December 3, 2020

WAC on WAC off

The WAC currently isn’t getting the respect and press the Mountain West Conference is receiving and it’s not even as impressive as Conference USA these days so things are a bit bleak overall. Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada have been solid teams, but then the talent drops off considerably with the bottom half of this league. The first week of the 2009 season will be a big indicator on whether the WAC can garner some more respect for the conference or if they will continue to be the step-brother to the MWC.

On the opening night of college football season the Boise State Broncos host #10 Oregon on the now infamous blue field in Boise, Idaho. Then on Saturday September 5th Nevada goes to Notre Dame, Louisiana Tech goes to Auburn and San Jose State has to face USC at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. This in addition to Fresno State’s ‘take on all comers’ attitude with games at Wisconsin and at Cincinnati early in the season and then they wrap up their season at Illinois.

Boise

The basement dwellers of the WAC have made some coaching changes, and they’ve come up with some nice upgrades overall. Dewayne Walker was very close to becoming UCLA’s head coach, but instead he is now focused on making New Mexico State an actual contender. Also, Gary Andersen is a solid coaching prospect who should do a good job at Utah State, but it’s going to take some time to get things rolling in Logan, Utah. Don’t expect much from these squads this year, but there is hope building for these programs which is good to see.

Idaho continues to languish and Hawaii is going to actually struggle this year with a very tough schedule, but the league should do well overall this year because the middle of the pack will be improved. Louisiana Tech is close to hitting their stride under head coach Derek Dooley, Nevada has one of the best running attacks in the nation and Pat Hill has something to prove this year with his Fresno State Bulldogs. San Jose State continues to improve and should have one of their best seasons in many years if things go as expected with their talent. Boise State is going to be the juggernaut again this year, but it’s hard to lay claim to a BCS bid if you continue to rip through a conference schedule full of so many free tickets.

Below is a short list of players to keep your eyes on this year in the Western Athletic Conference.

QB Colin Kaepernick, Jr., Nevada
RB Ryan Mathews, Jr., Fresno State
QB Kellen Moore, Soph., Boise State
WR/KR Phillip Livas, Jr., Louisiana Tech
DE Kevin Basped, Jr., Nevada
FS Antonio Baker, Sr., Louisiana Tech
RB Vai Taua, Jr., Nevada
WR Seyi Ajirotutu, Sr., Fresno State
DB Davon House, Sr., NMSU
DB Shiloh Keo, Jr., Idaho

Surprise Team

San Jose State – The Spartans are loaded with receivers so the offense should be in good shape. The front defensive seven are excellent and San Jose is stocked with good athletes across the board. San Jose has to go to Boise, Louisiana Tech and Frenso so a title is probably out of the question, but they aren’t going to go down without a fight.

Disappointing Team

Hawaii – The Warriors have been in love with their home field advantage for years now because it continues to allow them enough wins to go bowling, but this year things could change. The passing game for the Warriors will not be as explosive overall and the defense has no real stand-out areas. Look for Hawaii to struggle all year long.

Game of the Year

On November 27th the Nevada Wolfpack roll into Boise to take on the Broncos. Don’t forget last year the Wolf Pack were getting drubbed in the first half at home before roaring back in the second half, but coming up short in the end with a 34-41 loss. This year’s game has the possibility of being even better and it will go a long way to determining who will be the WAC champion this year.

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