Utah State Insists On Playing Utah Home And Home
Do the Aggies deserve to play Utes home and home?
Odds of the Utes coming back to Logan are slim.
During Utah State’s introductory press conference, a question was asked about bringing Utah back to Logan for a football game. The Utes have not played in Logan since 2012, a game the Aggies won 27-20.
Athletics director John Hartwell answered the question which was first directed to Gary Andersen.
“We have started (the conversation) and we would love to have them back. It is not about a guarantee game down there. Our program is at a level where we should be playing anybody a home and home like that and not be a two-for-one,” Hartwell said to a round of applause. “Our program is at the level from a financial standpoint that I know it is very important… that we still need to play one money game a year. Our phone is not ringing as much as it used to.
“We will be continuing a dialogue to get the Utes back on with a home and home.”
The Aggies do have money games scheduled or played between 2014 and 2022 by going on the road to Tennessee, USC, Michigan State, LSU, Wisconsin, Washington (twice), and Alabama.
It seems that Hartwell does not see Utah in that same category but more as equals by wanting a home and home series.
However, do not expect that to happen any time soon and it is sad.
These two teams have one of the longest running rivalries in all of college football by playing 113 times. They have not played since 2015 and since the Utes moved to the Pac-12 the two have met only three times since 2011.
While this is a rival, it is mostly one-sided with Utah winning 79 times and Utah State having only three wins since 1996, so quite lop-sided.
Hartwell has to do his thing and try to rally up the Aggie fans and it would be great if Utah and Utah State could play on a regular basis and playing an equal amount of time on each others campus.
It probably won’t happen because the Utes are now in the Pac-12 and can be more selective in how they schedule home-and-homes.
However, it should be noted that the Utes have scheduled home and homes with San Jose State, Fresno State, Wyoming, Northern Illinois, and San Diego State. The Aggies are not all different from those teams.
Aggie fans and administrators can point to those and rightfully demand a home-and-home with the Utes.
Maybe the Aggies are hoping for an in-state deal of sorts?
However, if Utah State is only insisting one a home-and-home only that is short-sighted. Things have evolved with these two teams not just in different conferences — they have always been separated — but the Pac-12 compared to the Mountain West is bigger than the gap between the WAC and Mountain West.
Go for the home run and try to get a home-and-home series but if a two-for-one is brought up it should not just be tossed aside as an insult. A money game would be fairly insulting for Utah State.
Fans and boosters will say that it is hard to schedule a good home slate by always doing two-for-one contests but there are ways to balance the schedule so that there are six home games and good opponents on the schedule as well.
I am not saying that Utah State should just bow down to Utah’s demands but they also should not give up the chance to play the Utes if it comes down to playing a two-for-one series.