Look, I'm not here to tell anyone how to spend their money, but a Caesars Sportsbook bettor in New Jersey has placed $1,000 on Utah State to win the College Football Playoff this coming season. If the Aggies of the Mountain West shock the world, that would return $1 million for said bettor because Coach Blake Anderson's team is +100000 to win it all. So, let's take a quick look at the 2022 Aggies.
USU was a very good team in 2021, winning at No. 19 San Diego State in an upset to claim the Mountain West Conference Championship Game and then beating Oregon State in the LA Bowl to finish 11-3 in Anderson's first season, tying a school record for wins. Anderson was one of 19 first-year head coaches at the FBS level in 2021 and was the only head coach to win nine or more games.
The Aggies were 1-5 in the shortened 2020 campaign under former coaches Gary Andersen and Frank Maile. Thus in 2021, Utah State became the first-ever FBS program to go from zero or one win to 11 or more wins in one season.
Logan Bonner was one of the top quarterbacks in the Mountain West as he set five school records with 3,628 passing yards, 36 touchdown passes, four touchdown passes in three straight games, four touchdown passes in six games in a season and 2.57 touchdown passes per games.
Bonner is among eight offensive starters back, but he does lose one of the country's best groups of receivers in departing seniors Deven Thompkins, Derek Wright and Brandon Bowling. They combined to catch 206 passes for 3,328 yards and 31 touchdowns last year. Utah State did add two Power 5 transfer receivers in Maryland's Brian Cobbs and Alabama's Xavier Williams. Top running back Calvin Tyler Jr. (884 yards, seven TDs) returns.
Five starters are back on defense: Senior cornerback Michael Anyanwu, senior defensive end Patrick Joyner Jr., senior defensive tackle Hale Motu'apuaka, senior safety Hunter Reynolds and senior inside linebacker AJ Vongphachanh.
Utah State is in the midst of spring practice and will conclude it with the annual Blue vs. White Spring Game on Saturday. Of course, the only school from outside the Power 5 to make the College Football Playoff was Cincinnati this past season, and the Bearcats were dominated by Alabama in the semifinals.
After opening at home vs. UConn on Aug. 27, USU visits Alabama on Sept. 3. Hey, I suppose if the Aggies win there by some miracle and run the table, they can get to the playoff. No win totals have been released yet, but I'd speculate Utah State is set at Over/Under 9.5 with also tough trips to BYU and Boise State.
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