The Utah State game will haunt Pat Hill forever. 5-7 is better than the 1-11 most fans were thinking less than a month ago, but most thought the Utah State would be one of many "bad" losses this season. But it is turning out not to be the case, and the Aggies lone win of 2006 will likely be the culprit for breaking the Bulldogs West Coast leading seven game bowl streak.
Colorado State nose-dived after beating the 'Dogs. The Rams were 4-1 after beating Fresno State then UNLV the following week but lost their last seven. It looks like a bad loss, but nothing as bad as losing to 1-11 Utah State. The Aggies were never close to winning any game except Fresno State, and that game should have never been close. Coach Hill can speak all he wants about how this team will finish strong, but with losses to Colorado State and Utah State, not even a blow-out over San Jose State will shake the bad-taste from this season.
Especially when you consider the bowl possibilities the Bulldogs could have enjoyed this season with an average 6-6 record. The MPC Computers Bowl gets the "first" selection among WAC bowls, after Hawaii gets its "auto" bid to the Hawaii Bowl. Fresno State would be the likely favorite over 8-4 Nevada and San Jose State. The opponent in Boise is more than likely going to be 6-6 Miami. 6-6 Florida State is headed to the Emerald (not official until Sunday) and that leaves Miami as the 8th selection from the ACC.
Even if the MPC Bowl selected Nevada, the WAC could have marketed the Bulldogs as at-large team to face TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego. 7-5 Northern Illinois is the bowl's choice to face the Frogs. The Bulldogs would have sold more tickets and traveled better than Husky fans. The Poinsettia wanted to select Fresno State last season but knew it had no shot after the Liberty Bowl showed interest post Boise State and USC games. But a loss to pesky Utah State is the reason Fresno State will be playing for pride and not a bowl game in San Jose on Saturday. Oh, what could have been....