In college football, winning isn't the only factor. Who you beat, and how, is a vital part of moving up the rankings and getting into a good bowl game. So each week during the 2012 season, we'll take a look at how Utah State's past and future opponents performed.
Utah State 2012 schedule
Aug. 30 Southern Utah W, 34-3
Sept. 7 Utah, W, 27-20
Sept. 15 at Wisconsin, L, 16-14
Sept. 22 at Colorado State, W, 31-19
Sept. 29 UNLV, W, 35-13
Oct. 5, BYU, L, 6-3
Oct. 13 at San Jose State 2 p.m. (ESPN Regional)
Oct. 20 New Mexico State 1 p.m. (KMYU)
Oct. 27 at UT-San Antonio noon
Nov. 3 Texas State 1 p.m. (KMYU)
Nov. 17 at Louisiana Tech 5 p.m.
Nov. 24 Idaho 1 p.m. (ESPN Regional)
Last week: Lost to Sacramento State, 27-22
The Thunderbirds have had an up-and-down season, but it's trending downward after a close loss to Sacramento State in which SUU surrendered a fourth-quarter lead.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 13 at Montana
Last week: Lost vs. USC, 38-28
Utah didn't play badly against the Trojans in Salt Lake City, but despite two early touchdowns (via two USC fumbles), the Utes couldn't keep up with SC's superior talent, especially at wide receiver. Utah now faces two tough road games.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 13 at UCLA
Last week: Won vs. Illinois, 31-14
The Badgers got back on the winning track after a tough loss at Nebraska. That's their only conference loss, so they still have a shot at a Big Ten title (although they'd have to beat Ohio State to do it).
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 13 at Purdue
Last week: Lost to Fresno State, 28-7
They say that beating your rival makes your season worthwhile. Better hope that's true for the Rams, because it doesn't look like they can beat anyone outside of Colorado.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 13 at San Diego State
Last week: Lost at Louisiana Tech, 58-31
The Rebels had kept things close in their first four games, but they've lost their last two by a combined margin of 93 to 44. Hey, at least they're still undefeated in conference play...for now.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 13 vs. Nevada
Last week: Won vs. Utah State, 6-3
The Cougar defense, perhaps the best the school has ever seen, is keeping the team in games. But freshman quarterback Taysom Hill suffered an injury against Utah State and may be out for a long time. That leaves BYU's offense back where it started: with an inconsistent Riley Nelson running the show.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 13 vs. #10 Oregon State
Last week: Bye
The Spartans haven't played since a 12-0 win over Navy on Sept. 29. Now they host a hungry Utah State team in the WAC opener for both squads. The winner will have the early inside track in the WAC title race. That is, until they face Louisiana Tech.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 13 vs. Utah State
Last week: Lost at Idaho, 26-18
It's gone from bad to worse for the Aggies, who failed to beat even the lowly Idaho Vandals this week. NMSU's lone win this season came against FCS school Sacramento State. But hey, at least they're racking up the passing yards.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 20 at Utah State
Last week: Bye
The Roadrunners are still undefeated...and still haven't really played anybody. This week's opponent, Rice, doesn't really count as "anybody" either. But after that, UTSA faces San Jose State, Utah State and Louisiana Tech in successive weeks. Then we'll finally know what we're dealing with.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 13 at Rice
Last week: Lost at New Mexico, 35-14
After upsetting Houston to start the seasons, Texas State hasn't been too impressive. Then again, they won't have to be to defeat their next opponents, Idaho.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 13 vs. Idaho
Last week: Won vs. UNLV, 58-31
The Bulldogs are third in the country in points scored, and 109th in the country in points allowed. That pretty much tells you all you need to know. We'll see if they can keep their undefeated record and new national ranking against #22 Texas A&M this week.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 13 vs. #22 Texas A&M
Last week: Won vs. New Mexico State, 26-18
Ladies and gentlemen, your WAC leaders! Okay, that's not entirely true, but the Vandals and UTSA are both 1-0 in WAC play for now. Quarterback Dominique Blackman threw an interception on the first play of the game, but he bounced back to tally 304 yards and two touchdowns in the Idaho win.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 13 at Texas State