Another reminder that Chuckie Keeton is among the top signal-callers in college football dropped in Wednesday morning.
Keeton was one of 34 players named to the Davey O'Brien Award watch list for the upcoming season, an honor bestowed to the best quarterback in college football.
It's unsurprising given that Keeton is coming off a year in which he helped lead Utah State to a WAC title with 3,373 yards passing, 619 yards rushing and 35 total touchdowns. He ranked 17th in the nation in total offense and 18th in passing efficiency and set several school records in the process.
The question for Keeton is this: Can he be the best quarterback in his own conference?
The Aggie star will be challenged by at least three other QBs, each of whom are on the watch list: Fresno State's David Carr, Nevada's Cody Fajardo and San Jose State's David Fales. Together with Keeton, the four have been highly touted this summer, appearing on Heisman and Maxwell watchlists as well.
The Mountain West is tied for third with the ACC for number of quarterbacks on the list (4), behind the SEC (7) and the Pac-12 (5). It's not bluster, either. Each player accounted for at least 3,900 yards of offense last year.
Derek Carr is the reigning MWC offensive player of the year, while Farjardo is arguably the conference's top dual threat. Fales' name should be familiar to Utah State fans who remember him being sacked 13 times and still throwing three touchdowns.
Keeton is seen as one of the top QBs in the country, no doubt. But he'll be measured against his peers in the conference first, so the challenge is on him to shine brighter.
Maybe Keeton will get an edge from his roots: Davey O'Brien was from Texas, just like the young Utah State star.
ROOT Sports to televise two Utah State football games
The Aggies will be all over the airwaves this fall, as the Mountain West announced two more televised games on Wednesday, bring Utah State's total televised games to 10.
ROOT Sports, the conference's regional TV partner, will broadcast Utah State's contest at New Mexico on Oct. 19 and a home game against Wyoming on Nov. 30.
The Aggies were slated to kick off against the Lobos in the afternoon, but the game has been pushed back to a 7 p.m. start. The last regular season game of the year against the Cowboys is still scheduled for noon.
Only games against USC (Sept. 21) and Weber State (Sept. 14) haven't yet been put on the broadcast schedule, but odds seem likely that the Trojans game will eventually get on TV. But as it stands, Utah State should enjoy an unparalleled season of TV exposure with 10 broadcasts and up to eight available nationwide.
I write "up to" because it looks like there could be some issues with Fox Sports 1 as the network deals with TV providers. Although it's not unusual for such deals to go down to the wire, this piece by Sports Business Daily should offer a few concerns going forward on the Utah State-Utah game.
But anyhow, here's Utah State's schedule so far.
Thurs., Aug. 29 • at Utah (6 p.m., Fox Sports One)
Sat., Sept. 7 • at Air Force (1:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network)
Sat., Sept. 14 • Weber State (6 p.m.)
Sat., Sept. 21 • at USC (TBA)
Fri., Sept. 27 • at San Jose State (7 p.m., ESPN)
Fri., Oct. 4 • BYU (6 p.m., CBS Sports Network)
Sat., Oct. 12 • Boise State (5:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network)
Sat., Oct. 19 • at New Mexico (7 p.m., ROOT Sports)
Sat., Nov. 2 • Hawai'i (2 p.m., CBS Sports Network)
Sat., Nov. 9 • at UNLV (TBA, ESPN Networks)
Sat., Nov. 23 • Colorado State (1:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network)
Sat., Nov. 30 • Wyoming (Noon, ROOT Sports)
— Kyle Goon