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Posts Tagged ‘Utah State’

Pick 10, F.B.S. Notebook: Week 3 (Sept. 15)

Do you remember the last time Notre Dame took a trip to East Lansing? You might not remember the game’s first 60 minutes and change, but that’s fine: things didn’t get wild until overtime, when Michigan State answered a Notre Dame field goal with the most audacious coaching decision of the 2010 season. Now you remember, right? Dan Conroy is lined up for the potentially game-tying 46-yard field goal; Aaron Bates, the punter and team captain, was the holder; tight end Charlie Gantt was lined up one spot inside from the edge to Conroy’s right. The call: “Little Giants.” The snap went to Bates, as expected – and then came the unexpected. You’ll see the rest of the play later tonight, when the Irish and Spartans meet in one of the day’s marquee games. Let’s run down the entire weekend’s action.

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    Setting Early Non-B.C.S. Conference Odds

    Technically, there are seven non-B.C.S. conference teams still in the B.C.S. mix: Boise State, B.Y.U., Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Ohio and Utah State. The number would be eight if Texas-San Antonio was eligible for postseason play, but alas – the Roadrunners, still undefeated after walloping Texas A&M-Commerce, must resign themselves to playing out the string. Unless you’re Boise State, a one-loss non-automatic qualifier is not reaching a B.C.S. bowl without some degree of divine intervention, or the sort of N.C.A.A. intervention that would leave 75 teams ineligible for the postseason.

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      P.S.R. 1-124: Week 3 Re-Ranking

      With the weekend in the books, here’s a look at how the country ranks — using the original rankings as the starting point, with the season’s results as rationale for any movement. The top 25 teams land a one-sentence breakdown. The rest? Not so much. Part of the perks of being one of the best. Think your team is too low? Feel another team deserves more credit, less credit? Let’s hear it below. It’s a delicate ranking process, particularly with only two weeks in the books, so you may see one team ranked below a team it just beat — see Louisiana-Monroe and Arkansas, for example. Don’t be alarmed. Everything will become clearer by the end of the month.

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        No. 67: Utah State

        From 1998-2010, a lifetime in this sport, there may not have been a worse program in college football: Utah State went 43-106 over this 13-year span, never winning more than five games and winning a combined 15 games from 2003-8. It was never, ever pretty; it was always ugly, or very, very often ugly. But Gary Andersen never lost faith, it seems, and after watching his teams make subtle progress from 2009-10 he led Utah State into bowl play last fall after a 14-year absence. Not that it was easy. And not that this past season didn’t have the fan base reaching for antacids: just as six losses came by a combined 26 points, Utah State’s total margin of victory over its five-game winning streak to end the regular season was only 19 points. It was never easy. But the road to perennial success is pocked with these sort of stumbles, often of the self-inflicted variety. The key is for the Aggies to take these life lessons and run with them, beginning in 2012 and moving beyond — from one conference, the WAC, to another, the Mountain West. The best news? Now that Andersen has tattooed a Utah State logo somewhere on his person, he’s not going anywhere. Right?

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          See You Again, WAC, But Only in Reruns

          And then there were two. Before even playing a single game as a member of the conference — let alone a member of the F.B.S. — Texas State will leave the WAC for the Sun Belt in 2013, meaning that five of the seven teams currently in the WAC have found new conference affiliation effective after this coming season: Louisiana Tech and Texas-San Antonio are headed to Conference USA, Utah State and San Jose State to the Mountain West and the Bobcats to the Sun Belt. That leaves Idaho and New Mexico State facing an uncertain future, though these two programs have one thing over the WAC: Come 2013, each will still exist, albeit in a different fashion. As a football league, the WAC is dead.

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            Four More Jump Ship From the WAC

            The WAC has seven teams: Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Texas-San Antonio, Texas State and Utah State. Now, see if you can keep up. Despite being less than a year removed from its birth and four months away from its first game on the F.B.S. level, Texas-San Antonio will join Conference USA in 2013. San Jose State and Utah State are days away from being officially accepted as the newest members of the Mountain West. Louisiana Tech is also expected to land an invite into Conference USA. By mid-May, the WAC will be cut down from seven teams to three, though the four teams already scheduled to leave the conference won’t do so until the 2013 season.

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              Reviewing the WAC’s 2012 Dance Card

              It’s here. Finally. Are you excited? Weeks after the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten and A.C.C. lifted the curtain and unveiled their league-wide schedules for the 2012 season, the WAC has joined the party. Some names will be familiar: Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Idaho and Utah State. Another, Texas State, is new to the WAC. A third, Texas-San Antonio, is not only new to the WAC but new to college football altogether: 2011 marked the Roadrunners’ first season of football on any level, so it’s been a quick move from nothing to the WAC — and please save your jokes about there being little difference between the current WAC and utter nothingness.

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                The Year in Review: Utah State (7-6, 5-2)

                From 1998-2010, a lifetime in this sport, there may not have been a worse program in college football. Dave Arslanian, Sark’s son, tried and failed to lead Utah State into bowl play after doing so well for a decade at Weber State. Mick Dennehy did better, even winning five games in 2000, but couldn’t get the Aggies over the hump. Then came Brent Guy, and the less said of his tenure the better. Next up: Gary Andersen. And through two years, it was easy to see the former Utah defensive coordinator following in his predecessors’ footsteps.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.