Could Utah State Be A Top 10 Team?
LOGAN, Utah – Utah State University is off to its best start to a season in over 50 years with its 7-1 record, and are ranked 18th in the AP poll and 20th in the USA TODAY coaches poll.
The Aggies offense is scoring 49.4 points per game – third best in the nation – winning games by an average of 27.1 points per game. USU is 27th in S&P+ offense, – a college football ratings system that ranks data from all of the FBS 800 games in a season and over 140,000 plays.
Utah State also has eight non-offensive touchdowns and is plus-eight in turnover margin, which is 10th in the nation.
It’s safe to say this Aggies team is really good, but how good can Utah State be this year? During Monday’s broadcast of KSL Unrivaled, KSL Sports’ Jeremiah Jensen said both the Utes and Aggies could be Top 10 teams if they win out the rest of their schedules.
“I think if they win out, they’re both Top 10 program,” Jensen said. “If they beat Boise State at the end of the year… Utah State has a legit chance to run the table.”
Could Utah State really be in the national conversation at the end of the year?
“They have a tough (game ahead) if they make the Mountain West championship game against Fresno State. If they do that, and UCF drops a game, they’re in the conversation for a New Year’s Six (game),” said Jensen.
One person who does not care about rankings is head coach Matt Wells, who did not put any stock in being ranked mid-season when asked about being in the top 25 during Monday’s press conference.
“The polls are nice and the ranking is nice,” Wells said. “It’s recognition, but I want to be ranked at the end of the year. If we continue to strive, and take steps towards our number 1 goal, there’s a chance for that at the end of the year.
Head coach Matt Wells spoke to top 25 rankings at his Monday press conference, acknowledging their importance, but also emphasizing he’d rather see his team there at the end of the season, not just October. pic.twitter.com/9i0C5W47mG
— Matthew L Glade (@matthewLksl) October 31, 2018
Utah State’s schedule is favorable the rest of the way. They are overwhelming favorites the rest of the way against Hawaii, San Jose State and Colorado State.
The Aggies could be 10-1 with a possible Top-15 team entering the season finale at Boise State. That is the only game where the Aggies are considered underdogs over the final month of the year. The Broncos are 6-2 on the season, with a 4-1 Mountain West record.
Currently, ESPN’s Football Power Index gives Utah State a 40 percent chance to win the game.
Should they win the conference’s Mountain division, the Aggies would then face the West division champ in the Mountain West Championship on December 1, likely CFP No. 23-ranked Fresno State or San Diego State.
To get to a Top 10 ranking, as Jensen thinks is possible for Utah State, will take a lot of work. The initial College Football Playoff poll – which is the only ranking that matters from here on out – did not rank the Aggies despite their No. 18 position in the AP poll. The omission felt like a major snub, especially when considering that there were three teams with three loses who earned spot in the CFP Top 25.
All Utah State can control the rest of the way is to keep winning and doing it impressively, as it has done all year. To get to a Top 10 ranking would also take other teams ranked ahead of them to lose, giving the Aggies a boost in the polls.
Up next for Utah State is a long road trip to play Hawaii. The game will be broadcast online only at WatchStadium.com at 10 p.m. Fans must download the Stadium app, and then allow the app to know you’re current location to avoid the Hawaii geofence. Click on “Go Directly to Stadium” and then tap on the button for “Live Events.”
The game will not be streamed to desktop computers.
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