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University of Utah NBA and NFL Number One Picks
Salt Lake City is the geographic home of the University of Utah Utes and even for casual college sports fans, it seems like an unlikely location for the NBA and NFL’s number one draft picks over the course of the same year, but that was not the case. in 2005.
Although it doesn’t have a reputation as a traditionally dominant football or basketball program, the University of Utah made American sports history when it became the first university to having chosen players from his teams with the number one draft picks in the NBA and NFL drafts in the same year. The NBA and NFL reign supreme in the world of American professional sports with Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Hockey League (NHL) coming in at a distant third and fourth in terms of team sports popularity. While baseball has had its heyday in the past and still records attendance records (thanks in part to a season with more than ten times as many games as the NFL and twice as many games at four times as many baseball diamonds larger than what the NBA offers) the consensus is that the NFL and then the NBA are the most popular professional sports in the United States.
The hiring of an eventual successful college football coach, Urban Meyer, ushered in a new era of 21st century football success for the public university with approximately 28,000 students. Prior to Coach Meyer’s arrival, the school had barely made an appearance on the national college football radar. The 2004–05 college football campaign under Meyer went 11-0 in the regular season before beating the University of Pittsburgh in the January 2005 Fiesta Bowl to win a historic BCS bowl game for Salt Lake College . The perfect 12-0 season was good enough to put the Utes in fourth place in the polls at the end of the season and propelled field signalman Alex Smith to be taken by the San Francisco 49ers as the first choice in the general classification. the 2005 NFL Draft.
The University of Utah has had less success recently on hardwood than on the grill. With the exception of a 1998 run to the Final Four, the only other notable accomplishment on the basketball Utes’ resume is a 1944 NCAA title. Although he didn’t have a banner year during of the 2004-2005 basketball season, the University of Utah Utes sent Australian-born No. 2 student Andrew Bogut to the Milwaukee Bucks, who selected him with the first overall pick in the draft. the NBA that summer. Coming off of a freshman season where Bogut won freshman honors in the Mountain West Conference under-par, the seven-foot Australian had a stellar season in his sophomore year that netted numerous college player of the year awards.
At this point in their relatively young careers, quarterback Alex Smith and forward Andrew Bogut are both consensus disappointments. While both players will likely go on to have meaningful role-playing-type careers in their respective sports, expectations for the number one draft picks are so high that anything short of single-handedly overthrowing a long failing franchise is generally considered a colossal disappointment.
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