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Short takes on issues

Published November 24, 2012 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Go, Aggies! • The Utah State University Aggies have picked up the slack left by a struggling University of Utah football team and gone beyond, moving into the Associated Press Top 25 teams in the nation. The Aggies are tied for 25th with Mississippi State after beating No. 19 Louisiana Tech last weekend. They just missed the Top 25 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, but were the first listed among "others receiving votes." The Aggies beat the Utes 27-20 in overtime in the second week of the year. Undefeated in Western Athletic Conference play, USU has earned at least a share of the conference title for the first time. The last time the Aggies received any poll votes was at the end of the 1993 season, when they got one after winning a bowl game. USU's record of nine wins so far this year is tied with the 1960 and 1961 records for the most victories in a single season. In Cache Valley, it is a very good year.

In or out • Students at Utah public colleges and universities who are dithering over a major or have lapsed into "classroom careers" and are not progressing smartly toward a degree should beware. Under a new policy — one that is necessarily stern — the Board of Regents could double their tuition bill until they finish. Legislative auditors last year found colleges are not strict enough in imposing a hefty surcharge on students with more than 135 percent of the credit hours needed for graduation. Those students who continue to accumulate credit hours without getting a degree are a small minority. Most students can't afford to languish in college longer than necessary. But those who do need more than a nudge to get in and finish or get out because they make it harder for serious students to get the classes they need, and the state and college can no longer afford to carry them.

False prophet • Sen. Orrin Hatch apparently sees things nobody else does. Our visionary senator insists that President Barack Obama's campaign tried to use Mitt Romney's Mormon faith against him, just as Hatch had prophesied last spring: "You watch, they're going to throw the Mormon church at him like you can't believe." Fast forward to Romney's defeat and Hatch is telling us that, by golly, it did too happen, even if it wasn't as "big as I thought it would be." Still, "There was a lot more than you think," he says. "If you didn't see it, there's something wrong." Well, then there's "something wrong" with just about every campaign watcher, including Utah pollsters Dan Jones and Quin Monson and Sen. Mike Lee, all Mormons.