It's been a while since Utah and Utah State limped into this rivalry game. Typically it's only the Aggies who have struggled prior to their meet against the Utes, but not this time. Both Utah and Utah State enter this game with a combined record of 1-7. These two teams haven't been this abysmal since 2000, when Utah went 4-7 and Utah State struggled to a 5-6 finish. That year Utah beat the Aggies 35-14 in Logan. I expect a similar result this week.
But there is no denying that our cow lovers from the north smell blood. The Utes are struggling and nothing is better than beating a rival when they're down. Except Utah State isn't any better and they haven't netted a win over Utah in 10 years. Plus this game is being played in Salt Lake, which makes the chances of an Aggie upset even bleaker. That's good news for Utah, a team that's looking for any traction in a season that hasn't had much traction at all. That puts Saturday's winner slightly above the horrible line. Getting to 2-3 on the season would surely be a slight improvement and provide Utah with a bit of hope. Only five more wins to bowl eligibility! Yet after last week's loss to UNLV, the once sure win Utah State offered up has now become a must win to salvage anything remotely called a mediocre season. How depressing is that? Knowing Utah State might be the difference between a terrible season and a mediocre one. Ack.
Of course, this might be the launching pad to success. Pushing Utah past Louisville and then San Diego State, TCU and CSU, Wyoming and those pesky Lobos from Albuquerque. That'd give Utah an 8-3 record heading into their game against BYU and everything would be right once more. Then again, it might snow in hell and Pat Robertson might not say something so utterly stupid it makes you want to slap your mother.
Bring on the Aggies and hopefully Utah crushes them. I don't know if the victory will do anything in the entire scheme of the season, but it'll at least keep me from wrapping that noose around my neck. For a week, anyway.