Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Defending the 1984 National Championship

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  1. 1. While you argue that Pitt was filled with talent due to the number of draft picks etc. The truth is they were beaten by six other teams and tied by one. There are many pre-season teams that start the year ranked and end up no where to be seen. Pitt was not a good team and they certainly were not deserving of a #3 ranking no matter how you want to spin the talent level.

    #2. Beating Tulsa may count as the best quality win on the schedule, but everyone knows that any team can boost their merit based on the we beat Team A that beat Team B logic. Tulso no matter if they were the MVC champ was not a powerhouse team. It's like calling the MAC champ a power or the 2012 WAC champ a power. It was a good win but that doesn't make a strong SoS.
    #3. It is apparent that Michigan was not the quality team without Harbaugh as it was with him. So saying that the rest of the team was there is irrelevant. It would be like saying we beat the Bulls sans Jordan.
    #4 The point is they were voted not played in a designated game to determine a champion.
    #5 Using this logic there should be many champions. Using this logic Utah could say they hold 4 undisputed championships.

  2. Thanks for the comment.

    2. I understand what you are saying about Tulsa, and I don't expect it to change a lot of people's minds. I included it more because it is an obscure fact that I find interesting. BYU could have played a 1-AA team or a celler dweller from one of the bigger conferences. Colorado was 1-10 that year, should BYU have played them instead?

    3. Football is a lot different than Basketball. Players play both offense and defense in basketball. Not so in football. Harbaugh's absense impacted the offense. The defense did not get worse by Harbaugh being injured, and that was seen all season. The defense played well enough to win more games, but the offense did not.

    4. Who did play in a designated game to determine a champion that year? So are you saying none of the national champions before the BCS started should get credit?

    5. Using that logic there can be only one champion. Only one team was undefeated. I said nothing about what to do if more than one team is undefeated.

  3. You can use just about all these arguments for Utah being champion in 2008, only Utah's accomplishments are better across the board (Beating #3 team at the end of the year >>>>> Beating preseason #3, Won a much better bowl game against a better team in better fashion, beat better teams in the regular season, etc.)

  4. '84 BYU was a very good team, and going undefeated is never an easy thing to do.

    However, the fact that BYU fans (not just this author) are compelled to justify the '84 championship to themselves or anyone who will listen simply underscores how tenuous and unimpressive that championship season was. 26 years later, the Cougar faithful are still trying to make their case . . .

    The lasting legacy of the '84 BYU Cougars is the now ubiquitous SOS metric, which has since denied more accomplished, deserving teams (like '08 Utah and '09 Boise State) a chance to be champions.

  5. Well said jclarke, well said. I take it from the nature of your post that you are a Yewt, but at least you seem like a level headed one.

    Rappleye is a hack, you'd think that the trophy in our trophy case would ease his nerves about this (especially 1/4 of a century later). But the fact that he's still here justifying it IS very telling about how much of a true fan he is. A true fan wouldn't feel the need to justify anything, we won, end of story. Who cares if our schedule was suspect, and other teams have legitimate arguments to be champs that year.

    But what good would a "BYU sports blogger" be if there wasn't a specious National title for him to point at? We can't survive on creamery jokes forever!

    He is an embarrassment to our fan base, and all that we have accomplished during THIS decade. We're the program that teams like Alabama, Ohio State, Florida, Utah and USC aspire to be like. It's time to recognize that fact and act like champions, not petulant children.

  6. Jim Hawks,

    I appreciate the feedback, even if it was negative. I guess a better, more appropriate title to this post would be "Responding to criticisms of the 1984 National Championship."

    As for me being a true fan, I can assure you I am one. I attended games all through the Crowton years (including that miserable 3-0 loss to Utah) and fully belieived that we would beat Utah in RES in 2004. I think Max Hall was a great quarterback and there was a lot of truth in what he said after the Utah game.

    Please allow me to clarify what appears to be a few misunderstandings (I know this was a long post so some of the details may have been missed).

    1. I have no nerves about this. The trophy and the poll results speak for themselves (see #4 above). I didn't write this for me, I wrote it for those out there who think that the trophies don't speak for themselves.

    2. I never said that the schedule was suspect. In fact, I pointed out reasons why the schedule should not be criticized.

    3. I did not say that other teams have legitimate arguments to be champs. "While I don’t think it is necessary, let’s take a closer look at Washington and Florida to see the flaws in their claims for the national championship" and "The only team in 1984 that “defeated all opponents” was BYU."

    As I said, I don't think this is a debate that should be regularly revisited. But I don't think that BYU fans have to "prove they are fans" by completely ignoring it. Let's look at what you said another way. I assume that you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Are you saying that any member of the chruch who responds to criticism of the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith is not a true/faithful member of the Church? Even the leaders of the Church (prophet and apostles) defend/justify these and other teachings of the church. It is called public relations.

    I think it is great that you feel no need to engage in this debate, but there are many outside the BYU circle that do. If there is a way to help them (which helps BYU in the end) then I see no problem with a BYU fan doing that.

  7. One thing I've heard that maybe you could check on is that Washington even turned down the bowl match up that year with BYU. I think this would even further the claim of National Champion for us.

  8. Good point. Yes, Washington (end of the year #2) and Oklahoma (#2 before the bowls) could have played BYU in the Holiday Bowl. Wikipedia has a page just for the 1984 Holiday Bowl.

    It definitely weakens anything Washington wants to say about a NC. Why decline a chance to play #1 and then say you are better then #1?

  9. I don't think you give enough credit to point 3:
    Even though football is a very different sport than basketball you cannot deny the importance of a great QB. Take Tom Brady away from the Pats and what do you get? take Manning away from the Colts and what do you get? I don't mean to imply that Jim Harbaugh was on that elite of a level but he certainly was the engine that moved Michigan's machine.

    As for point 4:I wouldn't be quick to call the media "experts" by any means. The system that was used to crown champions was even more ridicules than the BCS. This is not BYU's fault by any means, I'm just saying the system was faulty.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not implying BYU didn't deserve it's championship. I'm just saying a lot of the points BYU fans use to defend said title is sketchy at best.

  10. "the fact that he's still here justifying it IS very telling about how much of a true fan he is. A true fan wouldn't feel the need to justify anything, we won, end of story."

    - Jim Hawks

    First, it is really not very fair to say that people who are truly passionate about BYU football are not "true fans" because they feel a need to justify the 1984 National Championship. Since when did being a true fan involve anything more than "truly" being "fanatic" about the sport or team? What gives you the right to decide who is and who is not a true fan?

    Second, as Scott has aptly said himself, it is not a matter of justifying it to OURSELVES, or even justifying it at all. The fact is, there are people who criticize and dismiss the BYU National Championship (and the fact that such critics are still talking about that 1/4 century later I think tells us all something about THEM). Would a "true fan" really just let critics attack without putting up some kind of defense? If we really want to talk about criteria for "true fans," I think a decent argument could be made that "true fans" should feel obligated to defend the team they love. After all, why would someone who is not "truly" a fan get defensive over the criticisms against the 1984 Championship? If one is not a "true fan" why do would they care if some is criticizing this or that, etc.?

    "the fact that BYU fans (not just this author) are compelled to justify the '84 championship to themselves or anyone who will listen simply underscores how tenuous and unimpressive that championship season was. 26 years later, the Cougar faithful are still trying to make their case . . ." - jclarke

    The fact is, as long as there are people who wish to criticize the legitimacy of the 1984 Championship, "true fans" should be willing to step up and defend that Championship. Unfortunately, 26 years later, people are still making a big deal about it, so BYU fans SHOULD feel a need to respond.

  11. All I have to say is GO COOGS!! Even if we're down this year we are going to be fantastic in the next 3-4.

    And a unanimous #1 needs no explanation whatsoever.

  12. Blogger,
    Quit with the contradictions. You are honestly making the argument that strength of schedule doesn't matter and then you go on to defend BYU's SOS and argue about how Tulsa was a conference champion. Why do you even make this argument if you think strength of schedule is bogus?
    Your logic is so screwed up. The NCAA would be an absolute joke if people with your ideas were in positions of authority. If it really just takes winning all of your games then why doesn't an average Pac-10 or Big-10 school transfer to the sorry Mountain West and go undefeated and claim a championship. Because that's not how it works. If you want to be the best, you got to beat the best! BYU did not do anything in 1984 to prove that they were better than Washington. There's no way for you to get around that. Why do you think BYU is in the process right now of trying to schedule Texas, Notre Dame, and other big name schools? Are they purposely sabotaging their program? Are they stupid? Why don't they listen to you and schedule games strictly against the WAC and other sorry schools? Because, quality of wins does count!
    It sounds like you went to BYU, so you must have some sort of brains in your head. I know you have the ability to reason and understand how beating a bunch of sorry schools doesn't make you a championship, but you won't see it that way, because you choose not to observe anything objectively when it comes to your school.
    It's all the blind zoobies like you that are the reason I have to cheer for the boys up north even though I attend BYU. I love that you agree with what Max Hall said, way to exemplify tradition, spirit, and honor.

  13. I remember the year byu was given the national title. In spite of the fact that they went undefeated, I've have never felt that they deserved it. They beat some quality teams that had bad seasons. Big Ten, Pac Ten, and Southwestern Conference teams beat each other up all season. The WAC, Mountain States conferences don't. When you want to claim championship of the big boys you have to play them and beat them all year long, not just occasionally!