By Ken Pomponio
Record: 12-0, 7-0 to win MWC
Final Coaches’/AP poll ranks: 4/5
Postseason: Defeated Pittsburgh, 35-7, in Fiesta Bowl
Coach Urban Meyer only spent two seasons in Utah, but his final one always will be cherished in Salt Lake City as the ’04 Utes became the first non-automatic qualifier to crash the BCS bowl party. MWC Offensive Player of the Year and 2005 No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick Alex Smith, MWC Defensive Player of the Year Morgan Scalley and seven other first- or second-team all-conference selections led the team. The Utes roared through the regular season unblemished en route to scoring an MWC play-record 351 points — a mark that still stands despite the expansion to eight conference games the following season. The ensuing desert drubbing of the Big East-champion Panthers was the cherry on top that was savored conference-wide.