The Western Athletic Conference is led by potential BCS-buster Boise State. The Broncos are led by outstanding sophomore QB Kellen Moore but their defense is where they hang their hat with future NFL-er CB Kyle Wilson and S Jeron Johnson. They make plays all over the field on offense and defense and never hurt themselves. Bronco fans hope Coach Peterson stays up in the friendly office above the blue turf. Fresno State returns a lot of talent, the question is can they put it all together with their new quarterback Ryan Coburn. Nevada has multi-talented QB Colin Kaepernick to lead the Wolfpack to a successful season with a tough non-conference schedule to get them ready for conference play (at Notre Dame, at Colorado State, and Missouri). Louisiana Tech has the best running back in the conference in Daniel Porter and possess a stud on defense in D’Anthony Smith. They also get Boise State at home for a potential upset. Utah State is putting the pieces together with new coach Gary Andersen along with a new defensive scheme and offense that should see improvement. San Jose State is a tricky team to figure out but have a great coach in Dick Tomey and talent to surprise people but also lose games they shouldn’t. Hawaii has fallen in recent times with crackin’ coach Greg McMackin and seem to have lost their pass happy identity and will fall back this year. Idaho is looking for some athletes to contend and move up into the middle of the pack. New Mexico State also has a new coach in DeWayne Walker and should see good recruits from southern California help their woes in the future, but it won’t be this year.
<strong>Week 1 recap:</strong>
The WAC took it on the chin (kinda like Byron Hout from Boise St) with blowout losses by San Jose St versus USC and Nevada losing to the golden domers without even managing a field goal. Hawai’i scored with a minute left to squeak by lower division Central Arkansas 25-20 and Louisiana Tech wore out in the fourth quarter and lost to Auburn 37-13. Fresno St beat up on UC-DAVIS 51-0 and Utah State put up a good fight against a very good Utah team losing 35-17. Luckily the conference can hang their hat on Boise State who dominated Oregon on the blue turf with a final score of 19-8. The first conferenc e game of the season was a matchup between cellar dwellers Idaho and NMSU. The Vandals got a good effort and spoiled DeWayne Walker’s debut 21-6.
<strong>My look at the projected standings after week one:</strong>
1-Boise St. (needless to say the cream of the conference…watch out for at Tulsa though) 2-Fresno St. (good showing versus a FCS team but the road gets tougher and gets Boise at home) 3-Nevada (poor showing at South Bend but should bounce back in conference play) 4-La Tech (ran out of gas in Auburn but have some positives) 5- Utah St. (That’s right, the Aggies can win some games in conference) 6- SJSU (got rocked in Southern Cal) 7-Hawai’i (this team is just not the same without June Jones) 8-Idaho (good win on the road versus the NewMags but it might be the only one) 9-New Mexico St. (this team is just hapless)
<strong>ALL WAC PRESEASON TEAM</strong>
QB Kellen Moore (BSU) WR Titus Young (BSU) WR Philip Livas (La Tech) RB Robert Turbin (USU) RB Ryan Mathews (FSU) TE Kyle Efaw (BSU) OL Alonzo Durham (Nevada) OL Rob Mcgill (La Tech) OL Brennen Mcfadden (USU) OL John Estes (Hawaii) OL Andre Jackson (FSU) DE Ryan Winterswyk (BSU) DT D’Anthony Smith (La Tech) DT Billy Winn (BSU) DE Kevin Basped (Nevada) LB Paul Igboeli (USU) LB Ben Jacobs (FSU) LB Justin Cole (SJSU) CB Kyle Wilson (BSU) S Jeron Johnson (BSU) S Duke Ihenacho (SJSU) CB Antonio Baker (La Tech)