There have been countless Conference, State and national champions to come out of the Beehive State. But which of these teams are the greatest assembled since Utah was made a State in 1896? We set out to find the top 10 teams/individuals from the capital of green jello and this is what we found.
10. 2011 Logan High School Football: The team finished the season undefeated with a game winning touchdown over East High. This was the fourth championship of the millennium for the Grizzlies, who last year beat Dixie in the 3A championships in legendary Coach Favero’s final year to give him one ring for each finger of his good hand.
9. Jared Ward 2016 Río Olympics Marathon: Jared Ward took sixth in Brazil in the 2016 Summer Olympics. It would have been the most impressive American placing in the marathon in a long time had Galen Rupp not surprised everyone by earning a bronze medal. He ran the marathon with a personal best time of 2 hours, 11 minutes and 30 seconds.
8. 1998 Utes basketball: Losing to Kentucky in the NCAA championship game was no small feat. Rick Majerus was a great coach and he didn’t cancel games for safety reasons either.
7. 2012 USU Football: Team best 11 wins including a win over their big brother Utah Utes, ranked Louisiana Tech, and a win over the Idaho Vandals to clinch the Western Athletic Conference football title. They would go on to win their first bowl game in almost 20 years in the Idaho Potato Bowl over the Toledo Rockets.
6. 2011 BYU basketball: Jimmer was box office. He was the player of the year. He could pull up from forty feet. He helped the Cougars get to the sweet 16 only to lose to Florida in overtime. He was one of he most remarkable players in BYU basketball history with the possible exception of NBA Celtic great Danny Ainge.
5. 1984 BYU Football: This championship cane with much controversy as it came by popular vote. BYU was the only undefeated team in America and they beat a decent Michigan team. There wasn’t a title game to decide the champion so nobody knows if the Cougars would have won had they faced a tougher opponent.
4. 1970 USU basketball: They advanced to the Elite 8 so they were good. They had more impressive players like Jaycee Carroll and Wayne Estes other years. They accomplished a lot over the recent years of coach Stew Morrill but the postseason matters and this was the team’s best showing in the postseason.
3. 2008 Ute football: The Utes finished the season undefeated then beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. They couldn’t get much better than that especially when they were in the Mountain West Conference.
2. 2009 Real Salt Lake: They deserve this spot because they are the only professional team from Utah to win a championship. This soccer team resides in a state where soccer is extremely popular.
1. 1997 Utah Jazz: The Jazz deserve the top spot here because they won a team record 64 regular season games this year and made it to the NBA finals for the first time in franchise history. They were only dethroned in the Finals by the greatest basketball player ever: Michael Jordan. How does a guy beat a team on the road when he has the flu? The most memorable part of this season was the shot that got them there in a series clinching win over the Houston Rockets. “John Stockton, for three… Yes! John Stockton sends the Utah Jazz to the NBA Finals!”