Zag's Frags.. Week 6

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 season record stands at 31-4.

Zagco would like to say "hello" to the many, many BroncoCountry posters he and his posse of four women met down in Salt Lake City. It was a pleasure to meet all of you.

What a game! What a stadium! What concessions – the popcorn tasted like popcorn, and the Diet Coke and Red Vines were crazy delicious! For those of you who went down and drove back Saturday night, what about those bugs! Crazy, X-Files-type bugs. Zagco was scarred.

BONUS FEATURE: ZAGCO COMPLIMENTS IDAHO RE:
GIVING A KID A SECOND CHANCE

There has been some discussion on BroncoCountry concerning an article published in The Idaho Statesman last week about the University of Idaho having academic standards low enough to admit a young man to play football. "Former Pac-10 Recruit Ended Up in Moscow after Academic Struggles," by Nick Jezierny, Sept. 30, 2006.
(http://www.idahostatesman.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060930/NEWS03/609300351/1037/NEWS03)

Understandably, many Bronco fans gleefully pointed out that this article cuts against Idaho's tedious, silly, and inaccurate representations of its academic prowess. However, rather than use this article as evidence of Idaho's lower academic standards, Zagco would like to commend Idaho for giving this young man a second chance.

We all need second chances in life, especially young men! Former Vandal Eric Yarber (who Zagco knew and greatly admired many years ago), was quoted in a rather poignant part of the article, as he explained how he, now a coach at the University of Washington, led this young man to enroll at Idaho:

[Jo Artis Ratti] made visits to Oregon and Washington and thought he would wind up at one of those places. But his grades didn't meet either school's academic requirements.

That's when Washington assistant coach Eric Yarber — a former Vandal player and coach — made a call.

"When he couldn't meet our requirements, I knew there was a perfect place for him," Yarber said. "That was Idaho. Coach (Dennis) Erickson was like a stepfather to me, and I knew he would take care of Jo."


So, while Zagco has no sympathy whatsoever for Vandals (for reasons that simply cannot be covered in the space Rafter has allotted), he would like to offer a slightly different take on this story. Zagco commends the University of Idaho for giving this young man a second chance with his academics.


New Mexico State Aggies v. Those Losers from Moscow
Where: Moscow, Idaho
When: Saturday, October 7, 2006, at 3:00 p.m. MT (WAC.tv)

Well, now that Idaho has proven that it can beat up on stoners, it moves on to face the team that brought out the man-love in the Vandals in 2006. Who can forget the sausage party in the end zone down in Las Cruces last fall, where former Vandal coach Nick Holt led a zany, krazy après-game Roman orgy in apparent celebration of a rare Vandal victory over an even crappier WAC team? It was like watching Caligula without any girls or the funny accents.

Alas, to be perfectly honest, the Aggies are crappy, and while they put up a fight against UTEP (yet another crappy team), and their quarterback did put up eye-popping numbers (48-73, 506 yards, 4 TDs, 1 Int.), Zagco is very, very skeptical of their ability to win a road game in the WAC. Idaho, on the other hand, allowed Utah State to triple its offensive scoring output for the season, and the Vandal "offense" only put up 316 total yards. In addition to yet another interception returned for a touchdown thrown by Utah State's former starting quarterback (all 5 of his picks have been returned for TDs), Idaho also greatly benefited from an obvious bad call that was not overturned on replay, where Steven Wichman stepped over the line of scrimmage before tossing a 50 yard pass to receiver Max Komar. Plus, Utah State is simply, unbelievably, laughably bad. This wasn't so much a win as it was a booger flicking contest.

Zagco hates picking these games, where you basically have two really crappy teams that will do everything they can to let the other team win. Based on Idaho's offensive ineptitude and terrible defense, something that I heard from a little bird, and because I kinda dig the high school letterman jacket look than Hal Mumme favors on the sideline, I pick New Mexico State to pull out a sloppy win.


Reno v. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
Where: Paradise
When: Saturday, October 7, 2006, at 10:00-ish p.m. MT

Zagco did not have much faith in Reno when the season started. In fact, he thought Reno was a figment of Chris Ault's inventive imagination. Reno's loss to Fresno to begin the season caused some pause, however, because it was not the revenge-fueled rout that might be expected from a Fresno team that should have been out to wipe out the bad memories of late last year. Reno has not been great, but Zagco believes that Chris Ault has basically got them to perform at a good level, and they appear to be steadily improving each week.

Hawaii, as we all know, is crazy good on offense. If Hawaii improves at all this year as a team, they will be a very dangerous and very good team that could beat just about anyone in a bowl game.

This is a no-brainer, even though Zagco respects Reno's play so far this year: Hawaii should win this game with ease at home.


Fresno State Bulldogs v. The Worst Division I College Football Team in America
Where: Logan, Utah
When: Saturday, October 7, 2006, at 6:00 p.m. MT (WAC.tv)

In all fairness, Zagco feels that it is time we move past the whole dope-smoking problem in Utah, as it pertains to Utah State, because we seriously have, in the Aggies, the worst college football team in America in the WAC. They suck really, really bad. The wheels have come off, all hope is lost, and you really wonder why they are even playing out the year. It might be best to forfeit the year and start rebuilding. It's that bad in Logan.

Zagco's fear, as he has implied the last two weeks, has come true with Fresno. Fresno is a team that has functioned with success on emotion. The Fresno shtick is to work itself up into a lather against the big BCS teams, pull out a couple big wins, and then coast through the conference season hoping that its reputation will scare WAC teams into submission. Other than Boise State, that modus operandi has worked well for Fresno. However, in losing its season opening games to Washington and Oregon, it appears that the Bulldogs have lost their identity. Last week's beat down loss to Colorado State at home was an embarrassment to Fresno and to the WAC. Shame on them.

That said, Utah State sucks, and while the Aggies will probably put more of a scare into Fresno than they should, Fresno will not lose this game.


Louisiana Tech Bulldogs v. Boise State Broncos
Where: Boise, Idaho
When: Saturday, October 7, 2006, at 6:00 p.m. MT (KTVB, WAC.tv)

BONUS FEATURE: ZAGCO'S WAC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK

            On Monday, the WAC announced that the University of Idaho's kicker, Tino Amancio, was the special teams player of the week, proclaiming that the eleven points he scored was the most scored by a WAC kicker so far this year.

            Thanks to the efforts of a BroncoCountry poster, the WAC quickly realized it had made a mistake, because Boise State kicker Anthony Montgomery scored twelve points against Utah.

            Accordingly, using the same logic apparently employed by the WAC before it realized its error and erased it from its press release, Zagco hereby names Bronco kicker Anthony Montgomery the WAC's special teams player of the week.  He scored more points last week than any other WAC kicker has scored in a game this season.  Congratulations Anthony.

Seriously, did anyone who went to the game think that we did ANYTHING bad? Is there anything critical to say about Boise State's performance against Utah? Yes, we easily could have had more points. Yes, we could take back the two picks and the fumble. There's always couldas and shouldas and wouldas, but that Utah game was pretty dang close to being spot on!

Zagco would like to make the following general observations: (1) Z is playing with a purpose and precision that is almost stunning, and I mean that in a very complimentary way; (2) a hobbled Ian Johnson is still a hard Johnson to stop; and (3) what in the world happened to our defense against Hawaii? That last question puzzles me more this week than it did last week. Our defense was AWESOME against Utah. At some point, maybe at the end of the year, Zagco implores Justin Wilcox to more thoroughly explain what happened, because it is truly a mystery!

This is our homecoming game, and La Tech is coming off yet another humiliating loss to a team it had no business playing (51-0 to Clemson). We are going to annihilate the Bulldogs. There's just not much to say about this game.

MEMO TO GENE: Get moving on our new stadium. We're tired of waiting around.

MEMO TO MR. SIMPLOT: Please give us a lot of money.

Boise State wins a laugher.

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