This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A decade in one program is an eternity in college football these days. A decade of consistent victory is even more rare.
With the announcement of Kyle Whittingham's extension at Utah, he'll have time to earn a few more marquee wins. But here's his top 10 victories up to this point with the Utes:
10. 2005 Emerald Bowl 38-10 win over Georgia Tech
Whittingham's track record of bowl success started with a 38-10 dismantling of Georgia Tech in 2005. Backup quarterback Brett Ratliff was exemplary, tossing four touchdown passes, while Travis LaTendresse dominated the Yellow Jackets' secondary for 214 yards and four touchdowns. The most impressive performance, however, came from do-it-all defensive back Eric Weddle, who held future NFL All-Pro Calvin Johnson to only 19 yards receiving on two catches.
9. 25-23 win over Michigan in 2008
The road to perfection for Utah started in Ann Arbor in 2008, the debut of Rich Rodriguez as Michigan's new head coach. However, a 305 yard passing day from Brian Johnson and four field goals from Louie Sakoda led the unfazed Utes past the Wolverines 25-23. This win was the biggest on the road of the 2008 perfect season.
8. First rivalry game win over BYU, 41-34 in overtime in 2005
Whittingham had beaten the Cougars before as a coordinator, but this had to be extra sweet after he took over as the head coach. Backup quarterback Brett Ratliff was supposed to manage the game after Brian Johnson was hurt the week prior. Instead, Ratliff rushed for a score and threw for four more, including the game winning 25 yarder to Travis Latendresse. The Utes limped to a disappointing 6-5 record that season, but the win over BYU was a great consolation prize.
7. 24-21 win over No. 20 USC in 2014
If the No. 19 Utes had generated hype coming into the sixth week of 2014, a tough home win over USC gave the team legitimacy. After a quarterback controversy emerged between Kendal Thompson and Travis Wilson, Wilson threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Kaelin Clay with eight seconds left for the victory. This win announced Utah as a serious threat in the Pac-12 South, both in 2014 and the foreseeable future.
6. 27-24 win over No. 15 Pitt in 2010
The Utes hit the ground running in the season opener of 2010, beating Pittsburgh 27-24 in overtime on the way to a 10-3 season. Then a freshman, Brian Blechen made his first big play of many as a Ute, intercepting a Tino Sunseri pass to set up the game-winning 21-yard field goal. Jordan Wynn threw for three touchdowns and DeVonte Christopher caught eight passes for 155 yards and a score to give Utah a big home win over a ranked opponent.
5. 44-6 win over No. 11 UCLA in 2007
After a pair of disappointing losses to start the season, the Utes shocked No. 11 UCLA 44-6 and began to build the groundwork for 2008's undefeated run. The Bruins were harrassed into turning the ball over five times, while Tommy Grady threw for three touchdowns to lead the Utes to the win. Utah up to that point had gone 0-8 in series history against the Bruins, but won in emphatic fashion on the way to a 9-4 season.
4. 30-28 win over No. 8 UCLA in 2014
Along the way to owning the state of California in 2014, no win was bigger than this one over No. 8 UCLA. After a crushing home loss to Washington State the week prior, the Utes rebounded and marched into the Rose Bowl, going toe-to-toe with the Bruins. Devontae Booker rolled for 156 yards and a touchdown, while Andy Phillips hit a 29-yard field goal to ice the game for Utah and give the Utes one of the biggest road wins in school history.
3. 13-10 win over No. 11 TCU in 2008
No game was harder fought or tougher for the Utes in 2008 than this one, but as the dust settled, Utah stood tall. The Utes fell behind 10-0 early, but rallied for 13 straight points to beat the Horned Frogs. With 47 seconds left in the game, Brian Johnson hit Freddie Brown for a 9-yard touchdown after engineering an 80 yard drive, sending Utah to victory with only 48 seconds left.
2. 27-21 2013 win over No. 5 Stanford
This upset reverberated through the college football world, arguably the biggest home upset in Utah history and an emphatic announcement that the Utes were a dangerous threat in the Pac-12. Travis Wilson gutted out 234 yards and a pair of touchdown passes, while the defense stood tall for a goal line stand against the Cardinal, forcing Stanford into a failed fourth down conversion from the 6-yard line with 47 seconds left. No win has meant more on the field at Rice-Eccles Stadium than this one.
1. 2009 Sugar Bowl victory over No. 4 Alabama
There's no real competition for the No. 1 spot on this list. Utah's 31-17 victory was unprecedented, emphatic and complete, with Johnson leading a clinical opening scoring drive and never looking back. He finished with 336 yards and three scores and the Utes finished undefeated, busting down the door of the BCS and giving hope to the have-nots of college football.