<strong>LOGAN—</strong> The Mountain Division in the 2013 Mountain West Conference may just run through Logan.
The MWC released its schedule structure for the next four seasons Tuesday, and Utah State will be hosting the likely conference favorite and perennial BCS buster, Boise State, in 2013. The rest of the schedule shapes up pretty nicely for the Aggies as well.
In conference play, USU will also host Colorado State, Wyoming, and Hawaii in 2013, while traveling to Air Force, New Mexico, San Jose State, and UNLV. The Aggies will miss playing West Division teams San Diego State, Fresno State, and Nevada in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
For a team coming off of the best season in school history and looking to keep the momentum going, Utah State couldn’t have asked for much more. USU returns three-quarters of its starters from last year’s 11-2 team, including dual-threat quarterback Chuckie Keeton who will be a junior.
In contrast, the Broncos, who are most likely the Aggies’ biggest competition for the division crown, play Fresno State, Nevada, and San Diego State, with the games against the Bulldogs and Aztecs being on the road. When those two schedules are put head-to-head, clearly the Aggies have the easier path.
While the Aggies’ 2013 schedule certainly gives them a shot at playing in (and possibly hosting) the first-ever MWC Championship Game on Dec. 7, 2013, USU’s non-conference schedule is no cakewalk.
The Aggies open the season against in-state rival and Pac-12 member Utah – a team they defeated for the first time in 15 years in an overtime game at Romney Stadium last season. Following that game, USU will face what should be an easy opponent in Weber State, before hitting the road again to take on Pac-12 member and perennial powerhouse, USC. The Aggies will then end their non-conference schedule when they host in-state rival BYU on Oct. 4, 2013, in a game that has become increasingly competitive during the past three seasons.
It will certainly be hard for the Aggies to replicate the school-record 11 wins from the 2012 season, but there are plenty of opportunities for USU to make some noise – maybe even on a national scale – in 2013.