The 2012 season will always be one to remember for the Utah State University football program due to the tremendous on-the-field success, but this year's Aggies were more than just standouts on the football field.
They were also stars in the classroom.
The Utah State program was ranked ninth in the nation for academic performance according to the Academic Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Poll, which was recently released. The Academic BCS, also known as the New America Foundation's annual academic performance rankings, ranks the top 25 schools which appeared in the final BCS standings by how well they performed academically.
The New America Foundation's ranking system isn't based solely on statistics such as graduation rates from each program or how well a program is keeping its players on track to graduate, instead it is based on how a program's graduation rate compares to the university's overall male student body, as well as how the program's black-white graduation rate measures up to the general male black-white graduation gap among the school's men in the student body. Also included is the spread between the program's black graduation rate and the university's overall graduation rate for black males.
The Aggies finished the 2012 regular season ranked 22nd in the BCS standings before setting a school record in wins with 11 as well as home wins with six. The program was ranked in the national Associated Press poll for three consecutive weeks for the first time in Utah State history.
Utah State won its final seven games of the season, currently tied for the fourth-longest active winning streak in the country after defeating Toledo 41-15 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Dec. 15 in Boise, Idaho.
The Northwestern Wildcats, which finished the year ranked No. 20 in the final regular-season BCS poll, were named first in the Academic BCS standings. Northern Illinois, Boise State, Stanford, Notre Dame, San Jose State, Alabama, Nebraska, Utah State and Georgia rounded out the Academic BCS top 10.
Football programs ranked 11 through 20 included LSU, Oregon State, Clemson, Texas A&M, Florida, Oregon, Kansas State, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Kent State. The last five teams ranked in the Academic BCS were Michigan, Texas, UCLA, Louisville and Florida State.