Utah State is coming off the finest season in program history — 11 wins, including a smashing victory over Toledo in the Idaho Potato Bowl.
The Aggies' only losses — at Wisconsin and Brigham Young — came by a total of five points.
In the euphoria of finishing 11-2 came crushing news. Gary Andersen, who resurrected the program in four years, had resigned to accept the job at Wisconsin. The Aggies moved quickly, naming offensive coordinator Matt Wells as Andersen's replacement.
Utah State is thinking big after its 2-0 start, which included last Friday's overtime victory against Utah. Up next is a trip to Wisconsin. A win in Madison would certainly catch the attention of the college football world.
Gary Andersen has guided Utah State to 4-8 records in each of his first two seasons as coach and Aggie fans are looking for a breakthrough season in 2011. Utah State hasn't been to a bowl game since 1997.
Thanks to Ryan. Click the image for an enlarged view.
Brigham Young had plenty of co-conspirators in its planned move out of the Mountain West Conference. Utah State for one. ESPN for another.
Yes, that's right. The four-letter network was involved from the beginning.
Documents and email correspondence obtained by the Salt Lake Tribune through an open records request detailed how the Cougars planned to declare their independence in football and join the Western Athletic Conference in all other sports.
Utah State president Stan Albrecht, who has been criticized for not accepting an offer to move the Aggies from the WAC to the Mountain West after news of BYU's planned move began to trickle out, had incentive to stay the course. He had masterminded with WAC commissioner Karl Benson, BYU president Cecil Samuelson, Fresno State president John Welty, Nevada president Milt Glick and ESPN to spring the Cougars.
There were better places to be last Saturday than Ruston, La., but when that craving for Western Athletic Conference football strikes, a man has to do what he can to satisfy the urge. How else can we explain Wiz correspondent Greg deciding to travel to this burg of 20,546 for the Utah State-Louisiana Tech game? Yes, this is where Terry Bradshaw and Fred Dean spent their college years. Bradshaw even had hair back then. Greg actually saw an entertaining game, with the Bulldogs rallying for a 45-38 victory to become bowl eligible. Aggie coach Brent Guy, pictured just before kickoff, saw his team fall to 2-9. On Monday, Utah State decided Brent was the wrong guy for the job. He was fired, effective at the end of the season. Game face? This guy looks like he means business. Women, you ask? Southern beauties were easy to find.
Check out the little tikes getting ready for kickoff. Louisiana State games have been known to bring out the beast in fans. Ruston's version of the Blue Man Group. The Bulldog statue must be of supreme importance. A look at Karl Malone Court. Yes, the big guy played here. It also gives us another chance to plug our new college basketball site, The March to Madness.
A look inside Joe Aillet Stadium about an hour before kickoff.