Weber State Football: The hidden gem of Utah

Weber State Football: The hidden gem of Utah

by Daniel Olsen | High School never ends once you get to college. The cool kids are the SEC conference, the other four power five conferences are aspiring cool kids, and the G5, FCS and other levels of college sports are on the outside looking in. This holds true in the state of Utah where the three FBS teams (BYU, USU and Utah) get all the publicity. However, Weber State has accomplished just as much at their level. We will take a look at one of the little known gems in the Beehive State and the reasons they should be spoken of more often.

1. They are an FCS powerhouse:

The tier one is obviously James Madison and North Dakota State in recent years at the FCS level. You can make the case that Weber State is a tier below. They are contenders for a championship but still have work to do to get to that level. In the last three years, they have made it to at least the quarterfinals. Last year they made it to the semifinals. Another purple team in the James Madison Dukes was the obstacle in their way two of those times.

2. Jay Hill is the real deal:

Jay Hill is a successful coach and his name is mentioned among the lists of head coaching candidates at the FBS level. The Wildcats will do their best to maintain their elite level of play and much of that depends on how long Hill plans to stay. If he continues to win, this could become an attractive position for other talented coaches who want to start out in the FCS.

3. The Wildcats do the best with what they have:

There are nearly as many FCS teams (127) as there are FBS teams (130). Last year, Weber State finished the season ranked third in the country. BYU hasn’t been ranked that high since 1984 and Utah and USU have never been ranked that high. Given the fact that FCS schools can only give scholarships to 63 players in comparison to 85 for the FBS, the Weber State Wildcats are doing amazing with the hand they’ve been dealt.

While the Wildcats haven’t beaten an FBS team since 1993 (47-30 over Nevada) they were very close last year in hard fought defensive games over Mountain West opponents Nevada and San Diego State. They have produced outstanding players as running back Josh Davis won the Jerry Rice Award for the most outstanding freshman at the FCS level in 2018. Many of these talented players are returning and hoping for a stellar campaign this spring.

This season FCS conference play is not taking place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several teams have played non-conference games which totals just over fifty matchups played featuring an FCS team. While it is a rough time for fans of these programs, they need only keep their heads up. Brighter days are ahead for the Weber State program. They are on the cusp of greatness and making their way to the peak of the mountain. They rule FCS football west of the Rocky Mountains.

Featured image via KSL Sports.

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