Utah State won’t bring back Guy in 2009
The ax has fallen on Utah State head coach Brent Guy, who is truly one of the few class acts in the Western Athletic Conference.
Guy was informed of the school’s decision over the weekend by new athletic director Scott Barnes, and he said he had met with the players.
Guy, who was in the fourth year of a five-year contract, will coach the team on Nov. 29 against New Mexico State.
“It would have been nice to finish out my contract, but that wasn’t my decision,” Guy said during Monday’s WAC teleconference. “We had some opportunities for wins that we let get away. I wish we could have finished. We didn’t make enough progress in the win-loss column.
“I have no idea (what my plans are). I’m concerned about finishing the season with the team. I’m concerned about the coaches and players and doing the best we can for the university. I have no idea what my future holds.
My take is that this is the wrong move. Whether the record reflects it or not, the Aggies have been much more competitive since Guy took over the program. Given the obstacles (recruiting, scholarship numbers) he’s faced, he’s done a decent job.
Consider the fact that Utah State didn’t even have the full allotment of scholarships when Guy first arrived, forcing him to play a lot of freshman immediately. And, he to play schools like Oklahoma and Alabama to generate some much-needed income for the program.
Recruiting may have been the toughest thing. When you’re in the same state as BYU and Utah, both of whom are ranked in the top 25, you aren’t going to get the best athletes in the state hardly ever.
“The hard thing is demographics of the state,” Guy said. “The state isn’t that populated. There are only 94 high schools which makes it tough.”
It forces Utah State to take a lot of “project players”, guys that other schools overlook and won’t touch. Logan isn’t the easiest place to recruit to, and that forces the Aggies to go heavily into other states for players.
“We’ve had to go to California, Dallas and Houston for players,” Guy said. “We had gotten away from Northern California (for a bit), but that is a good football area. We still go hard in Southern California.”
Having covered the WAC for five years, my personal opinion is that the school made a decision too quick, and should have given Guy at least one more year. Improvement can’t always be measured in wins and losses.
EXCITING TIMES AHEAD
The last two weeks will be exciting and gut-wrenching times in the Western Athletic Conference, as six teams are fighting for spots in bowl games.
Five teams – Boise State (10-0, 6-0), Nevada (6-4, 4-2), San Jose State (6-5), Louisiana Tech (6-4) and Fresno State (6-4) – are all bowl eligibe.
Hawaii is one step behind at 5-5. The Warriors, who play a 13-game schedule, need to get to seven wins. Hawaii has an easy finishing schedule with Idaho, Washington State and Cincinnati left on the schedule.
The aforementioned five schools play each other in the next two weeks, which makes it very interesting.
Fresno finishes with road games at San Jose (Friday) and Boise State. Nevada hosts Boise State this Saturday and then visits Louisiana Tech on Nov. 29. Louisiana Tech visits New Mexico State and hosts Nevada, and Boise State has Nevada on the road and Fresno State at home.
“Teams need to win and get out of the (potential) 6-6 pool,” WAC commissioner Karl Benson said. “A 7-win team has to be put in ahedad of a 6-6 team (for an outside bowl game).”
The WAC has a secondary agreement to fill in for the Pac-10 if that conference doesn’t qualify seven teams, and right now it doesn’t look good. However, the WAC can’t put a 6-6 team in that bowl if there is a seven-win team out there that didn’t qualify for one of their own conference-sponsored bowl games.
Freshman defensive end Bryan Hout and New Mexico State senior wide receiver/return specialist Chris Williams were honored as defensive and special teams players of the week, joining Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick, who won offensive honors.
Hout had five tackles, including two sacks for minus-19 yards. His first sack led to a fumble and a 45-yard TD return. His second sack forced Idaho into a long and unsuccessful fourth-down effort at Boise State’s 18-yard-line.
“He’s getting better each week,” Petersen said of his freshman standout. “He’s a unique football player. He’s not the biggest guy we have. He’s a tweener between a defensive lineman and a linebacker.”
Williams returned a kick-off 96 yards for a score to give NMSU a 10-3 lead. He later added a 30-yard return. He also caught nine passes for 55 yards en route to 186 all-purpose yards.
“He’s a bottle rocket,” NMSU coach Hal Mumme said. “Nobody wanted him (out of high school). He’s a terrific player and really pleased of his efforts. He’s a great return guy as well.”
IS MUMME NEXT?
With Guy being let go, could Mumme be next?
Mumme and the Aggies are 3-7 with games left against Louisiana Tech and Utah State. Mumme was 0-12 his first year and then went 4-8 and 4-9.
Certainly the run and shoot has made the Aggies watch, but it hasn’t translated into a lot of wins.
It was reported that Mumme was supposed to meet or had already met with McKinley Boston, the NMSU athletic director.
“I don’t have a meeting,” Mumme said, responding a reporter’s question. “There is no meeting scheduled today. That’s my agent’s job.”
Mumme went on to say he wouldn’t discuss it anyway.
– Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281