Utah College’s Best Teams In History


Utah has a rich college sports history, especially in the Pac-12 conference, boasting teams that have etched their names in NCAA history, from the heroic basketball legends of 1944 to the gymnastics record-breakers of 2014.

Utah teams are known for their undying attitude and often thrive as the underdog. Even fielding what could be considered an average lineup, they are never to be underrated, as they’ve proven time and time again that in college sports, they are diamonds in the rough.

This article will explore some of the best teams in Utah’s history, achievements, records, and rankings.

Utah College Best Teams and Their Incredible Achievements

  • Football

The 2008 Utes football team was one of the most successful in the nation, finishing with a perfect 13-0 record and a No. 2 ranking in the AP poll.

They defeated Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, becoming the first non-AQ team to win a BCS bowl game. They were coached by Kyle Whittingham, who had also led them to a 12-0 season and a Fiesta Bowl win in 2004.

Other notable Utah football teams include the 1994 Utah Utes team that won the Freedom Bowl and finished No. 10 in the AP Poll and the 2019 Utah Utes team that won the Pac-12 South Division and played in the Alamo Bowl.

The Utes have 28 conference championships and 17 bowl games, including two that are now part of the CFP New Year’s Six: the 2005 Fiesta Bowl and the 2009 Sugar Bowl. Some standout players and coaches in Utah’s football history include Urban Meyer, Kyle Whittingham, Alex Smith, Steve Smith, Eric Weddle, and Zack Moss.

  • Basketball

Utah’s men’s basketball team has been successful throughout its history, winning an NCAA Championship in 1944 and finishing as the runner-up in 1998.

The Runnin’ Utes also won national championships in 1916 (AAU) and 1947 (NIT). In 2015, Utah advanced to its 10th NCAA Sweet 16.

The Beehive state ranks in the NCAA’s top 25 in all-time victories (1,848) and winning percentage (.641). Utah’s 29 NCAA Tournament appearances and 38 NCAA Tournament wins also rank in the top 30.

Some legendary players and coaches in Utah’s basketball history include Rick Majerus, Keith Van Horn, Andre Miller, Andrew Bogut, and Delon Wright.

  • Softball

The 2017 Utah Utes softball team made an NCAA Super Regional appearance for the first time in program history. They finished with a 37-16 record and a No. 18 ranking in the final USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll.

They were coached by Amy Hogue and had players such as Hannah Flippen, Anissa Urtez, Miranda Viramontes, and Kelly Martinez.

  • Women’s Gymnastics

The Utah Red Rocks are one of the most dominant programs in women’s gymnastics, winning an incredible ten national championships and finishing as runners-up nine times.

They have qualified for every NCAA Championship since its inception in 1982 and have won more All-American awards than any other school. They are coached by Tom Farden, who took over from the legendary coach Greg Marsden in 2015.

Some of their best teams include the 1981 team that won the first NCAA title, the 1992 team with a perfect score of 200.000, and the 2021 team that won the Pac-12 title, finishing fourth at nationals.

  • Skiing

The Utah Utes skiing team is another powerhouse program, winning 14 national championships and producing many Olympians and World Cup skiers. They compete in Alpine and Nordic events and have won three of the last four NCAA titles, securing victories in 2017, 2019, and 2021.

They are coached by Fredrik Landstedt, who has been at Utah since 2013, and some of their best skiers include Torjus Krogdahl, winner of four individual NCAA titles, Julie DeMartinis-McMahon, winner of three individual NCAA titles, and Petter Reistad, who won two individual NCAA titles.

  • Other Sports

Utah has also excelled in other sports, such as baseball, softball, soccer, cross country, tennis, and golf. The Baseball team captured the 2016 Pac-12 Conference title—the school’s first for a men’s sport since joining the league—and the softball team made a stellar NCAA Super Regional appearance in 2017.

Soccer made the NCAA regional semifinals in 2016, while cross-country made its third NCAA Championship appearance in five years in 2019. Men’s tennis advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2018 and ’19, and men’s golf qualified for NCAA Regionals in 2021.

Sports Betting on Utah College Sports and Other Sports Events

The Beehive state has stern regulations against sports betting and has precisely clamped down on internet gambling with the amended constitution of 2020. However, the state does not yet have enough resources to enforce a total ban on online gambling.

You can place your bet on various offshore operators and Utah casino online platforms that offer different types of bets, such as money line, point spread, totals, parlays, props, futures, and live betting. When downloading sports betting apps, you can find bonuses and promotions that boost your winnings or reduce your losses.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the highest Utah football teams that have ever been ranked?

The Utah Utes football team achieved their highest ranking in the College Football Playoffs during the 2019 season, rising as high as No. 5 in the CFP rankings.

Is Gambling on College Sports Legal in Utah?

Gambling is illegal in Utah at the moment, although there are ongoing discussions about potential legalization in the future. However, Utah bettors can take advantage of trusted offshore sportsbooks.

Utah College Best Teams: A Rich History of Passion, Resilience, and The Underdog Spirit

The story of Utah college sports is one of pure passion and an undying spirit shared by the various teams, from the Gridiron Giants to the Hardwood Heroes. Whether you’re a football, basketball, or gymnastics fan, there are many reasons to cheer for the Utes and celebrate their rich history. You can also enjoy exciting action by betting on your favorite teams or events online through offshore sportsbooks.

Rachel Crib
Rachel Crib
Rachel has lived in Lancaster her whole life. Trish has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the Yahoo News and the Lancaster Post. As a journalist for The Tiger News, Cristina covers national and international developments.

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