Utah State is going bowling after its thrilling season-ending double-overtime victory over New Mexico, but not for awhile.
That is the reality of the college football season, as the Aggies will wait nearly a month to play their final game of 2023.
Last year, the Aggies played in the First Responder Bowl on Dec. 27.
The year before that it was the LA Bowl on Dec. 18.
In 2019 it was the Frisco Bowl on Dec. 19.
The Aggies played in the New Mexico Bowl in 2018, on Dec. 15.
And well, you get the point.
Bowl season is far removed from the regular season and Utah State won’t even find out where it is going bowling — officially at least — until Sunday following the release of the final College Football Playoff rankings.
Which begs the question, what are the Aggies going to do, this week and in the weeks leading up to their bowl game?
Per head coach Blake Anderson, this week is a dead period for the Aggies, meaning no practices with the team’s attention on heath and recovery.
“We’ll be in house and we’ll be trying to heal up a bunch of beat up dudes,” Anderson said. “As you guys saw a lot of guys did not finish (the game against the Lobos) and we’ve got a lot of treatment to do.
“We’re gonna work out, lift and run, but we will not practice this week. We’ll take care of bodies.”
Some of that also includes recruiting current Aggies, what with the NCAA transfer portal set to open on Dec. 4.
USU famously lost 30-plus players to the transfer portal last offseason, some of whom entered the transfer portal before the bowl game, and Anderson has noted multiple times that Utah State needs to retain its current players in order to build on this season’s successes.
Another major on the fly rebuild just isn’t conducive to the future success of the program.
“We will meet, honestly, with every one of these guys and give honest assessments of where we’re at,” Anderson said. “We’ve already started a lot of those (conversations) especially the guys that have the ability to leave if they chose to, like guys did a year ago. We’re going to finish up some of those conversations (this week).”
Beyond recruiting his own roster, Anderson and his staff will also prep this week for recruiting the following week, at the high schools ranks and in the portal.
“We’ll have guys (visiting) both weekends,” Anderson said. “So recruiting both our guys and recruiting those that can come in and help us compete at a higher level a year from now. That (recruiting) is the priority, with the exception of trying to get guys healthy.”
As for bowl prep, well that can wait. Team building is the emphasis for now and will continue to be in the build up to whatever the Aggies land in.
That is the current landscape of modern day college football.