching, Utah gave the Pac-12 a massive victory by taking down Michigan in Jim Harbaugh's first game. An interception returned for a touchdown by Justin Thomas midway through the fourth quarter proved to be the nail in the coffin
6.) Utah 27 — (5) Stanford 21 (Oct. 12, 2013)
*This was the first massive upset the Utes pulled as a member of the Pac-12, with it being more impressive after falling to No. 13 UCLA a week prior. Some would argue that the late goal line stand by the Utes is what propelled to the team to greatness over the past five years.
5.) Utah 41 — Texas A&M 21 (Sept. 2, 2004)
*Utah entered the 2004 season who high aspirations, but even the Utes didn't know how good they could be when they faced the Aggies in the season-opener. Alex Smith led a dominating offensive performance that set the stage for Utah's undefeated season.
4.) (10) Utah 13 — (11) TCU 10 (Nov. 6, 2008)
*A Thursday night showdown kept Utah's undefeated season alive and set the stage for what might be the greatest season in program history (2004 might say otherwise). After struggling on offense all game long, Brian Wilson drove the Utes 80 yards late in the fourth quarter and connected with Freddie Brown for a game-winning touchdown with 43 seconds left.
3.) (18) Utah 62 — (13) Oregon 20 (Sept. 26, 2015)
*Utah's official Pac-12 moment came in 2015 when the Utes demolished the Ducks at Autzen Stadium, one of the toughest places to play in the nation. Oregon, coming off a national championship bid the previous, got absolutely poleaxed as Utah proved it belonged the Pac-12's elite with the win.
2.) (5) Utah 35 — (19) Pittsburgh 7 (Jan. 1, 2005)
*The Utes invented the term 'BCS-buster' by becoming the first ever non-power conference school to make a BCS bowl game. Alex Smith ended his career in style by leading Utah to a dominating victory over Pittsburgh in what was Urban Meyer's final game coaching the Utes.
1.) (6) Utah 31 — (4) Alabama 17 (Jan. 2, 2009)
*The biggest win in program history saw Utah absolutely humiliate Alabama on national television in the Sugar Bowl. Utah jumped out to a 21-0 lead by being the more physical team, and then cruised to the win and established itself as a national power. The win also spurred Alabama's run the past decade, as they've won five national championships since that loss.
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