Blog Entry

Picking the WAC

Posted on: June 1, 2009 12:42 pm
 

The biggest offseason news for the WAC has not Boise State's 12-1 season, it was Boise State's athletic director.
Gene Bleymaier is the Broncos' athletic director. He is also a lawyer who made the most sense last month at the BCS hearings in Washington.

"How many more years do we need to go undefeated," Bleymaier told a congressional committee, "before we get a chance?"

Good point.

Boise has finished the regular season undefeated three times since 2004. This season could be No. 4. if the Broncos can get past a tough season opener against Oregon. (It didn't bother them last year when the Broncos won 37-32 at Oregon).

Boise should roll to another WAC title but how high can it get in the BCS standings? While the Mountain West has its gripes, the WAC has had teams in back-to-back BCS bowls in 2006-07.

The problem, if you can call it that, is that Oregon will likely be the only ranked team that Boise State faces this season. A similar predicament didn't bother the Broncos against Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl so what are we supposed to conclude?

Bleymaier is right. The Broncos belong not only in a BCS bowl but deserve a chance at the national championship.

If it wins all its games.

Picking the WAC ...

1. Boise State -- Start with accurate lefthander Kellen Moore at quarterback. Throw in starting experience at every position. Add a rising superstar coach who has two undefeated years in his first three seasons.  Watch for Chris Petersen and the Broncos to make another top 10 run. They are quick and athletic. Think a mountain version of Miami in the 1980s. Watch Titus Young who might be the league's fastest receiver.

2. Nevada -- Colin Kaepernick is the WAC's best quarterback. The Pistol offense is quirky and might be the WAC's best unit. It was held under 31 only twice, none came after September. In his third go-round with the Pack, Chris Ault is one of the more underrated coaches in the country. Ault needs just a hint of defense to milk the season down to late November when his team visits Boise State with the conference title possibly on the line. 

3. Louisiana Tech -- If it wasn't for Boise State, Louisiana Tech would be the WAC's Next Big Thing. The Bulldogs went 6-2 down the stretch appearing in only the program's third bowl in 20 years. Coach Derek Dooley has a returning quarterback (Ross Jenkins) as well as 16 other starters. Just think what a healthy receiver/returner Phillip Livas can do this season. Playing with a torn meniscus, the 5-foot-8 Livas piled up more than 2,000 all-purpose yards.

4. Fresno State -- The baseball team shamed the football team last year going from Bulldogs to Underdogs to Wonderdogs in winning the school's first national championship in a men's sport. Fresno would settle for a conference title from football. Coach Pat Hill has no WAC titles this decade and no outright titles ever (1998 and 1999 were ties). Fresno State's version of American Chopper's Paul Teutul  might have lost something off his fastball but the Bulldogs are still going to be a factor. Something will have to change, though, even with 15 returning starters. The Dogs were minus-11 in turnovers last season and have been outgained in the last three seasons.

5. San Jose State -- Coach Dick Tomey has done wonders in his retirement job, milking 23 victories out of this program in his four seasons. The Spartans faltered down the stretch last season losing their final three and missing out on a bowl. Tomey's team will contend for the WAC this season if Cal transfer quarterback Kyle Reed can improve, 6-4 receiver Marquis Avery can take pressure off of teammate Kevin Jurovich and the front seven on defense can dominate.

6. Hawaii -- June Jones knew what he was doing by getting out while the getting was good. While replacement Greg McMackin went 7-7 and got the Warriors to a bowl in his first season, the program will continue to slide. Hawaii will entertain offensively, it always does. But only two starters return on defense where 11 of the top 13 tacklers have departed.

7. Utah State -- New coach Gary Andersen (Utah's former defensive coordinator) has a monumental task ahead. As the No. 3 program in a sparsely populated state Utah State is constantly reminded how it can't get it done. It has been 12 seasons since the Aggies had a winning season. Former coach Brent Guy won nine games in four seasons.

8. Idaho -- Robb Akey is 3-21 in his two seasons but there are signs of hope considering the Vandals haven't had a winning season this decade. The top three rushers return not including Washington State transfer (nine miles away) DeMaundray Wooldridge. Quarterback Nathan Enderle somehow threw more touchdowns (20) than interceptions (17) during a 2-10 season.

9. New Mexico State --The Aggies went from wild-eyed offensive philosophy (Hal Mumme) to one of the best defensive coaches in the game (UCLA d-coordinator DeWayne Walker). Unfortunately the new coach picked one of the worst programs in I-A to launch his full-time head-coaching career. The defense will play hard and get better. The offense lost the leader of the nation's No. 10 pass offense (quarterback Chase Holbrook). Too bad new o-coordinator Timm Rosenbach doesn't have any eligibility left. The former Washington State quarterback was the Cougars' quarterback coach from 2003-07.

 

Comments

Since: Dec 13, 2006
Posted on: June 1, 2009 11:16 pm
 

Picking the WAC

Bleymaier is right. The Broncos belong not only in a BCS bowl but deserve a chance at the national championship.

If it wins all its games.
Oh my. 



Since: Jan 17, 2009
Posted on: June 1, 2009 10:04 pm
 

Picking the WAC

Anderson will get players away from Utah. He got them away from BYU for the Utards and he can do it for the Aggies.

Give USU about 2 years and they will be in the top 4... they will play hard this year.

Boise State will be left out when BYU goes 11-1 with its only loss being to Oklahoma.

If BYU beats

UTAH, TCU , MWC and Florida State and loses to Oklahoma, They should be in the BCS over Boise State.

Why....

Look at this WAC...





Since: Sep 5, 2007
Posted on: June 1, 2009 9:50 pm
 

Picking the WAC

Chris Ault is one of the more underrated coaches in the countrySheesh, the guy is a Hall of Famer, I don't know how better rated the guy can be (his current ability to get his team to win close games at the end sure isn't helping).  Folks better not overlook him.   But it sure is fun to see his team get beat by the Broncos every year.


The Bulldogs went 6-2 down the stretch appearing in only the program's third bowl in 20 years.
And La Tech was the only WAC team last season to win their bowl game.  Don't think this team isn't going to be fired up and pick up this season where they left off.


(UCLA d-coordinator DeWayne Walker). Unfortunately the new coach picked one of the worst programs in I-A to launch his full-time head-coaching career.
Aww, c'mon that's just plain low.  You make it sound like Walker went to coach for the Vandals.



Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: June 1, 2009 7:41 pm
 

Picking the WAC

Dodd always has nothing good to say about Hawaii no matter how they do.  Don't be surprised to see Hawaii contend for the WAC title this year with their veteran QB back.  Last year Hawaii had one of the toughest schedules in the nation yet made a bowl with a rookie QB, so expect a lot more from them this season.



Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: June 1, 2009 7:09 pm
 

Picking the WAC

I already have Fresno State penciled in as my BCS buster and WAC champs. This year Pat Hill gets his due.



Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: June 1, 2009 4:26 pm
 

Picking the WAC

Dennis your preseason order seems fair enough.Your point of the Fresno St. baseball team has more to it than you know, after watching the Bulldogs this spring I think they will play very well from the underdog position.

The WAC has not seen a bulldog offense such as will be seen this year and the defense now appears to have its bite back.If we are healthy after the Wisconsin game the home game against Boise should be very entertaing and could be for all the WAC marbles.


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