The Wisconsin State Journal first reported Tuesday that Andersen had interviewed for the Badgers job left vacant when Bret Bielema left for Arkansas. Andersen's 2012 résumé he led the Aggies to the school's first-ever 11-win season, a conference championship and a bowl victory over Toledo certainly captured Wisconsin's attention.
The in-person audition didn't go badly either. The Aggies were just a missed field goal away from toppling the Rose Bowl-bound Badgers in Madison earlier this season, making quite an impression in a 16-14 loss.
Andersen has led nothing less than a complete program overhaul at Utah State, turning a one-win team into this year's Western Athletic Conference champions. With a 41-15 win over Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday, Andersen led the Aggies to their first bowl win since 1993.
After his name surfaced in connection with job vacancies at Kentucky, California and Colorado, Andersen announced on Nov. 30 he would be staying in Logan through a school news release and a series of interviews and statements.
"At the end of the day, Logan is where we need to be," said Andersen, who also signed a contract extension earlier this season. "The kids, the administration we had too much momentum going for me to leave."
Utah State athletic director Scott Barnes did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment Tuesday night.
Yet, Andersen is undoubtedly a coach on the rise. His USU teams went a 18-8 over the last two seasons with a pair of berths to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
This year, the Aggies earned their first outright conference championship since 1936, a burst of success for a program that had won nine games in the previous four years. Utah State was ranked No. 18 in the latest Associated Press poll, and a number of starters are slated to return for the program's first season in the Mountain West Conference.