If not for a freakish 58-yard field goal from an erratic Fresno State kicker, Utah State might be riding a 2-game win streak to Boise State.
But that kick did split the uprights and even after Saturday’s convincing 30-14 win over Hawaii, the Aggies have a 2-7 record and will be hard-pressed to finish the season with more than three wins.
Next week is a date with the BCS-dreaming Broncos. Then it’s another road trip to face the suddenly-hot Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.
In neither game will the Aggies be favored. But even with a lack of wins, USU is clearly making progress. What was once a football team without confidence and easily pushed around by even middle-tier WAC teams, Utah State is now pushing conference-title teams to the limit or even beating them.
The big question now, however, is if this improvement has come too little, too late for the Aggies — and coach Brent Guy in particular.
Guy has only eight wins during his tenure as USU’s head coach. Unless the Aggies upset either BSU or LaTech, they’ll most likely end Guy’s fourth season with nine victories if they can get past NMSU in the season finale.
Is nine, or 10 if the Aggies sneak out a road win, victories enough to give new USU athletic director Scott Barnes enough reason to bring Guy back?
Even after Saturday’s win, Aggie fans were at best tempered in their criticism. Virtually always regarded as a classy man and a tremendous assistant coach, Guy has never won USU fans over — not winning games will do that.
Now, Guy has one season left on his contract with the Aggies. It’s rare for a Division I coach to actually reach the final season of a multi-year contract. They either get an extension or get fired.
And so, while the Aggies are a better football team than they have been in the past couple of seasons, the wins are still rarities.
In the end, that may be the determining factor in whether USU keeps Guy around.