Utah has enjoyed a history of success on the football field. The Utes became the original BCS buster while competing in the Mountain West Conference. Since that time, Utah took the rare step of moving up into a major conference when the school joined the Pac-12 Conference in 2011.
All-time record: 623-428-31 (.590)
Bowl record: 13-4 (.765)
Rivals: BYU (Holy War), Utah State (Battle of the Brothers), Colorado (Rumble in the Rockies)
National championships: None
BCS appearances: 2 (2005 Fiesta Bowl, 2009 Sugar Bowl)
Conference championships: 24
Consensus All-Americans: 4
Heisman winners: None
Stadium: Rice-Eccles Stadium
Fight song: "Utah Man"
Team colors: Crimson and white
Mascot: Swoop (a red-tailed hawk)
Famous NFL players: Jack Johnson (1930-1932), Mac Speedie (1939-1941), Larry Wilson (1957-1959), Roy Jefferson (1962-1964), Bob Trumpy (1966), Manny Fernandez (1965-1967), Norm Thompson (1969-1970), Steve Odom (1971-1973), Scott Mitchell (1987-1989), Jamal Anderson (1992-1993), Luther Elliss (1991-1994), Kevin Dyson (1994-1997), Mike Anderson (1998-1999), Andre Dyson (1997-2000), Steve Smith (1999-2000), Jordan Gross (1998-2002), Alex Smith (2002-2004), Eric Weddle (2003-2006), Sean Smith (2006-2008), Paul Kruger (2007-2008).
Traditions: Crazy Lady dance to the Blues Brothers theme at the start of the fourth quarter. Third-down jump by MUSS on each opponent's third down. Singing of "Utah Man" by MUSS and players after each home game.
History: The University of Utah made its football debut in 1892 against Utah State and suffered a 12-0 loss to the Aggies. Utah has fielded a football team continuously since World War I. The Utes have been charter members of three different conferences -- the Skyline Conference in 1937, the WAC in 1962, and the MWC in 1998.
Utah achieved its first major football success under head coach Ike Armstrong. He spent 25 seasons with the Utes and compiled a 141-55-15 record from 1925 to 1949. Armstrong amassed more career victories than any other Ute football coach. He guided Utah to 13 conference championships, including six in a row from 1928 to 1933. Under Armstrong, Utah had five undefeated seasons. His best team in 1930 finished the season undefeated and untied. They gave up just 2.5 points per game and scored 42.5 points per game. Armstrong also led Utah to its first bowl game -- the 1939 Sun Bowl. The Utes won that game, beating future conference rival New Mexico 26-0.
"Cactus" Jack Curtice was hired to replace Armstrong in 1950. Curtice introduced the shovel pass, or "Utah Pass," a play that is still used in modern spread offenses. His successor, Ray Nagel, led Utah to its second bowl game in 1964. The Utes beat West Virginia 32-6 in the 1964 Liberty Bowl and finished ranked No. 14 in the UPI Poll -- their first ranking in a final poll in school history.
After a series of mediocre seasons in the 1970s and '80s, head coach Ron McBride revived the football program in the 1990s. McBride led Utah to its first ever end-of-season top 10 ranking in 1994, which included a 10-2 record and a 16-13 victory over future conference rival Arizona in the 1994 Freedom Bowl.
Utah took it to another level under Urban Meyer. He only coached the Utes for two seasons, but Meyer put the football team on the national map. Utah became the first non-BCS team to be invited to a BCS bowl after going undefeated in 2004. The Utes faced Pittsburgh in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl. Utah pounded the Panthers 35-7 and became the first non-BCS team to win a BCS bowl game.
Kyle Whittingham kept Utah nationally competitive after succeeding Meyer as head coach in 2005. Whittingham led the Utes to another undefeated season in 2008. Utah was invited to play in a BCS bowl game for a second time. The Utes faced Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl and beat the Crimson Tide 31-17. Utah finished the season ranked No. 2 in the AP Poll and became the first non-BCS team to win two BCS bowl games.
Utah finally joined the BCS ranks in 2011 when the Utes left the Mountain West Conference and joined the Pac-12 Conference.
John Coon is a graduate of the University of Utah and has covered the Utes in multiple sports as a reporter based in Salt Lake City.