Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2012 - A WAC Preview

This looks like the end of the WAC for a football conference.  After this season only Idaho and New Mexico State will be football playing members of the league.  Conference USA, The Mountain West, and the Sun Belt Conference are picking the bones off this league pertaining to football.  Let's predict the final season.

1.  Louisiana Tech.  The defending champions of the league.  With Fresno St., Boise State, and Nevada out of the WAC, they should go through the league undefeated.  They can churn out points and yards and have proven that for years.  The defense is good enough to keep WAC opponents down.  Look for the Bulldogs to beat Illinois and Houston on the Road.  10-2 Overall, 6-0 WAC.

2.  Utah State.  The offense is laden with upper classmen and should be able to use that advantage to contend in the WAC.  On defense, the line and secondary should be better than average for the WAC.  The linebackers are inexperienced, so that could be the Achilles heel for the Aggies.  I expect that Utah State will give Louisiana Tech a run for their money on November 17th, but fall short.  The same goes with games against Utah and Wisconsin.  9-3 Overall, 5-1 WAC.

3.  San Jose State.  The Spartans had a three-way QB battle this spring and fall.  It still isn't over.  The offensive line could have 4 new starters and they are hoping that transfers from Minnesota and Washington can bring stability to a running game that will be without second-team all-WAC RB Brandon Rutley.  On defense, they are hoping that the subtraction of three high powered offenses from the league will allow the defense to gel and possibly start feeling good about themselves.  Not a particularly good team but better than most in the WAC.  6-6 Overall, 4-2 WAC.

4.  Idaho.  The Vandals have question marks at QB and OL.  The defense has 8 new starters.  That isn't a bad thing since last year the Vandals gave up over 400 yards and over 33 points on average.  Idaho has started recruiting better players, but the outlook after this year for the program might stop that trend.  6-6 Overall, 3-3 WAC.

5.  New Mexico State.  The offense brings back both tackles.  It looks like there will be two freshman starting on the line.  The offensive backfield is comprised of all new starters.  The defense also has lots of turnover.  There could be as many as 10 new starters on that side of the football.  The coordinators are the optimism that the Aggies have.  The schemes will keep them in games but I don't think that the personnel can pull out games regularly.  4-8 Overall, 2-4 WAC.

6.  Texas State.  The Bobcats have Dennis Franchione as Head Coach.  He has been to the mountaintop as a Head Coach and will lead the Bobcats into their first season as a Division I - BCS school.  I like the route that Texas State is taking.  On the schedule is only 1 FCS school, so the players will understand early what it takes to play the smaller of the big boys in college football.  Playing Texas Tech, Houston, Nevada, and Navy will toughen up the Bobcats.  2-10 Overall, 1-5 WAC.

7.  Texas-San Antonio.  The bright spot here is Larry Coker, the former Miami Hurricanes Head Coach.  He has been to the top of the heap and should help smooth the Roadrunners transition into Division I - BCS.  The thing for the Roadrunners is that they were powerful in Division I - FCS, but they are taking a step up in talent and coaching.  Coker evens out the coaching part, but the talent needs to be recruited to even out the other part of the equation.  They do have a chance to be close in a couple of games.  All their wins will come against FCS opponents.  4-8 Overall, 0-6 WAC.

Bowl Projections:

Famous Idaho Potato:  Louisiana Tech

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