The Bangarang – 2014 Football Edition

Football Season is finally here! And while the first game wasn’t exactly what any of us expected or wanted to see, the Aggies still have a full season ahead of them. Coming up next are the Idaho State Bengals who come to town this Saturday for the first home game of the season!

Get out and support our team, and while you are at it look for one of 10,000 copies of The Bangarang – 2014 Football Edition that will be distributed to the crowd. The Bangarang Crew has come up with a few new traditions that will be introduced this year and the newsletter will fill you in on some game day tips that can help create a great atmosphere, help you have a great experience, and most importantly, help the Aggies win!

The Bangarang – Wyoming Edition

As the five Aggie seniors hit the floor tonight against Wyoming, let’s send them off in style with a Spectrum environment that they will remember. Spencer Butterfield, Preston Medlin, Jarred Shaw, TeNale Roland, and Sean Harris deserve it for the all blood, sweat, and tears they have put in to this basketball program. For a preview of the game and some good ammunition against Wyoming check out the latest Bangarang Issue.

The Bangarang – UNLV Edition

It’s been a long time coming, but the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels are making their return to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum this afternoon. And the HURD will be ready for them. This game marks the renewal of a long time rivalry from the Big West era. While these games were known for many fights, shenanigans, and pranks, the biggest of all was definitely the “Water Bomb” incident in 1990. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, check out the video below.

It’s time to renew this rivalry. Head over to The Bangarang Page, and download the latest issue to be ready for the game!

The Bangarang – Pacific Edition

After a minor setback at the hands of the evil BYU Cougars, the Aggies are returning home tonight to face off against their former conference-mate Pacific Tigers. Get ready to get your heckling on, and check out the latest Bangarang Issue for some ammunition.

The Bangarang – USC Edition

Any Utah State fan that’s been a fan for a few years knows all about a little something we like to call “The Refraction“. Well, with some guidance from the geniuses that put together that unofficial gameday newsletter, we now have a second generation of chaos creators.

May I present to you, The Bangarang. A Season Preview Issue was created for the second exhibition contest against Adams State last week, and Issue 1 is now live for the first game of the season against USC.

Head on over to The Bangarang and download your copy now!

Football: The Move to the Mountain West Conference

WAC vs MWCI’ve been meaning to make a blog entry for quite some time now on this subject, and I’m finally getting around to it. I’ve been fascinated that media and fan perceptions of the move to the Mountain West Conference and schedule strength increases from last year to this year appear to be a bit out of touch with reality (in my statistically-based world, anyway).

Much has been made of Utah State entering the Mountain West Conference football conference this coming season. Most media members, fans (including our own), coaches (including our own), and other analysts have said that the move will be a tough one. Utah State will be facing a tougher conference and tougher opponents. How will they fare? Surely they won’t be able to achieve similar successes to what they did in 2012 in the “weak” Western Athletic Conference.

What is this opinion based on? I think it is based merely on image and historical biases. Is it true? That is what this article will focus on.

As a frequent contributor to the message board, I was intrigued this past week in reading a few threads on this very subject. Many fans (including the majority of Aggie fans posting) said repeatedly how this year’s schedule and this year’s conference will be tougher than last year’s. What was this based on? Many posters alleged that it’s incredibly difficult to compare teams that haven’t faced each other in direct competition. This may be true, but there are statistical formulas that do a great job of comparing disparate teams based on a variety of factors, and can predict outcomes with pretty good accuracy. That’s what I’m going to focus on to disprove the notion that the Mountain West Conference will be a huge step up in difficulty. I’ll also disprove the notion that the 2013 schedule will be much more difficult than the 2012 schedule. In fact, it could (and probably should) be argued that the WAC was a stronger conference than the MWC last year, and that the 2012 schedule was a stronger schedule than the 2013 schedule.

Jeff Sagarin is a statistical guru who has a several rating formulas that he uses to rate and rank teams on their relative strength. He uses his formulas to rate teams in NCAA football and basketball as well as a variety of other sports.


So let’s take a look at the notion that the Mountain West Conference will be a step up in competition from what we saw in the WAC. Here are the end of season ratings from 2012 for each conference:

Sagarin Ratings: 2012 WAC vs MWC

So the average Sagarin rank for WAC teams was 96 compared to 109.3 for Mountain West Conference teams. It’s also interesting to note that the top 3 teams in the WAC were rated much higher than the top 3 teams in the MWC when compared side by side. The bottom two WAC teams were rated quite low (lower than any MWC team), but overall the WAC should be considered the stronger conference of the two.

Now, there are many people who prefer to rely on the hats-in-the-mall theory, conference reputation, or the “eye-test” to determine the strength of a team. So let’s look at head to head contests last year between the WAC and MWC.

SJSU @ SDSU – WAC (SDSU was the MWC Co-Champion…and lost at home to the 2nd place WAC team)
TxSt vs Nevada – MWC
TxSt @ UNM – MWC
LaTech vs UNLV – WAC
Idaho vs Wyoming – MWC

WAC wins: 5
MWC wins: 4

Obviously not all WAC teams played all MWC teams, but in the games that were played the WAC won more often than the MWC did last year.

2012 Schedule vs 2013 Schedule

Now let’s take a look at Utah State 2012 Schedule vs our 2013 Schedule. Many have stated that this year’s schedule will be stronger than last year’s. I didn’t buy into that theory and with a little help from Jeff Sagarin was able to back up my initial thoughts.

Sagarin Ratings: 2012 vs 2013 Schedules

The average rank of our 2012 opponents was 99.83. The average rank of our 2013 opponents (at the end of the 2012 season) was 101.17. Does this mean that this year’s schedule will end up weaker than the 2012 schedule? Not necessarily. But based on the information that we have it looks like this year’s schedule will be slightly less difficult (on average) than last year’s schedule. Let’s dig a little deeper.

Body bag games:
Both games played on the road. Wisconsin ended the season ranked 23rd by Sagarin, while USC ended the season ranked 33rd.

In-State Opponents:
Last year we had #26 BYU on the road while this year they are coming to Romney Stadium. Last year’s BYU game was a battle of defenses with BYU pulling out a 3 point victory. Utah State should be favored in this year’s game. Especially at home.

Against Utah, the Aggies won a hard fought battle in overtime by 7 points. This year’s game will open the season in Salt Lake City, and early Vegas lines have Utah as the slight favorite. Using the end of year Sagarin Predictor ratings from 2012 gives Utah State a 9.26 point edge if the game were played on a neutral field. The home field advantage usually accounts for a 3-4 point difference, so based on where each team ended the 2012 season, Utah State should be favored by 5-6 points this year. Why is the Vegas line different? Well, that’s the topic for another post, but basically Vegas tries to set the spread to where they will get 50% of their bettors to bet on each side of the spread. Perception, BCS Bias, coaching changes, player changes, injuries, and probably even the hats-in-the-mall theory all weigh in to where lines are set. I think picking the Aggies to cover is a good bet this year.

As far as FCS foes go, Southern Utah was ranked quite a bit higher last year than Weber State was. Either way, this should be an easy win for Utah State. In short, based on last year’s results, all three games this year should equate to wins for the Aggies.

Conference games:
Last year we faced each of the top WAC teams on the road in #29 San Jose State, #51 LA Tech, and #110 UTSA. This year we face San Jose State on the road again, but have Boise State (41) and Wyoming (121) at home. It’s also interesting to note that outside of Boise State, and SJSU, the next highest MWC team we face was rated #121 in the nation last year. That bodes well for our conference record this year if we can get past the Spartans and Broncos (a big if).

Overall, I think it’s very safe to say that this year’s schedule is easier than last year’s schedule.

What are your thoughts?

Utah State Basketball Pictorial Roster 2013-14

Marcel DavisPreston MedlinSpencer ButterfieldJalen Moore
It’s that time of year again! Time to try and piece together the team for the upcoming basketball season! We’ve done just that at with our annual “Pictorial Roster“. Check it out by clicking below, and feel free to post questions, comments, or predictions on any of the players you see on the roster.

2013-14 Utah State Basketball Pictorial Roster

Also feel free to reminisce and check out the rosters from past seasons by changing the season in the drop down box at the top of the page (once you click the link above).

2014 Mountain West Conference Basketball Tournament Brackets

MWC Tournament LogoThe Mountain West Conference announced the 2014 Basketball Tournament format and schedule yesterday. With a little help from ProvoAggie at, we now have actual brackets of both the Men’s and Women’s tournaments as well (see below).

The tournament will be held from March 10-15 in Las Vegas, Nevada at UNLV’s home stadium, the Thomas and Mack Center. The format of both tournaments will consist of three opening round games played by the #6-11 seeds. The winners of those games will advance to face the #1, #2, and #3 seeds in the quarterfinals. The women will open play on Monday March 10th and will play their quarterfinals games on Tuesday March 11th before waiting until Friday to start the semifinals. The Men will play their opening round games on Wednesday March 12, and continue each day until the conference championship game on Saturday.

Men’s Tournament Bracket || PDF Format
2014 MWC Men's Basketball Tournament Bracket

Women’s Tournament Bracket || PDF Format
2014 MWC Women's Basketball Tournament Bracket

Full Schedule:

Session #1

Game #1 2:00 p.m. #8 Women’s Seed vs. #9 Women’s Seed
Game#2 4:30 p.m. #7 Women’s Seed vs. #10 Women’s Seed
Game #3 7:00 p.m. #6 Women’s Seed vs. #11 Women’s Seed

Session #2

Game #4 12 noon #1 Women’s Seed vs. Game #1 Winner
Game #5 2:30 p.m. #4 Women’s Seed vs. #5 Women’s Seed

Session #3
Game #6 6:00 p.m. #2 Women’s Seed vs. Game #2 Winner
Game #7 8:30 p.m. #3 Women’s Seed vs. Game #3 Winner

Session #4

Game #8 2:00 p.m. #8 Men’s Seed vs. #9 Men’s Seed
Game #9 4:30 p.m. #7 Men’s Seed vs. #10 Men’s Seed
Game #10 7:00 p.m. #6 Men’s Seed vs. #11 Men’s Seed

Session #5

Game #11 12 noon #1 Men’s Seed vs. Game #8 Winner
Game #12 2:30 p.m. #4 Men’s Seed vs. #5 Men’s Seed

Session #6
Game #13 6:00 p.m. #2 Men’s Seed vs. Game #9 Winner
Game #14 8:30 p.m. #3 Men’s Seed vs. Game #10 Winner

Session #7

Game #15 12 noon Game #4 Winner vs. Game #5 Winner
Game #16 2:30 p.m. Game #6 Winner vs. Game #7 Winner

Session #8
Game #17 6:00 p.m. Game #11 Winner vs. Game #12 Winner
Game #18 8:30 p.m. Game #13 Winner vs. Game #14 Winner

Session #9

Game #19 TBD Women’s Championship Game
Game #20 TBD . Men’s Championship Game