In college football, winning isn't the only factor. Who you beat, and how, is a vital part of moving up the rankings and getting into a good bowl game.
So each week during the 2012 season, we'll take a look at how Utah State's past and future opponents performed.
Utah State 2012 schedule
Aug. 30 Southern Utah W, 34-3
Sept. 7 Utah, W, 27-20
Sept. 15 at Wisconsin, L, 16-14
Sept. 22 at Colorado State, W, 31-19
Sept. 29 UNLV, W, 35-13
Oct. 5, BYU, L, 6-3
Oct. 13 at San Jose State, W, 49-27
Oct. 20 New Mexico State 1 p.m. (KMYU)
Oct. 27 at UT-San Antonio noon
Nov. 3 Texas State 1 p.m. (KMYU)
Nov. 17 at Louisiana Tech 5 p.m.
Nov. 24 Idaho 1 p.m. (ESPN Regional)
Southern Utah (3-4, 2-2 Big Sky)
Last week: Won at Montana, 30-20
The Thunderbirds bounced back from a tough home loss to Sacramento State by taking care of business on the road in Missoula. They still have a lot of work to do if they want to make a run at the Big Sky title, but they've shown enough talent that it's possible.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 20 vs. Weber State
Utah (2-4, 0-3 Pac-12)
Last week: Lost on the road to UCLA, 21-14
The wheels appear to be coming off Kyle Whittingham's wagon, and starting true freshman Travis Wilson in the Rose Bowl didn't help. The Utes scored only one offensive touchdown, the second coming courtesy of Ryan Lacy, who recovered a muffed punt in the end zone. The Utes have lost four straight Pac-12 games dating back to last season and are on the verge of going 0-4 to start their Pac-12 schedule for the second year in a row. To stop the bleeding, they'll have to upset a top-10 team on the road — the same team that overcame BYU's blackout.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 20, at Oregon State (ESPN 2, 8:30 p.m. MST)
Wisconsin (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten)
Last week: Won at Purdue, 38-14
Since narrowly beating the Aggies in a heartbreaker, the Badgers have won three of four, including Saturday's convincing win over the Boilermakers. Wisconsin is lucky to host games against Michigan State and Ohio State later in the year, leaving the Badgers in the discussion for the Big Ten Leaders division title.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 20 vs. Minnesota
Colorado State (1-6, 0-3 MWC)
Last week: Lost at San Diego State, 38-14
After beating the rival Buffaloes to start the season, the Rams have now lost six straight. They're on their third quarterback of the season, but nothing seems to work. Fortunately, CSU is on a bye this week, so their losing streak will mercifully abate for a week.
Sorry! No Highlights!
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 27 vs. Hawaii
UNLV (1-6, 1-1 MWC)
Last week: Lost to Nevada, 42-37
You get the feeling that there's a decent team hiding somewhere inside the Rebels...but it seems reluctant to show itself. They've played several close games, including last week's loss to the Wolfpack. But the fact is that the Rebel defense isn't getting it done late in games. They've given up an average of 36 points per game.
Last week: Lost at home to No. 10 Oregon State, 42-24
In what was expected to be a defensive struggle, the Cougars got lit up by the Beavers and backup quarterback Cody Vaz. And BYU's offense, led by new-old starter Riley Nelson, couldn't keep pace. The Cougars have an even bigger task ahead in South Bend this week.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 20 at No. 7 Notre Dame
San Jose State (4-2, 0-1 WAC)
Last week: Lost at home to Utah State, 49-27
What is considered one of the best Spartan teams in a few years lost at home to Gary Andersen's defensive juggernaut for the third year in a row. The Spartans, down 28-3 to the Aggies in the 2nd quarter, scored 17 unanswered points and crawled to within 8. Two USU touchdowns in the first five minutes of the third period, a couple key 4th down stops by USU's defense, and a turnover on SJSU's last-ditch-effort drive were too much for San Jose to overcome.
Previously, the Aggies of New Mexico State lost what might be termed the pillow fight of the year against Idaho. One of both of these teams has been on every ESPN bottom-10 list produced this season, and Idaho only escaped because they beat New Mexico State. The Aggies offense actually outpaced their Vandal counterpart, but coughed up the ball four times. When they managed to get within a touchdown in the waning moments of the game, they couldn't recover the onside kick, and Idaho ran out the clock.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 20th at Utah State
UTSA (5-1, 1-0 WAC)
Last week: Lost at Rice, 34-14
In only its third game against an FBS team, the Roadrunners finally came crashing back to earth after an unlikely undefeated start. Larry Coker's team won't go away quietly, but their next three games are an absolute gauntlet: home to Utah State and San Jose State, then on the road against Louisiana Tech. The Roadrunners may be longing for the first half of the season soon.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 20 vs. San Jose State
Texas State (3-3, 1-0 WAC)
Last week: won vs. Idaho, 38-7
Texas State isn't exactly a great team...but you don't have to be to beat up on Idaho. The Bobcats will go into their bye week with a bit of momentum, but they'll face a big challenge on the road against San Jose State when they resume play.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 27 at San Jose State
Louisiana Tech (5-1)
Last week: Lost to Texas A&M, 59-57
It had to happen eventually. The Bulldogs finally ran up against a team they couldn't outscore in the Aggies of Texas A&M. No longer undefeated (but still leading the country in scoring), La. Tech will likely take out their frustration on the easy portion of their WAC schedule before ending the season with big matchups against Utah State and San Jose State.
Next up: Saturday, Oct. 20 vs. Idaho
Idaho (1-6, 1-1 WAC)
Last week: Lost at Texas State, 38-7
This Idaho team is a far cry from the team that went to the Humanitarian Bowl in 2009 and won. Against a team in its first year of FBS competition, the Vandals turned the ball over three times and allowed 519 yards of offense. The Vandals are 115th in points allowed per contest at 38, and up next is the highest-scoring team in all of Division I football, Louisiana Tech. If the Vandals have a chance, they'll have to bring their six-shooters, because the only prayer they have is if they win a shootout.