By: Daniel Olsen
September 11, 2018
(Image by collegefootballnews.com)
In week 1 the Utes beat Weber State easily, the Aggies nearly beat #11 ranked Michigan State and BYU beat the promising Arizona Wildcats. But how much does this really tell us about these teams?
It might tell us a little bit but not a whole lot. For the sake of entertainment we will search through the crystal ball of week 2 to see if there’s anything between the tea leaves.
BYU: A bowl worthy team. No more no less.
Yes BYU beat the PAC-12 Arizona Wildcats. No, that school does not have a good football team. This was proven when another team of Cougars, Houston Cougars that is, held the Wildcats scoreless for three quarters.
This does more than explain that in a cat fight a Cougar would defeat a Wildcat. It somewhat discounts the win the Cougars had over Arizona in the eyes of national voters. BYU went from 3 votes in the AP Top 25 poll to zero, zip, nada.
Losing to Cal on a down year didn’t help. There is no Jared Goff in the backfield. They have eeked by North Carolina and BYU by playing good defense and just enough offense to win by a possession in each game. If BYU had gotten the golden ticket to the PAC-12 they’d be competing with the Arizonas and the Cals of the league but they have some work to do to compete in their other two games against the upper echelon of the PAC-12 in Washington and Utah this season.
There will be a lot of pressure in the next few weeks and BYU is likely to lose to Wisconsin and Washington while easily beating McNeese State. That will make them 2-3 heading into the Utah State game where we will see if they really are good enough to easily get to a bowl game or if that road to eligibility is a steep climb like it was last year.
Utah: Who have they beat? The jury is still out.
The Utes struggled early against Weber State before putting them to bed. The Utes struggled late in Illinois against the puppy Huskies. This week they play the big dogs as they host the Washington Huskies.
If the Utes play like they have the last few weeks the Huskies will be the ones putting them on a leash. The thing is the Utes frequently play down AND up to their opponents. They always consider BYU so inferior yet tend to only beat the Cougs by one possession each year.
I think the Utes are competitive enough to win the south but I have thought that for years. Usually once October and especially November hits I am proven wrong. I think the Utes SHOULD win at least 7 games. 10 is the most I think they can win. We will see where that takes them. I think they will continue to be a fringe top 25 team but a loss to UW will delay that for a few weeks. They could spend a couple weeks in the Top 25 AP poll but they seem to be more of a Top 50 team than Top 25 to me.
Utah State hey Aggies All the Way: Why the Aggies are THAT good!
This is a hard case to make considering some of these takes contradict each other. Arizona’s loss to Houston hurts BYU’s ranking that is true. How does Michigan State’s loss to Arizona State not hurt the Aggies then? The answer is that Michigan State was the #11 team in the nation when they barely beat the Aggies and then lost to a good Arizona State team who is predicted to compete for the South. Wait a minute, weren’t the Arizona Wildcats expected to compete for the South? Yes, but that was before they proceeded to play very poorly and lose to two group of 5 Cougar teams in a row. The Houston Cougars won bigger than BYU did over Arizona by the way but it probably did help having home field advantage.
The Utah State Aggies then proceeded to throttle the other Aggies of New Mexico State 60-13. Now New Mexico State is after all pretty bad this year. Yes they did beat the Utah State Aggies in the Arizona Bowl last year but that was last year. The Aggies of Utah State return many talented starters and NMSU lost a lot of their best guys.
The Aggies of Las Cruces are one of the few 0-3 teams in the nation. How is this helping the case that the Aggies are the best team in the state? Because they freaking won 60-13!
There was a tweet that said the following:
Credit to @Seansy89 for pointing out this statistic. Dominik Eberle will once again be a good candidate for the Lou Groza award. He was a finalist last year and a record setting night will only bolster his case. Here is a list of what he accomplished just against New Mexico State:
- NCAA record 24 points in a game
- 6 Field Goals
- 6 PATs
- 3 50+ yard field goals in a game (also an NCAA record)
Eberle wasn’t the only special player on special teams. The first touchdown for Utah State was a 100 yard kickoff return by Savon Scarver! The classic Aggie defense was just as spectacular as the offense as they allowed just 13 points.
So yes, the Aggies have the potential to be that good but the jury is still out. They will beat Tennessee Tech and should beat Air Force. That might get them a couple Top 25 votes. If they beat BYU they should get a lot more Top 25 votes. Since they are in the Mountain West they can’t get into the top AP rankings if they have early losses in the Mountain West whereas the Utes can drop an L to ranked Washington and still sit in their ivory tower. However, if the Aggies keep on winning they should be ranked by sometime in October with the opportunity to play a competitive and probably ranked Boise State team for the Mountain Division title.
This might feel like the 2012 Aggies who won the WAC title and defeated offensive ranked powerhouse Louisiana Tech. The Aggies went on to win the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Louisiana Tech didn’t get a bowl as they felt the invite to the Advocare V100 was “beneath” them.
There is still a lot of football left to be played but it looks like the BYU vs Utah State game will determine who gets the bragging rights in state and could be the favorite to win the Beehive Boot. If the Aggies win then it could be them. If BYU wins then the Utes might have something to say about that.
One thing is for sure: whoever does the best will earn it inch by inch, down by down!