Zag's Frags.. Week 5

Our very own Zagco delivers up a hot steaming plate WAC Football predictions for your perusal and abusal... **Caution.. may cause intermittent fits of laughter, consternation, irritated bowels, lumbar throbbing, and inner-thigh chaffing(?).. Prolonged contact with your senses may lead to a numbing sensation and a reputed (albeit unconfirmed) diminution in brain cells. Read at your own risk.**

Zagco's record this year is 25-2. I am not joking. Official Bronco Country statistician BleedBlueandOrange, hypothesizes that my winning percentage is 92.59%, which Bleed proclaims makes Zagco the greatest football prognosticator of all time. I believe him, of course, because statistics do not lie.

Many fine people have made inquiry to Zagco about this winning percentage and what secrets Zagco might share concerning his ESP. Zagco will only say this: It involves 20-sided dice and his old comic book collection. Plus, Zagco is very, very sexy.



Great Moments in Idaho Vandal Football History:

In 1905, the Idaho Vandals beat the Lewiston High School Bengals by a score of 41-2. They count this game as one of their 420 wins, against 510 losses and 25 ties, for a winning percentage that has dipped just below 44%, which is dangerously close to college football's Mendoza line. Anyhoo, the Vandals celebrated this win by derisively referring to the Bengal Boys as LJH – Lewiston JUNIOR High, a name they still use to this day.

Geeks v. Stoners
Where: Logan, Utah
When: Saturday, September 30, 2006, at 1:00 p.m. MT (

Seriously, do they HAVE to play this game? I mean, Utah State's offensive coordinator resigned this week due to "philosophical" differences with Coach Guy. WTF?!? As some in the national sports media have noted, it's a safe guess that Coach Guy's philosophy involves scoring points! (DUH!) That had to be the lamest excuse I've ever heard. Surely, they don't really think we believe that crap, do they?

Then, here we have Idaho. Ah, yes. The craptastic, demonic, embarrassing Vandals. Why is anyone surprised by the catastrophic failure we are witnessing via the Vandal football team? Why? Did we buy into the annual, Angel Dust-fueled hype from their fans? Have we NOT seen their irrational exuberance before, like every single, dingle year? COME ON PEOPLE! The Vandals suck, and they would suck if Bear Bryant came back from the dead to coach them. Lordy, where have you gone, Coach Cable?

Zagco is torn on this game. Utah State, God bless them, is just freakin' horrible. On paper, Idaho looks a bit better. However, the game is in Logan, and Zagco believes Idaho has been getting worse and worse. Jason Bird, who at times has looked decent, is beginning to look exceedingly slow and immobile. Zagco has never believed that Bird is very fast – he looks like a Csonka-esque plodder when he runs. The Steven Wichman Interception Show and Cocktail Hour is in high gear, like a hung over lounge act at an airport hotel bar. If we think our receivers have a problem catching the ball, spend 5 minutes watching a Vandal game. Finally, as the season has truly gone to Hell in a hand basket, destroying the sincere optimism of fans and players, Zagco thinks the Vandals are imploding. Literally, Zagco thinks there is an almost Jonestown-like freak show in the works in Moscow. Tread carefully around Vandals this week and next, my friends!

If this game was in Moscow, Zagco would pick Idaho, but since it's being played in Logan, Zagco will pick Utah State to win a close game.

San Diego State Aztecs v. San Jose State Spartans
Where: San Jose, California
When: Saturday, September 30, 2006, at 4:00 p.m. MT (

Dick Tomey is working on becoming this year's comeback coach of the year. The Spartans look pretty good, and you have got to believe that Tomey has them feeling the mojo for the first time in a long, long time!

The Aztecs are 0-3, held scoreless at Wisconsin and completely destroyed by Utah last week. San Jose knocked off the third ranked I-AA team in America last week, which is no laughing matter, although a chuckle or two is okay. Spartan quarterback Adam Tafralis saw his great numbers dip a little after the Cal-Davis win, but he still is an upper-tier WAC quarterback, and Spartan receiver James Jones is a stud. San Jose is for real.

San Jose Can You See wins comfortably.

Eastern Illinois Whatevers v. University of Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors
Where: Paradise
When: Too late for us (10-ish, I think)

Zagco would like to say something to Hawai'i quarterback Colt Brennan: You can puke on our field anytime you'd like.

The Warriors were flat out awesome last week. Zagco still likes Davone Bess a ton, but Colt Brennan shot to the top of the WAC list in his mind. What a player! Bess' one fumble aside, that guy can fly around. He reminds me of Ronny Lott playing receiver.

If the Warriors don't basically run the WAC table (the Fresno game will be tough), they should be ashamed. This team has no excuse to not work over most WAC teams this year. This is EASILY the best Hawai'i offense Zagco has seen.

In addition to my high opinion of the Rainbows, we've already discussed the rules as they apply to schools that insist on having directions in their names.

Hawai'i will win this game easily.

Reno v. University of Nevada at Las Vega$ Runnin' Rebels
Where: Vega$
When: Saturday, September 30, 2006, at 8:00 p.m. MT (The mtn.)

Whatever happened to the Runnin' Rebels? Guys like Freddie Banks, Gerald Paddio, Stacey Augmon, Larry Johnson, Moses Scurry, Greg Anthony, David Butler, George Ackles, and, my favorite Rebel, fade-sporting three-point specialist Anderson Hunt! Man, those were the days when college athletes could hot tub with bookies and gangsters, before the world got so serious! Tark chewing on a towel, the Rebels blowing out some stunned opponent that couldn't figure out how a western team could be so good, and me, eating my homemade Chili-Mac in my underwear as I was trying to recover from my Friday night hangover on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Anyhoo, how did we get to talkin' ‘bout hoops?

Well, one thing that has not changed between then and now is that UNLV football still sucks. Personally, I think UNLV sucks at football because they hired away Tony Knap from Boise State, bringing a curse that has still not lifted. Reno leads the series with its arch-rival 16-15, but had suffered 5 straight losses before finally pulling out a close win in Reno last year. Reno did beat Vanderbilt, er, Northwestern, last week, but the Pack really didn't look all that great. Zagco agrees with several observers that Reno looked slow, and the "Pistol Offense" looked pretty dang lame. However, Jeff "the Schnauz" Rowe did play solid, efficient football, and Reno was able to run more than I thought they would against even a bad Big 10 team. Thus, all in all, I'd say that Reno is looking a bit better each week.

Reno's world famous "Pistol Offense" will eke out a tough win against Vega$

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs v. Clemson Tigers
Where: Clemson, South Carolina
When: Saturday, September 30, 2006, at 5:00 p.m. MT (ESPNU)

Why do I keep seeing La Tech playing games against schools that they have no business playing? I mean, seriously, it can be the frickin' Fourth of July and I'll turn on the television and there is La Tech getting WORKED by USC or someone like that.

Please, La Tech, put us out of our misery and start playing conference games.

Clemson wins a laugher.

Colorado State Rams v. Fresno State Bulldogs
Where: Fresno, California
When: Saturday, September 30, 2006, at 8:00 p.m. MT (

Right off the bat, let me say that Zagco thinks Fresno will win easily. Predictions aside, I am mightily concerned how Fresno approaches the rest of its season. They pretty much flopped on the pre-season side, and they've got at least one other BCS loss starting them in their face in the LSU game, plus they have to play us here. There's some material there that could cause the Bulldogs to go into a funk, but Zagco will not completely lose faith in them. Colorado State has its own set of problems, plus they already lost to Nevada, Fresno's only win thus far. I think Fresno has a shot to get back a bit of its mojo this week. We'll see…

New Mexico State Aggies v. UTEP Miners
Where: El Paso, Texas
When: Saturday, September 30, 2006, at 7:00 p.m. MT

Zagco sort of jumped on the New Mexico State bandwagon when the season got going, but he's slid off that one and hopped aboard the San Jose Express. The Aggies look crappy – not horrible crappy, but just kind of lame crappy. UTEP, last year's mid-major darling until they lost one too many times, is just a better team, as much as that pains Zagco to say. Mike Price, a vulgar, misguided man who probably was given the shaft by Alabama, is a Bronco hater. He's as close to a Vandal as you can be without actually swearing allegiance to Satan.

UTEP wins a relatively easy game.

Boise State University Broncos v. Utah Utes
Where: Salt Lake City, Utah
When: Saturday, September 30, 2006, at 1:00 p.m. MT (Versus)

Boise State takes its shiny 10-0 record against the MWC down to Salt Lake City to renew its rivalry with Utah. The Broncos lead the series 3-2. Our first win against Utah goes back to 1980, when the future I-AA national champions stunned the Utes 28-7. That game belonged to Bronco running back Terry Zahner. Zagco still remembers listening to that game on the radio. Most of you probably remember our last win against Utah in Salt Lake City in 1998, when former Bronco quarterback Nate Sparks led us on that incredible 98-yard drive at the end of the game to pull out the win. What memories!

We are going need a Terry Zahner or Nate Sparks-esque performance from someone to win this game. Zagco agrees with Coach Petersen that each game this year has been progressively harder than the last game. While Utah's offense might not have the high octane of Hawai'i, overall they are a better team that we will be facing on the road. One key to the game will be the emergence of a star performer – someone we don't expect.

Three concerns from last week: (1) defensively, we seemed helpless at times. Perhaps we should write it off to Hawaii's unique offense and skilled personnel, but I am hesitant to do so. I am worried that Utah will see a flaw that Hawaii exposed. I hope not, but I am concerned about our defense; (2) Ian "the Offense" Johnson continues to dazzle, but how much longer can that dude's calves stay intact? When he carries people, I cringe, thinking his legs are going to blow up. He's like a shiftier, mini version of Earl Campbell, except without the great big arss! Anyhoo, I think this concern will continue to percolate, as well all fear the consequences of losing him; and (3) we need to CATCH the ball.

It's the third and final concern that irritates Zagco the most. Last week , Zagco implored Boise State to find a way to get the receivers involved. Well, Z did that in spades, and we had a good passing game, but it should have been so much better. One sure touchdown pass was dropped. A couple others were dropped. We have GOT to catch the ball. Zagco still believes these receivers have great size and ability, but to be as great as the Gilligan-Swillie-Fanuchi trio, they have got to catch the ball. C-A-T-C-H.

Here's the deal: Zagco believes that if we CATCH the ball, we win. However, he's also worried about penalties, a fourth problem from last week. One series of breakdowns took us out of position to score a sure touchdown and ended with Z's punt-like, forgivable interception. Penalties are a function of having your head in the game. Surely, our boys will have their heads in the game! Right?

Boise State will pull out a relatively close, yet comfortable win.

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