Utah State football: Aggies have a mediocre record but rank in the top 40 nationally in 26 statistical categories

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 30 2013 10:49 a.m. MDT

Once Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion arrived in the palace of Emerald City, the Wizard of Oz was learned to be deceiving.

“You humbug!” an angry Scarecrow said.

“I am a humbug,” the Wizard acknowledged.

“You are a very bad man,” Dorothy suggested.

“No, my dear. I am a very good man,” the Wizard replied. “Just a very bad wizard.”

Criticisms were levied against the Wizard after it was learned that he had used various mechanisms to project himself as much more majestic and honorific than he actually was. In reality, he was a wizened man without much behind his appearance.

The Utah State football team is similar. They rank in the top 40 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in 26 of the 44 statistical categories on NCAA.com, through games of Oct. 26.

That looks great. Ultimately, however, the Aggies are just 4-4, evening the ledger with a win Oct. 19 against New Mexico. Previously, they lost to BYU and Boise State after the loss of Heisman Trophy candidate Chuckie Keeton and three other offensive starters. (The USU defense has not lost any personnel for the season.)

In nine categories (seven offensively), the Aggies still find themselves fourth or lower in Mountain West Conference.

Take a look at USU’s own smoke, fire and green heads.

Rhett Wilkinson is a project manager for UtahPolicy.com and https the true-blooded Aggies from Utah. The co-founder of magazine Aggie BluePrint.com, he's been an intern for the Deseret News and other publications. rhett.wilkinson@usu.edu | @wilklogan

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West Valley, UT

With Keeton those numbers may have been even better. But everyone knows that playing Weber, Air Force, New Mexico helped those #'s look good.

John S. Harvey
Sandy, UT

Well and "everyone knows" playing USC, Utah, Boise, and BYU made them look worse. Fact remains USU is tied for first place in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference. That's a pretty good place to be. It is also quite likely that USU wins out it's remaining four games, finishing with an 8-4 record for the year and nice bowl invite.

Overall a rather weird article.

North Logan, UT

Pretty stinging remarks, a bit like kicking you when you're down. Let's not forget how key the offensive personnel losses were. A Heisman candidate quarterback, the starting running back, starting offensive tackle,and starting tight end and nearly all at the same time. Even with those guys, everyone would agree the games against BYU and Boise were going to be a handful Then when you consider the quarterback that initially replaced Keeton was geared entirely different resulting in the need for complete overhaul of the offensive scheme with no time to implement, the loses shouldn't have been a major surprise. The jury should withhold pronouncing a verdict on the quality of this team or lack of quality until the end of the season. No one can tell me that BYU and Boise didn't breath a sigh of relief, tragic as it was, when Keeton and the others went down.

Go Big Blue!!!
Bountiful, UT

When you are a small university the loss of key players is hard to recover from. I have no doubt that had those players stayed healthy USU would be a top 20 team.

The Aggies are well on the road to recovery. A lighter second half season and a bye week gives USU a great opportunity to bring younger players along. The Aggies will be heavy favorites for all remaining games and go bowling for the 3rd straight year. Well done for a first year head coach facing major injuries.

Go Big Blue!!!
Bountiful, UT

As classy as Rhett Wilkinson's last article covering USU when he proclaimed that the Aggies would not make a bowl this year.

Inferring that like the Wizzrd, USU's positive stats are all smoke and mirrors is an insult to all of the positive work that has go into USU's football program for the past 5 years. This will be born out as the Aggies finish the season 8 and 4 with only one conference loss.

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