Utah tops the final non-BCS power rankings

Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson
1.Utah: The Utes capped their perfect season with a win in the Sugar Bowl and coach Kyle Whittingham was named the American Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year. Not a great trade for a national championship, but a step in the right direction.

2.TCU: The Horned Frogs defeated Boise State in the Poinsettia Bowl to finish their fourth 11-win season in the past six years. TCU was in the BCS hunt until the final week and several of those players return for next year.

3.Boise State: The Broncos finished their third undefeated regular season since 2004, but couldn't cap the undefeated campaign with a bowl win. The Broncos have a consistent stream of talent to continue dominating the WAC through the 2009 season.

4.Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane didn't have the greatest last third of the season, but they rallied to dominate Ball State in the GMAC Bowl and win 11 games for the first time in school history. Tulsa will have to find a new quarterback to orchestrate another record-breaking season.

5.BYU: The Cougars didn't turn out to be as good as advertised in the beginning of the season, but they still won 10 games for the third consecutive season (11 wins each of the past two seasons). The Cougars will have a lot to replace in the offseason, especially with top receiver Austin Collie going pro.

6.Rice: When November started, Rice still felt like it had a chance for a historical season and the Owls pulled it off with a dominant win over Western Michigan in the Texas Bowl. The Owls won 10 games for the first time in the program's history.

7.Ball State: The Cardinals finished the regular season undefeated, but faded down the stretch in the Mid-American Conference championship and GMAC Bowl. Now, the Cardinals must adjust to a new head coach and a new quarterback with Nate Davis going pro.

8.Houston: The Cougars were a game away from winning Conference USA West, but made up for it with a win over Air Force in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. First-year head coach Kevin Sumlin kept Houston at a high level and that should continue through 2009.

9.East Carolina: The Pirates won the Conference USA title, but couldn't nab that 10th win with a victory over Kentucky in the Liberty Bowl. Still, the Pirates had a great season considering its tough nonconference schedule and a losing streak during the middle of the season.

10.Troy: The Trojans won their first outright Sun Belt title, but were nipped in overtime by Southern Mississippi. Still, the Trojans proved all season that they were one of the better teams in the non-BCS and that should continue with several key players returning.