LOGAN, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Following its 48-41 overtime win at No. 19 Louisiana Tech, Utah State climbed into the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 as the Aggies are ranked tied for 25th in the nation along with Mississippi State. In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, USU just missed out on a top 25 ranking as it is the first team listed among others receiving votes.
Last week, Utah State was ranked 31st in the nation in the coaches’ poll with 20 votes and tied for 36th in the nation in the AP poll with four votes.
Utah State garnered 82 votes in this week’s AP poll to be nationally ranked for the first time since 1978 when that Aggie team started the year with a 5-0 record and was 18th in thecountry in the United Press International (UPI) poll. As for the AP poll, it is the first time USU has been nationally ranked since finishing the 1961 season 10th in the country. Overall, it is just the fourth time in school history that USU has been nationally ranked in the AP poll as it was listed 18th and 19th in consecutive weeks during the 1960 season.
Utah State also received 74 votes in this week’s ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll to rank 26th in the nation and just 12 votes outside the top 25.
Utah State has slowly been climbing up the national polls this year as it received its first AP vote of the season following its 27-20 overtime home win against Utah in the secondweek of the year. Three weeks ago, USU received four votes in the coaches’ poll to rank 39th in the nation following its 48-17 road win at UTSA. Two weeks ago, USU garnered 13 votes in the coaches’ poll to rank 35th nationally and four votes in the AP poll to rank 40th following a 38-7 home win against Texas State. And following a bye last week, USU received 20 votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll to rank 31st nationally and four votes in the AP Poll to rank tied for36th in the nation.
Prior to this season, the last time Utah State received votes in any poll was at the end of the 1993 campaign when it garnered one vote in the final AP poll after defeating Ball State, 42-33, in the Las Vegas Bowl II to finish the year with a 7-5 record.
Utah State (9-2, 5-0 WAC) is off to its best start to a season since the 1961 team finished the year with a 9-1-1 record and USU’s nine wins thus far this year are tied with the 1960 and 1961 USU teams for the most victories in a single season in school history.
Utah State also claimed a share of its first-ever Western Athletic Conference Championship with its win at nationally ranked Louisiana Tech, which is its 11th conference championship in school history and first since the 1997 team shared the Big West Conference title.
With a win in its regular season finale at home against Idaho (1-10, 1-4 WAC) on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 1 p.m., USU will win just its third outright league championship in school history (1921, 1936) and its first since the 1936 team won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) title.
In all, Utah State has won a school-record 10-straight WAC games dating back to last season and is 14-3 in its last 17 games, which is its best stretch since 1962-64. USU has also won six-straight WAC road games and is 7-2 in its last nine road games dating back to 2011.
At home, Utah State has won seven straight games inside Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium and will be going for its first undefeated home season since the 1982 team posted a 4-0record.