by Daniel Olsen |
2020 has brought a lot of ups and downs but during the year the sports moments we have had brought fans to their feet. From January to March there were crowded stadiums. Then, there was a dark period of no sports from March until June. This left many sports fans to watch re-runs that were aired on several sports channels. The Last Dance became a closely followed documentary on Michael Jordan and the 1998 Chicago Bulls. From July until now, the sports slowly started to rise again in the Beehive State.
Real Salt Lake participated in the MLS Restart in July. The Jazz came back and played into the end of August in the Disney Resort bubble in Orlando. College sports returned in the fall after spring sports were cancelled. The MLB and NHL had shortened seasons and the NFL made it through several cancellations due to the spread of the pandemic in multiple locker rooms.
There were several teams who had great seasons this year. We will break down the four best ones and then make our pick. Feel free to also vote on our Twitter poll to make your voice heard on what the fan’s choice is!
BYU Football: One yard shy of perfection
This season finished most recently so it is fresh in the minds of many no matter which team they cheer for. It was amazing that they got to this point after almost all of their original schedule was nixed. They fought hard and mostly annihilated easier teams. The eye test will tell you though that they could compete with anybody.
The Cougars went 11-1 which is their best win total since 2009 when they won 11 games under Coach Bronco Mendenhall. They prided themselves as a well-rounded experienced team. Yes Zach Wilson played well but the run game, both lines, kicking, rushing and receiving games were also on point. Their only blemish was a 17-22 loss to a 12th ranked Coastal Carolina team. Had they won that, they might have been in a New Years Six Bowl. Instead, they said “Good Knight!” as they put the UCF Knights to bed with a 49-23 score in the Boca Raton Bowl.
USU Basketball: We never flinched
How 2020 started is ironically a lot worse for USU basketball than how it is going. They had their first consecutive losing streak under Coach Craig Smith and it started on New Year’s Day. With losses to UNLV, San Diego State and Air Force, the stellar non-conference slate was cancelled out by this tainted stretch. However, the Aggies would win ten of their final thirteen games en route to a second place regular season finish.
In March, they went to work. Due to some scrappy team play and the brilliance of Sam Merrill (winner of our biggest clutch performance award) the Aggies won the Mountain West conference tournament for the second time in as many years. They beat a top five team in the country in familiar foe San Diego State in the process. Had the NCAA tournament not been cancelled, the Aggies would have found themselves with a solid opportunity to end their March Madness victory drought. Craig Smith was ecstatic about this team’s ability to overcome opposition.
“We never flinched.” Coach Smith said.
BYU Basketball: Zapping the Zags
Most of BYU’s losses came when star player Yoeli Childs was suspended for the first part of the season due to an NCAA violation. BYU still found their way to a stellar non-conference resume as well as wins over several talented conference teams. The biggest of all was a home win over the #2 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs. BYU finished with a 13-3 record in conference play and a 24-8 record overall. While they did lose to Saint Mary’s in the semifinals of the conference tournament, they still would have found themselves securing a favorable at-large bid to the NCAA tournament had it not been cancelled.
Corner Canyon Football: Still undefeated
I picked this team because it’s been a very long time since they have lost a football game. They have now won 40 straight games. They continued to win in dominant fashion this year as they won their third straight state title. They now have the second longest win streak in program history. They were led by senior star quarterback Jaxson Dart who recently committed on ESPN to play for the USC Trojans. If the Corner Canyon Chargers can find a way to keep the momentum going into next season, they will be a tough out.
The Winner: Corner Canyon
While all these candidates are deserving, our choice is Corner Canyon due to the dominance they have carried into this year. Make sure to vote for your favorite of these candidates for best team in our poll on Twitter. You can also find more information on our Facebook and Instagram pages.