Zag's Frags.. Week 10

This weeks WAC football predictions from the irrepressible, irreverent and sometimes irrational Zagco. From Honolulu to Ruston, Moscow to Las Cruces and beyond, Zagco tells you exactly what you need to know about what is happening this week in the WAC.

Once again, Zagco was PERFECT with his WAC picks for the week.  He has now picked 10 straight WAC games correctly, and his overall season winning percentage is a staggering .860 (43-7), a figure eclipsed only by the winning percentage of Coach Pete.

In a world where Boise State inches higher and higher in the BCS rankings, crowding out teams from BCS conferences and threatening to walk away with a chunk of the booty that is normally reserved for a pre-selected group of teams, the high-pitched, yet prophetic words of Rush frontman Geddy Lee come to mind: 

There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas.

The trouble with the maples,
(And they're quite convinced they're right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made.
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade.

 While Lee and his prog-rock bandmates Neal Peart and Alex Lifeson are Canadian (not that there is anything wrong with that) and accordingly know nothing of the BCS, they know of the struggle of the underdog and his fight for a place in this cruel, cruel world.

 SPECIAL BONUS SECTION:  BOISE STATE 'S STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE!!!

 Two words:  Oregon State Beavers.

Boise State completely destroyed Oregon State in the second week of the season by a score of 42-14 – a game in which Ian "The Offense" Johnson rumbled for 240 yards, leaving Pac-10 cornerbacks falling and tripping over themselves, like Vandal quarterback Steven Wichman leaving the Corner Club at the end of a fraternity bar crawl on St. Patrick's Day.  In case you've been living on Planet Lovetron with Darryl Dawkins, this is the same Oregon State team that just beat Southern Cal .

Check out Boise State 's domination of Oregon State by clicking the hyperlink below:

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=262500068&confId=16

SPECIAL BONUS SECTION:  WAC STANDINGS!!!

 

WAC Record

Overall Record

 

Team

W

L

Pct.

W

L

Pct.

Streak

Boise State

4

0

1.000

8

0

1.000

W8

Hawai'i

4

1

0.800

6

2

0.750

W5

Idaho

3

2

0.600

4

5

0.444

L2

San Jose State

2

1

0.667

5

2

0.714

W1

Nevada

2

2

0.500

5

3

0.625

W2

Fresno State

1

2

0.333

1

6

0.143

L6

Louisiana Tech

1

3

0.250

2

6

0.250

L1

Utah State

1

3

0.250

1

7

0.125

L2

New Mexico State

0

4

0.000

2

6

0.250

L5

SPECIAL BONUS SECTION:  UPDATED WAC STATISTICS FROM THE WAC WEBSITE!!!

Click on the hyperlink below to see the updated WAC statistics:

 http://www.wacsports.com/fls/10100/stats/football/2006/confldrs.htm?SPSID=45953&SPID=4122&DB_OEM_ID=10100

ULTRA SPECIAL BONUS SECTION:  DISPELLING THE MYTHS ABOUT BOISE STATE 'S CLOSER THAN EXPECTED GAMES AGAINST HAWAI'I , NEW MEXICO STATE , AND IDAHO !!!!

The Hawai'i game is often cited by our bitter rivals and other jealous detractors as evidence of two things, both of which are humorously inconsistent:  (1) we're not as good as our ranking, as we only beat Hawai'i by one touchdown at home; and (2) Hawai'i is a better team than we are and should be ranked.  Zagco believes Hawai'i is a very good team and on the verge of being a Top 25 team, but Zagco also believes Boise State is a much better football team than the Rainbow Warriors.  Consider the following:

  1. We came THIS close to blowing Hawai'i out.  We were up 15-0 at the end of the first quarter.  We were up 24-6 in the second quarter.  We were up 34-14 well into the third quarter.  What prevented this game from being a blowout was threefold:  (1) Drisan James dropped a great pass from Z, which should have gone for a 90-yard touchdown, effectively ending the game; (2) on another second half drive, we failed to score after having the ball inside Hawai'i's 10 yard line, the drive ending in a huge sack and interception; and (3) we let up, both on defense and in letting numerous opportunities to ice the game on offense get away from us.
  2. Boise State has never lost a WAC game to Hawai'i and its two former NFL head coaches.  The Rainbow Warriors, like so many other WAC teams, want to beat us in the worst way.  We get the WAC's very best every week.
  3. We won the game.

 The Rainbow Warriors deserve accolades.  Zagco would vote for them to be a Top 25 team right now.  However, they lost to Boise State , and it was THIS close to being a blowout loss. 

 The New Mexico State game is also cited as evidence that somehow we aren't as good as billed.

 Once again, however, our performance in that game merits closer scrutiny:

  1. We were up 21-0 after the first quarter, so dominating the game that Zagco literally thought we might hang half a hundred on the Aggies before halftime.  Midway through the second quarter, we were up 27-7.  Then, the wheels came off, when Brett Denton fumbled on a drive that would have probably ended the game in the second quarter.  Another freakish play that prevented a blowout was the interception that should have been caught by Legadu Nanee but was instead re-directed by him into the arms of a defender.
  2. Once again, it is apparent that we let up after a truly dominating first quarter performance.  This is especially true for our defense.  This was just a terrible game for our defense.
  3. We won the game on the road by 12 points, which, last time I checked, was not a bad thing.

Finally, the Idaho game is the third game where we played closer than expected, winning by only 16 points on the road against a team that long ago sold its soul to Satan in order to beat Boise State , a bargain that subsequently crumbled for the cheat monkeys in Moscow .

  1. After taking the very best that Idaho could deliver in the first quarter, we basically shut them down in front of the first official sellout crowd ever in Moscow .  Like all other WAC teams that rise to play above their abilities against Boise State, even Vandal coach Dennis Erickson conceded that his quarterback (the third lowest rated quarterback in the WAC) "threw it about as well as you could."  Never, ever underestimate how desperately our WAC opponents want to beat us, especially Idaho .
  2. After spotting Idaho 14 points and 200 yards passing in the first quarter, we gave up 128 passing yards for the rest of the game, and Idaho could only muster 69 yards rushing in the whole game.  We flat out dominated Idaho for three quarters.
  3. Once again, though, we failed to put the nail in the coffin, scoreboard-wise.  In the third quarter, we threw an interception on an apparent miscommunication between quarterback and receiver, allowing Idaho to remain in the game by kicking a field goal. 

Alas, we kicked their butts, and we should have kicked them worse than we did, but a 16-point road win is a pretty dang solid road win!

If there is a legitimate knock or two against Boise State, it is the following:  (1) we have eased up against teams when we've thought we had them beat early in ball games – we need to finish games, knowing that no one will give up against Boise State ; and (2) our defensive secondary needs to get its early form back.  While perhaps not a weakness, it is also true that our special teams return games have not been the big boost they have been in prior years.  However, it is important when looking at Boise State 's wins against the three teams discussed above to understand how close those games were to complete wipeouts.

MAIN SECTION:  ZAGCO'S WEEK 10 PICKS!!!!

Fresno State Bulldogs v. Boise State Broncos
Where:  On the Blue
When:  Wednesday, November 1, 2006, at 6:00 p.m. MT (The Deuce - ESPN2)

At just over 413 yards per game, Boise State has the third best total offense numbers in the WAC, behind Hawai'i and New Mexico State .  However, Boise State 's offense is far more methodical and run-oriented than the Aggies' and Rainbow Warriors'.  Put another way, our yards are American yards to their Canadian yards.

Boise State has the top defense in the WAC, giving up only 310 yards per game, a good number that looks even better considering the kind of offensive juggernauts we have already faced in the WAC.

At only 332 yards per game, Fresno State has the seventh best total offense numbers in the WAC.  The Bulldogs are third in the WAC in total defense.

Ian Johnson, as we all know, is the best running back in college football this year, running behind the best offensive line in Boise State history and one of the top offensive lines in all of college football.  Our line, anchored by Mr. Ryan Clady, has been opening holes faster and with more aplomb than the gopher in Caddyshack, evidenced by Ian's 7 yards per carry and 150 yards per game averages. 

Fresno State is shell-shocked.  This is a team that started out the year with such high hopes, especially with that Michael Bush-esque running back they have, Dwayne Wright.  Yet, even with his dominant physical stature, Fresno 's offense has been less than good, and Fresno has just been getting worked this year, including a simply stunning loss to Utah State , the worst team in the WAC.

Here's the deal:  There are three key things that will drive this game, and all future games, for Boise State:  (1) our defensive secondary; (2) our receivers; and (3) our special teams' return games (punts and kicks).  Zagco expects the Broncos to improve in every one of those areas against Fresno .

Boise State will win with relative ease at home.


Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors v. Utah State Aggies
Where:  Logan , Utah
When:  Saturday, November 4, 2006, at 1:00 p.m. MT (WAC.tv)

DISCLAIMER:  Zagco, due to his prior "legal troubles" with the Corporate Slavemaster Scout, wishes to make clear that he does NOT believe Utah State 's offense is "gay."  He also wants to reiterate his opposition to discrimination in any form whatsoever.  In this regard, and in the spirit of celebrating equality among humanity, Zagco echoes the words of Nigel Powers in Goldmember:  "There are only two things I can't stand in this world: People who are intolerant of other peoples' cultures, and the Dutch."  That said, Zagco does believe that Utah State 's offense is neat, well dressed, and happens to enjoy Broadway show tunes.

This is a classic trap game.  Hawai'i , a team with enough Fonzi-esque swagger on offense to get a date with Pinky Tuscadero, comes sauntering into Logan like a drunken sailor with a pocket full of money in a Shanghai tavern.  Yet, just when the Rainbow Warriors and their chubby mascot least expect it, with their backs turned toward the door, in skips Utah State and new Aggie signal caller Charles Nelson Riley with his ascot tie.  Imagine, if you will, Charles Nelson Riley and his Aggie teammates snapping their fingers and swaying like a chorus line from West Side Story, ready to lull Hawai'i into a lazy, slow game before Charles Nelson Riley whips out his big switchblade and sticks it in the Rainbow Warriors from behind.

As unlikely as the scenario set forth above might sound, let's not forget that the Aggies are no strangers to bringing the formerly mighty to their knees, having humbled Fresno State less than a month ago, winning 13-12 in Logan.  Do not underestimate Charles Nelson Riley.

Oh, we've had our fun with Utah State this year with that whole "dope-smoking-problem-in-Utah" thing, but with Charles Nelson Riley taking over at quarterback, the Aggies seem to have found a whole new identity on offense, best evidenced by the 35 points they scored against La Tech on October 21, not to mention the close game they played at San Jose on October 14, a 21-14 loss. 

Zagco thinks Brent Guy is a solid coach, but let's face it:  He is dealing with a situation in Logan (personnel upheavals, etc.) that makes playing games this year, much less winning games, a very difficult task.  Look, I don't see Hawai'i losing this game in any realistic scenario that could be put together by Utah State – despite its succubus-like allure, the whole Fonzi/Pinky Tuscadero/drunken sailor in Shanghai/Westside Story metaphor is just not that realistic, in Zagco's humble opinion.  Plus, as Zagco says every week, Hawai'i looks really, really good, and the Rainbow Warriors really seem to epitomize improvement from week to week, literally writing one magnum opus after another!  Zagco will be agog if the Rainbow Warriors don't win this game by at least 4 touchdowns.

Hawai'i will get an easy win against the WAC's worst team.


Reno v. The University of North Central Idaho
Where:  The Pea & Lentil Capital of the World
When:  Saturday, November 4, 2006, at 3:00 p.m. MT (WAC.tv)

After the Vandals lost 68-10 to Hawai'i last week, Spokesman-Review Vandal beat writer Jim Meehan wrote on his blog:

Erickson on Idaho 's defense: "If I knew what was going on, it wouldn't have happened.  I don't have an answer for 68-10. If someone does, please let me in on it."

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/vandals/

Zagco has an answer for you, Dennis:  Your team sucks.

MEMO TO IDAHO'S DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR:  Pack your bags, buddy;  your head coach just fired you.

QUERY:  Is it just Zagco, or do you get the feeling that Dennis Erickson is one more loss away from using the same words the late Admiral James B. Stockdale used as H. Ross Perot's vice presidential candidate to open a televised debate with opponents Dan Quale and Al Gore back in 1992:  "Who am I?  Why am I here?"

OBSERVATION:  Zagco has long maintained that Idaho 's ties to Satan are real.  Recently, one of Zagco's buddies pointed out to him that Dennis Erickson replaced Jimmy Johnson at Miami back in the late 1980s – the same Jimmy Johnson who used to inspire fans of his opponents to hold up signs at games that proclaimed him to be a "Pork-Faced Satan."  Zagco kids you not.

Reno has a very, very good passing defense.  Zagco began noticing this aspect of Reno 's season a couple weeks ago in the WAC statistics, but last week when   Reno shut down New Mexico State 's prolific passing game, he became a believer.  Reno plays great passing defense.

Statistically speaking, Reno has the third best scoring defense in the WAC (22.9 ppg), the second best passing defense in the WAC (202.9 ypg), the third best rushing defense in the WAC (135.5 ypg), and they are tied for first with Boise State in turnover margin (+9).  Overall, Reno has the WAC's third best total defense, giving up 338.4 yards per game.  If you've watched them play, however, it is clear that while Reno truly excels at covering the pass, they struggle with stopping the run.

Meanwhile, Idaho is rushing for only 116.3 yards per game, near the bottom of the WAC.  The Vandals' leading rusher, the plodding Jason Bird, is under 50 yards per game and 3.5 yards per carry.  The Flowers kid has been banged up and less than impressive running the ball.  Idaho 's total offense comes in at just over 340 yards per game, again near the bottom of the WAC.  Idaho can't run and they can't pass, and, sadly, they seem unwilling to hide.  When the Steven Wichman Interception Show and Cocktail Hour isn't tossing back highballs, Vandal receivers are dropping their balls, a problem that has been endemic in Moscow for many years now.

The only way for Idaho to win this game is to run the ball.  Against Nevada 's craptastic run defense, Zagco expects Idaho to keep this game close for awhile.  Their whole season is on the line.  The fanciful hopes and outright delusions of the Vandal Nation are on the line.  Last week, in the 68-10 drubbing they took from Hawai'i , Idaho learned their place in the WAC (the bottom), but they'll still have enough crack left to give Reno a good, Quixotic fight.  In the end, however, Reno 's defense and Chris Ault's famous "Pistol Offense" will prove to be too much for an outmanned Idaho club.

Reno wins going away.


San Jose Can You See Spartans v.  New Mexico State Aggies
Where:  Las Cruces , New Mexico
When:  Saturday, November 4, 2006, at 6:00 p.m. MT (WAC.tv)

This game is a hard one to pick.  Zagco's been on San Jose 's bandwagon this year.  San Jose State appears to be the WAC's most improved team.  However, both Boise State and Hawai'i saw what kind of offense New Mexico State can put on the field. 

Aggies headmaster Hal Mumme, the man who cheated his way out of Kentucky and now wipes his snot on a sideline towel wrapped around his pasty, porkish white neck during WAC games, really ought to heed the words of the late Ayn Rand before he spouts off about where Boise State stacks up against other WAC teams:  "It is not advisable, [Coach Mumme], to venture unsolicited opinions. You should spare yourself the embarrassing discovery of their exact value to your listener."  (Ayn Rand, from "Atlas Shrugged," 1957).

Since Coach Mumme seems so interested in random opinions, here's one of Zagco's for him:  New Mexico State is the sixth best team Boise State has played this year.

Zagco feels totally mental trying to pick this game.  At home, Zagco would not hesitate to pick San Jose .  On the road, however, and knowing how potent New Mexico State 's offense can be, Zagco is hesitant to decide.  Yet, Zagco cannot help but feel that the Aggies gave up last week at Nevada , having been drained of their mental energy in exhausting losses to Boise State and Hawai'i in the two previous weeks.  On the other hand, San Jose is playing for a bowl game and for a highly anticipated match up with Boise State .  Plus, as clever as Hal Mumme thinks he is, Zagco believes that Mumme won't be outfoxed by the old college football coaching Methuselah Dick Tomey!  Wily old Tomey, who seems like a totally decent guy, actually has the Spartans playing good defense -- they are second in total defense in the WAC, and, more importantly, the Spartans are first (by a mile!) in passing defense in the WAC.  Thus, San Jose appears to be well positioned to handle the Aggies' only strength.  Moreover, San Jose 's offense is balanced and multiple. 

In trying to prophesize the outcome of this pending donnybrook, Zagco feels a bit like Ed Grimley trying to decide whether Pat Sajak is as decent as he seems.  It's a tough pick, but Zagco thinks San Jose should have the firepower and mental fortitude to continue their ascension in the WAC.

San Jose Can You See will pull out a nice road win in Las Cruces .


La Tech Bulldogs v. North Texas Whatevers
Where:  Denton , Texas
When:  Saturday, November 4, 2006, at 5:00 p.m. MT

ANOTHER road game for La Tech?!?  Whaaaaa?!?  This is a team that has played AT the following schools this year:  Nebraska , Clemson, Texas A&M, and Boise State .  For good measure, they are just coming off a conference loss AT San Jose State.  Now, they get to play AT Denton, Texas.  Wow.  WOW!

On tap for next week:  La Tech v. Former Oakland Raiders great Otis Sistrunk's  alma mater, the University of Mars , AT Mars.

ZAGCO'S ADVICE FOR LA TECH:  Fire your scheduler!  Seriously.  This is NOT a joke.

Zagco has repeatedly stated his rule on never picking schools with directions in their names.  As bad as La Tech is this year, and even though this game is a road game, he will stick by this very, very simple rule.

La Tech beats the directional school

All content ©2006 BroncoCountry.com/Scout.com.


Bronco Country Top Stories

\r\n\r\n
\r\n\r\n

Once again, Zagco was PERFECT\r\nwith his WAC picks for the week.  He has now picked 10 straight WAC games\r\ncorrectly, and his overall season winning percentage is a staggering .860\r\n(43-7), a figure eclipsed only by the winning percentage of Coach Pete.

\r\n

In a world where Boise State\r\ninches higher and higher in the BCS rankings, crowding out teams from BCS\r\nconferences and threatening to walk away with a chunk of the booty that is\r\nnormally reserved for a pre-selected group of teams, the high-pitched, yet\r\nprophetic words of Rush frontman Geddy Lee come to mind: 

\r\n

There is unrest in\r\nthe forest,
\r\nThere is trouble with the trees,
\r\nFor the maples want more sunlight
\r\nAnd the oaks ignore their pleas.
\r\n
\r\nThe trouble with the maples,
\r\n(And they're quite convinced they're right)
\r\nThey say the oaks are just too lofty
\r\nAnd they grab up all the light.
\r\nBut the oaks can't help their feelings
\r\nIf they like the way they're made.
\r\nAnd they wonder why the maples
\r\nCan't be happy in their shade.

\r\n

\r\n While Lee and his prog-rock bandmates Neal Peart and Alex Lifeson are\r\nCanadian (not that there is anything wrong with that) and accordingly know\r\nnothing of the BCS, they know of the struggle of the underdog and his fight for\r\na place in this cruel, cruel world.

\r\n

\r\n SPECIAL BONUS SECTION:  \r\n\r\nBOISE\r\n \r\nSTATE\r\n\r\n'S STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE!!!\r\n\r\n

\r\n

\r\n Two words:  \r\n\r\nOregon\r\n\r\n State Beavers.

\r\n

\r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n completely destroyed \r\n\r\nOregon\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n in the second week of the season by a score of 42-14 – a game in which Ian\r\n\"The Offense\" Johnson rumbled for 240 yards, leaving Pac-10 cornerbacks\r\nfalling and tripping over themselves, like Vandal quarterback Steven Wichman\r\nleaving the Corner Club at the end of a fraternity bar crawl on St. Patrick's\r\nDay.  In case you've been living on\r\nPlanet Lovetron with Darryl Dawkins, this is the same \r\nOregon\r\n \r\nState\r\n team that just beat \r\nSouthern Cal\r\n.

\r\n

Check out \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n's domination of \r\n\r\nOregon\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n by clicking the hyperlink below:

\r\n

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=262500068&confId=16

\r\n

SPECIAL BONUS SECTION:  WAC\r\nSTANDINGS!!!\r\n\r\n

\r\n
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

 \r\n \r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

WAC\r\n Record\r\n \r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

Overall\r\n Record\r\n \r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

 \r\n \r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

Team\r\n \r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

W\r\n \r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

L\r\n \r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

Pct.\r\n \r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

W\r\n \r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

L\r\n \r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

Pct.\r\n \r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

Streak\r\n \r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

Boise\r\n State\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

4\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

1.000\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

8\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

1.000\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

W8\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

Hawai'i\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

4\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

1\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0.800\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

6\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

2\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0.750\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

W5\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

Idaho\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

3\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

2\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0.600\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

4\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

5\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0.444\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

L2\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

San Jose State\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

2\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

1\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0.667\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

5\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

2\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0.714\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

W1\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

Nevada\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

2\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

2\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0.500\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

5\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

3\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0.625\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

W2\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

Fresno State\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

1\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

2\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0.333\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

1\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

6\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0.143\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

L6\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

Louisiana\r\n Tech\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

1\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

3\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0.250\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

2\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

6\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0.250\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

L1\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

Utah State\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

1\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

3\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0.250\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

1\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

7\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0.125\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

L2\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

New Mexico State\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

4\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0.000\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

2\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

6\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

0.250\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n

L5\r\n \r\n

\r\n
\r\n
\r\n
\r\n

\r\nSPECIAL BONUS SECTION:  UPDATED\r\nWAC STATISTICS FROM THE WAC WEBSITE!!!\r\n\r\n

\r\n

\r\nClick on the hyperlink below to see the updated WAC statistics:

\r\n

\r\n http://www.wacsports.com/fls/10100/stats/football/2006/confldrs.htm?SPSID=45953&SPID=4122&DB_OEM_ID=10100

\r\n

ULTRA SPECIAL BONUS SECTION:  DISPELLING\r\nTHE MYTHS ABOUT \r\nBOISE\r\n \r\nSTATE\r\n'S CLOSER THAN EXPECTED GAMES AGAINST \r\nHAWAI'I\r\n, \r\nNEW MEXICO\r\n \r\nSTATE\r\n, AND \r\n\r\nIDAHO\r\n\r\n!!!!\r\n\r\n

\r\n

\r\nThe \r\nHawai'i\r\n game is often cited by our bitter rivals and other jealous detractors as\r\nevidence of two things, both of which are humorously inconsistent: \r\n(1) we're not as good as our ranking, as we only beat \r\nHawai'i\r\n by one touchdown at home; and (2) \r\n\r\nHawai'i\r\n\r\n is a better team than we are and should be ranked. \r\nZagco believes \r\nHawai'i\r\n is a very good team and on the verge of being a Top 25 team, but Zagco also\r\nbelieves \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n is a much better football team than the Rainbow Warriors. \r\nConsider the following:

\r\n
    \r\n
  1. We came THIS close to blowing \r\n \r\n Hawai'i\r\n \r\n out.  We were up 15-0 at the end\r\n of the first quarter.  We were up\r\n 24-6 in the second quarter.  We\r\n were up 34-14 well into the third quarter. \r\n What prevented this game from being a blowout was threefold: \r\n (1) Drisan James dropped a great pass from Z, which should have gone\r\n for a 90-yard touchdown, effectively ending the game; (2) on another second\r\n half drive, we failed to score after having the ball inside Hawai'i's 10\r\n yard line, the drive ending in a huge sack and interception; and (3) we let\r\n up, both on defense and in letting numerous opportunities to ice the game on\r\n offense get away from us.
  2. \r\n
  3. \r\n Boise\r\n \r\n State\r\n has never lost a WAC game to \r\n \r\n Hawai'i\r\n \r\n and its two former NFL head coaches.  The\r\n Rainbow Warriors, like so many other WAC teams, want to beat us in the worst\r\n way.  We get the WAC's very\r\n best every week.
  4. \r\n
  5. We won the game.
  6. \r\n
\r\n

\r\n The Rainbow Warriors deserve accolades. \r\nZagco would vote for them to be a Top 25 team right now. \r\nHowever, they lost to \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n, and it was THIS close to being a blowout loss. 

\r\n

\r\n The \r\n\r\nNew Mexico\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n game is also cited as evidence that somehow we aren't as good as billed.

\r\n

\r\n Once again, however, our performance in that game merits closer scrutiny:

\r\n
    \r\n
  1. We were up 21-0 after the first quarter, so dominating\r\n the game that Zagco literally thought we might hang half a hundred on the\r\n Aggies before halftime.  Midway\r\n through the second quarter, we were up 27-7. \r\n Then, the wheels came off, when Brett Denton fumbled on a drive that\r\n would have probably ended the game in the second quarter. \r\n Another freakish play that prevented a blowout was the interception\r\n that should have been caught by Legadu Nanee but was instead re-directed by\r\n him into the arms of a defender.
  2. \r\n
  3. Once again, it is apparent that we let up after a\r\n truly dominating first quarter performance. \r\n This is especially true for our defense. \r\n This was just a terrible game for our defense.
  4. \r\n
  5. We won the game on the road by 12 points, which, last\r\n time I checked, was not a bad thing.
  6. \r\n
\r\n

Finally, the \r\nIdaho\r\n game is the third game where we played closer than expected, winning by only\r\n16 points on the road against a team that long ago sold its soul to Satan in\r\norder to beat \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n, a bargain that subsequently crumbled for the cheat monkeys in \r\n\r\nMoscow\r\n\r\n.

\r\n
    \r\n
  1. After taking the very best that \r\n Idaho\r\n could deliver in the first quarter, we basically shut them down in front of\r\n the first official sellout crowd ever in \r\n \r\n Moscow\r\n \r\n .  Like all other WAC teams that\r\n rise to play above their abilities against Boise State, even Vandal coach\r\n Dennis Erickson conceded that his quarterback (the third lowest rated\r\n quarterback in the WAC) \"threw it about as well as you could.\" \r\n Never, ever underestimate how desperately our WAC opponents want to\r\n beat us, especially \r\n \r\n Idaho\r\n \r\n .
  2. \r\n
  3. After spotting \r\n Idaho\r\n 14 points and 200 yards passing in the first quarter, we gave up 128 passing\r\n yards for the rest of the game, and \r\n \r\n Idaho\r\n \r\n could only muster 69 yards rushing in the whole game. \r\n We flat out dominated \r\n \r\n Idaho\r\n \r\n for three quarters.
  4. \r\n
  5. Once again, though, we failed to put the nail in the\r\n coffin, scoreboard-wise.  In the\r\n third quarter, we threw an interception on an apparent miscommunication\r\n between quarterback and receiver, allowing \r\n \r\n Idaho\r\n \r\n to remain in the game by kicking a field goal. 
  6. \r\n
\r\n

Alas, we kicked their butts, and\r\nwe should have kicked them worse than we did, but a 16-point road win is a\r\npretty dang solid road win!

\r\n

If there is a legitimate knock\r\nor two against Boise State, it is the following: \r\n(1) we have eased up against teams when we've thought we had them beat\r\nearly in ball games – we need to finish games, knowing that no one will give\r\nup against \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n; and (2) our defensive secondary needs to get its early form back. \r\nWhile perhaps not a weakness, it is also true that our special teams\r\nreturn games have not been the big boost they have been in prior years. \r\nHowever, it is important when looking at \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n's wins against the three teams discussed above to understand how close those\r\ngames were to complete wipeouts.

\r\n

MAIN SECTION:  ZAGCO'S WEEK\r\n10 PICKS!!!!\r\n\r\n

\r\n

\r\nFresno\r\n \r\nState\r\n Bulldogs v. \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n Broncos
\r\nWhere:  On the Blue
\r\nWhen:  Wednesday, November 1, 2006,\r\nat 6:00 p.m. MT (The Deuce - ESPN2)\r\n\r\n

\r\n

At just over 413 yards per game,\r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n has the third best total offense numbers in the WAC, behind \r\nHawai'i\r\n and \r\n\r\nNew Mexico\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n.  However, \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n's offense is far more methodical and run-oriented than the Aggies' and\r\nRainbow Warriors'.  Put another\r\nway, our yards are American yards to their Canadian yards.

\r\n

\r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n has the top defense in the WAC, giving up only 310 yards per game, a good\r\nnumber that looks even better considering the kind of offensive juggernauts we\r\nhave already faced in the WAC.

\r\n

At only 332 yards per game, \r\n\r\nFresno\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n has the seventh best total offense numbers in the WAC. \r\nThe Bulldogs are third in the WAC in total defense.

\r\n

Ian Johnson, as we all know, is\r\nthe best running back in college football this year, running behind the best\r\noffensive line in \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n history and one of the top offensive lines in all of college football. \r\nOur line, anchored by Mr. Ryan Clady, has been opening holes faster and\r\nwith more aplomb than the gopher in Caddyshack, evidenced by Ian's 7 yards per\r\ncarry and 150 yards per game averages. 

\r\n

\r\n\r\nFresno\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n is shell-shocked.  This is a team\r\nthat started out the year with such high hopes, especially with that Michael\r\nBush-esque running back they have, Dwayne Wright. \r\nYet, even with his dominant physical stature, \r\nFresno\r\n's offense has been less than good, and \r\nFresno\r\n has just been getting worked this year, including a simply stunning loss to \r\n\r\nUtah\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n, the worst team in the WAC.

\r\n

Here's the deal: \r\nThere are three key things that will drive this game, and all future\r\ngames, for Boise State:  (1) our\r\ndefensive secondary; (2) our receivers; and (3) our special teams' return\r\ngames (punts and kicks).  Zagco\r\nexpects the Broncos to improve in every one of those areas against \r\n\r\nFresno\r\n\r\n.

\r\n

\r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n will win with relative ease at home.

\r\n


\r\n\r\nHawai'i\r\n Rainbow Warriors v. \r\n\r\nUtah\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n Aggies
\r\nWhere:  \r\n\r\nLogan\r\n, \r\nUtah
\r\nWhen:  Saturday, November 4, 2006, at\r\n1:00 p.m. MT (WAC.tv)\r\n\r\n

\r\n

DISCLAIMER: \r\nZagco, due to his prior \"legal troubles\" with the Corporate\r\nSlavemaster Scout, wishes to make clear that he does NOT believe \r\n\r\nUtah\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n's offense is \"gay.\"  He also\r\nwants to reiterate his opposition to discrimination in any form whatsoever. \r\nIn this regard, and in the spirit of celebrating equality among humanity,\r\nZagco echoes the words of Nigel Powers in Goldmember: \r\n\"There are only two things I can't stand in this world: People who are\r\nintolerant of other peoples' cultures, and the Dutch." \r\nThat said, Zagco does believe that \r\n\r\nUtah\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n's offense is neat, well dressed, and happens to enjoy Broadway show tunes.

\r\n

This is a classic trap game. \r\n\r\nHawai'i\r\n, a team with enough Fonzi-esque swagger on offense to get a date with Pinky\r\nTuscadero, comes sauntering into \r\nLogan\r\n like a drunken sailor with a pocket full of money in a \r\n\r\nShanghai\r\n\r\n tavern.  Yet, just when the Rainbow\r\nWarriors and their chubby mascot least expect it, with their backs turned toward\r\nthe door, in skips Utah State and new Aggie signal caller Charles Nelson Riley\r\nwith his ascot tie.  Imagine, if you\r\nwill, Charles Nelson Riley and his Aggie teammates snapping their fingers and\r\nswaying like a chorus line from West Side Story, ready to lull \r\n\r\nHawai'i\r\n\r\n into a lazy, slow game before Charles Nelson Riley whips out his big\r\nswitchblade and sticks it in the Rainbow Warriors from behind.

\r\n

As unlikely as the scenario set\r\nforth above might sound, let's not forget that the Aggies are no strangers to\r\nbringing the formerly mighty to their knees, having humbled Fresno State less\r\nthan a month ago, winning 13-12 in Logan.  Do\r\nnot underestimate Charles Nelson Riley.

\r\n

Oh, we've had our fun with\r\nUtah State this year with that whole \"dope-smoking-problem-in-Utah\" thing,\r\nbut with Charles Nelson Riley taking over at quarterback, the Aggies seem to\r\nhave found a whole new identity on offense, best evidenced by the 35 points they\r\nscored against La Tech on October 21, not to mention the close game they played\r\nat San Jose on October 14, a 21-14 loss. 

\r\n

Zagco thinks Brent Guy is a\r\nsolid coach, but let's face it:  He\r\nis dealing with a situation in \r\n\r\nLogan\r\n\r\n (personnel upheavals, etc.) that makes playing games this year, much less\r\nwinning games, a very difficult task.  Look,\r\nI don't see \r\nHawai'i\r\n losing this game in any realistic scenario that could be put together by \r\n\r\nUtah\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n – despite its succubus-like allure, the whole Fonzi/Pinky Tuscadero/drunken\r\nsailor in Shanghai/Westside Story metaphor is just not that realistic, in\r\nZagco's humble opinion.  Plus, as\r\nZagco says every week, \r\n\r\nHawai'i\r\n\r\n looks really, really good, and the Rainbow Warriors really seem to epitomize\r\nimprovement from week to week, literally writing one magnum opus after another! \r\nZagco will be agog if the Rainbow Warriors don't win this game by at\r\nleast 4 touchdowns.

\r\n

\r\n\r\nHawai'i\r\n\r\n will get an easy win against the WAC's worst team.

\r\n


\r\n\r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n v. The \r\nUniversity\r\n of \r\nNorth\r\n \r\nCentral Idaho
\r\nWhere:  The Pea & Lentil Capital\r\nof the World
\r\nWhen:  Saturday, November 4, 2006, at\r\n3:00 p.m. MT (WAC.tv)\r\n\r\n

\r\n

After the Vandals lost 68-10 to \r\n\r\nHawai'i\r\n\r\n last week, Spokesman-Review Vandal beat writer Jim Meehan wrote on his blog:

\r\n

Erickson\r\non \r\n\r\nIdaho\r\n\r\n's defense: "If I knew what was going on, it wouldn't have happened.  I\r\ndon't have an answer for 68-10. If someone does, please let me in on it.\"\r\n\r\n

\r\n

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/vandals/

\r\n

Zagco has an answer for you,\r\nDennis:  Your team sucks.

\r\n

MEMO TO IDAHO'S DEFENSIVE\r\nCOORDINATOR:  Pack your bags, buddy;  your\r\nhead coach just fired you.

\r\n

QUERY: \r\nIs it just Zagco, or do you get the feeling that Dennis Erickson is one\r\nmore loss away from using the same words the late Admiral James B. Stockdale\r\nused as H. Ross Perot's vice presidential candidate to open a televised debate\r\nwith opponents Dan Quale and Al Gore back in 1992: \r\n\"Who am I?  Why am I\r\nhere?\"

\r\n

OBSERVATION: \r\nZagco has long maintained that \r\n\r\nIdaho\r\n\r\n's ties to Satan are real.  Recently,\r\none of Zagco's buddies pointed out to him that Dennis Erickson replaced Jimmy\r\nJohnson at \r\n\r\nMiami\r\n\r\n back in the late 1980s – the same Jimmy Johnson who used to inspire fans of\r\nhis opponents to hold up signs at games that proclaimed him to be a\r\n\"Pork-Faced Satan.\"  Zagco kids\r\nyou not.

\r\n

\r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n has a very, very good passing defense.  Zagco\r\nbegan noticing this aspect of \r\nReno\r\n's season a couple weeks ago in the WAC statistics, but last week when  \r\nReno\r\n shut down \r\n\r\nNew Mexico\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n's prolific passing game, he became a believer. \r\n\r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n plays great passing defense.

\r\n

Statistically speaking, \r\nReno\r\n has the third best scoring defense in the WAC (22.9 ppg), the second best\r\npassing defense in the WAC (202.9 ypg), the third best rushing defense in the\r\nWAC (135.5 ypg), and they are tied for first with \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n in turnover margin (+9).  Overall, \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n has the WAC's third best total defense, giving up 338.4 yards per game. \r\nIf you've watched them play, however, it is clear that while \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n truly excels at covering the pass, they struggle with stopping the run.

\r\n

Meanwhile, \r\n\r\nIdaho\r\n\r\n is rushing for only 116.3 yards per game, near the bottom of the WAC. \r\nThe Vandals' leading rusher, the plodding Jason Bird, is under 50 yards\r\nper game and 3.5 yards per carry.  The\r\nFlowers kid has been banged up and less than impressive running the ball. \r\n\r\n\r\nIdaho\r\n\r\n's total offense comes in at just over 340 yards per game, again near the\r\nbottom of the WAC.  \r\n\r\nIdaho\r\n\r\n can't run and they can't pass, and, sadly, they seem unwilling to hide. \r\nWhen the Steven Wichman Interception Show and Cocktail Hour isn't\r\ntossing back highballs, Vandal receivers are dropping their balls, a problem\r\nthat has been endemic in \r\n\r\nMoscow\r\n\r\n for many years now.

\r\n

The only way for \r\n\r\nIdaho\r\n\r\n to win this game is to run the ball.  Against\r\n\r\nNevada\r\n's craptastic run defense, Zagco expects \r\n\r\nIdaho\r\n\r\n to keep this game close for awhile.  Their\r\nwhole season is on the line.  The\r\nfanciful hopes and outright delusions of the Vandal Nation are on the line. \r\nLast week, in the 68-10 drubbing they took from \r\nHawai'i\r\n, \r\nIdaho\r\n learned their place in the WAC (the bottom), but they'll still have enough\r\ncrack left to give \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n a good, Quixotic fight.  In the end,\r\nhowever, \r\nReno\r\n's defense and Chris Ault's famous \"Pistol Offense\" will prove to be too\r\nmuch for an outmanned \r\n\r\nIdaho\r\n\r\n club.

\r\n

\r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n wins going away.

\r\n


\r\n\r\n\r\nSan Jose\r\n\r\n Can You See Spartans v. \r\n\r\n\r\nNew Mexico\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n Aggies
\r\nWhere:  \r\n\r\nLas Cruces\r\n, \r\nNew Mexico
\r\nWhen:  Saturday, November 4, 2006, at\r\n6:00 p.m. MT (WAC.tv)\r\n\r\n

\r\n

This game is a hard one to pick. \r\nZagco's been on \r\n\r\nSan Jose\r\n\r\n's bandwagon this year.  \r\n\r\nSan Jose\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n appears to be the WAC's most improved team. \r\nHowever, both \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n and \r\nHawai'i\r\n saw what kind of offense \r\n\r\nNew Mexico\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n can put on the field. 

\r\n

Aggies headmaster Hal Mumme, the\r\nman who cheated his way out of Kentucky and now wipes his snot on a sideline\r\ntowel wrapped around his pasty, porkish white neck during WAC games, really\r\nought to heed the words of the late Ayn Rand before he spouts off about where\r\nBoise State stacks up against other WAC teams: \r\n"It is not advisable, [Coach Mumme], to venture unsolicited\r\nopinions. You should spare yourself the embarrassing discovery of their exact\r\nvalue to your listener."  (Ayn\r\nRand, from \"Atlas Shrugged,\" 1957).

\r\n

Since Coach Mumme seems so\r\ninterested in random opinions, here's one of Zagco's for him: \r\n\r\nNew Mexico\r\n \r\nState\r\n is the sixth best team \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n has played this year.

\r\n

Zagco feels totally mental\r\ntrying to pick this game.  At home,\r\nZagco would not hesitate to pick \r\n\r\nSan Jose\r\n\r\n.  On the road, however, and knowing\r\nhow potent \r\n\r\nNew Mexico\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n's offense can be, Zagco is hesitant to decide. \r\nYet, Zagco cannot help but feel that the Aggies gave up last week at \r\nNevada\r\n, having been drained of their mental energy in exhausting losses to \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n and \r\n\r\nHawai'i\r\n\r\n in the two previous weeks.  On the\r\nother hand, \r\nSan Jose\r\n is playing for a bowl game and for a highly anticipated match up with \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n.  Plus, as clever as Hal Mumme\r\nthinks he is, Zagco believes that Mumme won't be outfoxed by the old college\r\nfootball coaching Methuselah Dick Tomey!  Wily\r\nold Tomey, who seems like a totally decent guy, actually has the Spartans\r\nplaying good defense -- they are second in total defense in the WAC, and, more\r\nimportantly, the Spartans are first (by a mile!) in passing defense in the WAC. \r\nThus, \r\n\r\nSan Jose\r\n\r\n appears to be well positioned to handle the Aggies' only strength. \r\nMoreover, \r\n\r\nSan Jose\r\n\r\n's offense is balanced and multiple. 

\r\n

In trying to prophesize the\r\noutcome of this pending donnybrook, Zagco feels a bit like Ed Grimley trying to\r\ndecide whether Pat Sajak is as decent as he seems. \r\nIt's a tough pick, but Zagco thinks \r\n\r\nSan Jose\r\n\r\n should have the firepower and mental fortitude to continue their ascension in\r\nthe WAC.

\r\n

San Jose Can You See will pull\r\nout a nice road win in \r\n\r\nLas Cruces\r\n\r\n.

\r\n


\r\nLa Tech Bulldogs v. \r\nNorth Texas\r\n Whatevers
\r\n
Where:  \r\n\r\nDenton\r\n, \r\nTexas
\r\nWhen:  Saturday, November 4, 2006, at\r\n5:00 p.m. MT\r\n\r\n

\r\n

ANOTHER road game for La Tech?!? \r\nWhaaaaa?!?  This is a team\r\nthat has played AT the following schools this year: \r\n\r\nNebraska\r\n, Clemson, Texas A&M, and \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n.  For good measure, they are just\r\ncoming off a conference loss AT San Jose State. \r\nNow, they get to play AT Denton, Texas. \r\nWow.  WOW!

\r\n

On tap for next week: \r\nLa Tech v. Former Oakland Raiders great Otis Sistrunk's  alma\r\nmater, the \r\n\r\nUniversity\r\n of \r\nMars\r\n\r\n, AT Mars.

\r\n

ZAGCO'S ADVICE FOR LA TECH: \r\nFire your scheduler!  Seriously. \r\nThis is NOT a joke.

\r\n

Zagco has repeatedly stated his\r\nrule on never picking schools with directions in their names. \r\nAs bad as La Tech is this year, and even though this game is a road game,\r\nhe will stick by this very, very simple rule.

\r\n

La Tech beats the directional\r\nschool

\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n

All content ©2006 BroncoCountry.com/Scout.com.\r\n

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