Zag's Frags.. Week 13

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 in his picks last week—4-0.  He has now accurately forecasted 23 straight WAC games.  As you regular readers know, Zagco's perfection is as certain as the Sun rising in the east.  Zagco's season record is now 56-7, an .889 winning percentage.

SPECIAL BONUS SECTION:  KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

QUESTION:  Which of the following publications have been censored somewhere in the United States:  (1) Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger; (2) Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck; (3) Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs; (4) Zag's Frags, by Zagco; and/or (5) Welcome to the Monkey House, by Kurt Vonnegut? 

ANSWER:  All of them.  That's right, folks, ALL OF THEM. 

Zagco, for one, opposes all forms of censorship.  He believes people should decide for themselves what they read.  For over 200 years, the freedom of speech, via the First Amendment, has been our most cherished freedom, i.e., the Founding Fathers didn't call it the FIRST Amendment because it was the second most important! 

Zagco thought of this issue at last Saturday's game, at the conclusion of the National Anthem after the four A-10 jets flew over the stadium.  This brief, shining moment brought a tear to Zagco's eye—similar in some respects to that old Indian warrior in that commercial from the 70's where a single tear runs down his cheek after he paddled his canoe through a garbage-strewn, polluted river…. 

But Zagco digresses!  What he really wants to say is the following:  "Attention Scout—you Corporate Slavemasters!  STOP THE CENSORSHIP!" 

To the rest of you fine folks at BroncoCountry, Zagco says:  "Welcome to Zagco's Monkey House!"

SPECIAL BONUS SECTION:  A FUNNY STORY TO LIGHTEN THE MOOD

As the collective sphincter muscle of Bronco Nation puckers up tighter than the nut holding the blade on Zagco's lawnmower, he felt it would be worthwhile for all of us to take a deep breath and keep things in perspective:  If we win on Saturday, all of our dreams will come true.  If we lose, we'll become despondent and begin worrying about strange things, like alien invasions and the compounding interest on our credit card balances.

It's moments like this that Zagco likes to remember a story that a good buddy of his told not that long ago.  It goes something like this:

Zagco's buddy and his buddy's wife have a little daughter named Sophie.  During Sophie's potty training phase, she was being particularly stubborn like some kids can be, causing the mom to become frustrated, as moms can sometimes get.  So, one day in particular, not long after little Sophie got to watch The Princess Bride with her family, the mom sat Sophie down and implored her to begin practicing proper potty training technique.  Zagco, knowing the mom, has no doubt that the mom's speech was impassioned and precise with instruction. Little Sophie listened attentively as her mom went on and on about the wonders of using the toilet and, as mom finished her lecture with the mom-like exclamation "AND I MEAN IT!," sweet little Sophie looked up at mom and said "ANYBODY WANT A PEANUT?"

RETURNING 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


MAIN SECTION:  ZAGCO'S WEEK 13 PICKS!!!!

Fresno State Bulldogs v. La Tech Bulldogs
Where:  Hazard County , Louisiana
When:  Friday, November 24, 2006, at 7:00 p.m. MT (ESPN 2)

If, at the beginning of the season, Zagco would have told you that Fresno would be trying to distance itself from the WAC's bottom feeders, you would have gasped:  "INCONTHEIVABLE!"

Yet, here we are, and Fresno State 's on a role, sort of like Idaho was on a roll when it was playing the worst teams in the WAC back-to-back-to-back.  Zagco still respects Fresno , and he thinks the Cali Bulldogs have some decent talent, but clearly they are not the team we thought they would be. 

La Tech is plain bad.  Even at home, and having knocked off a better Fresno team last year at Fresno , Zagco doubts La Tech's chances.  This game should be a relatively easy win for Fresno .  Pat Hill seems to have them rallying around a strong finish, which is what Fresno needs going into next year.  The sad thing, however, is that Fresno continues to search outside of itself for the motivation it needs to win a game, sort of like a thespian wannabe trying to win a character role in an off Broadway show.  Fresno needs to look within itself.

Fresno State will get its third consecutive WAC win down South.


New Mexico State Aggies v. Utah State Aggies
Where:  Logan , Utah
When:  Saturday, November 25, 2006, at 1:00 p.m. MT (WAC.tv)

The thing that really surprises Zagco about New Mexico State isn't that they are winless against Division I opponents since that memorable win over Middle Tennessee State on November 6, 2004, it's that Hal Mumme has done such a terrible job of coaching them.  I mean, seriously, the snotgobbler has gone 2-20 since taking over this program!!!  His only two wins this year were against I-AA teams.  The Aggies are number 139 in the Sagarin ratings. 

HELLLLLLOOOO! 

EARTH to New Mexico State :  Fire your coach!  He sucks.

Alas, in a world where craptastic can be outdone by suckalicious, the Las Cruces Aggies get to play the Logan Aggies.  We Broncos got to see Charles Nelson Riley and his merry band of young men last week, and they plain stunk.  The offense seems to obsess over trying to trick people by calling quarterback draws and other designed quarterback runs.  It's bizarre, unless someone like Michael Vick is your quarterback.  Zagco thinks Brent Guy deserves support for at least one more year, but after seeing his offensive scheme last week, the respect-o-meter for Coach Guy went down a couple notches.

As much as Zagco would prefer to avoid using "win" and "Aggies" in the same sentence, the reality is that football is a zero sum game.  Still, the whole concept of picking a winner is about as pointless and technical as the argument about whether you prefer the harder-edged or 80's-synth version of the Dandy Warhols.

Thus, Zagco will predict that Hal Mumme's Aggies will finally get off the Division I Schneid this week, pulling a close win out over Charles Nelson Riley and the Utah State Aggies.


San Jose Can You See Spartans v. North Central Idaho Vandals
Where:  The Pea and Lentil Capital of the World
When:  Saturday, November 25, 2006, at 1:00 p.m. MT (WAC.tv)

San Jose did exactly what Zagco expected them to do last week—give Hawaii some real problems through three quarters, but eventually fall prey to superior skill talent, a long road trip, and the hangover from the Boise State loss.

Speaking of hangovers, San Jose Can You See now gets to go to Moscow as the special guest star in the Steven Wichman Cocktail Hour and Interception Show.  Moscow , of course, is a town where parents send their kids to drink like fish, barf on the floors in communal bathrooms, and obsess over the superiority of Boise State 's football team and the Treasure Valley 's growth and raw beauty.  The good news for the Spartans, however, is that they get to turn down the opponent-o-meter a few notches to play the hapless Vandals in the world's largest smoked oyster can. 

The real question in this game is whether the Bay Area Spartans can recapture their mojo.  Has Dick Tomey—a totally decent guy—instilled a sense of purpose and direction inside these young men, such that they can overcome the last two weeks and get a road win against a lightly regarded opponent?  Zagco is not 100% certain, but he does believe that the Spartans are a program on the rise, with good talent, speed, strength, and coaching.  It's also highly notable that San Jose is playing for a possible bowl bid, thus providing motivation for players that might be a bit shell-shocked after the last two weeks.  Meanwhile, Zagco hears rumblings that Idaho has given up, with players joking around with each other during blowout losses and things of that nature.  Perhaps the Vandals should spend more time listening to the wisdom of the brothers Gibb than engaging in  the same old tediously pointless and glib Vandal jocularity that we've been witness to for so, so long:

I started a joke, which started the whole world crying,
but I didn't see that the joke was on me, oh no.

  San Jose will pull out a relatively comfortable win in the tin can.

 
Purdue Boilermakers v. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
Where:  Paradise
When:  Saturday, November 25, 2006, at 10-ish p.m. MT (ESPN Gameplan)

Bob Griese's alma mater, Purdue—a member of the world's most boring football conference—won't know what hit it come Saturday night in Paradise.  While Purdue's players are dreaming of hula dancing to Don Ho tunes and drinking Mai Tai's at a luau, the Rainbow Warriors and their bongo-beating chubby mascot  will be unleashing the full power of the Dark Side of the Force.   It'll be crazy, like when Darth Sidious shoots out that Force lightning that we've only seen from the Sith.  Rest assured that Purdue lacks the Force lightning resistance/reversal skills that only High Jedi Masters like Obi Wan and Yoda possess.

In Big Eleven Country, Hawaii 's offense would be considered hard core porn—they don't allow it unless it's covered with a brown paper wrapper.  Woody Hayes would FREAK OUT if he saw the kind of stuff June Jones is doing—he'd probably come over and throw a haymaker at June! 

Three things can happen when Hawaii passes the ball, and two of them are bad:  (1) an interception; (2) an incompletion; or (3) a super fast touchdown.  Unfortunately for Hawaii 's opponents, the super fast touchdowns are happening at a much larger clip than interceptions, and the incompletions are only serving to lengthen the game for Hawaii .  Seriously, people, Purdue is not going to know what to do.

Moreover, Purdue is wholly unimpressive in the Big Eleven.  They are in fourth place, with a decent record of 8-4 and 5-3 in conference, but they don't play Ohio State or Michigan , and they lost to Wisconsin .  They have one semi-quality win versus Minnesota .  The rest of their conference wins come against teams that would struggle against crappy WAC teams, like Michigan State squeaking by Idaho .  Purdue's non-conference schedule included Miami of Ohio, Ball State , and a Larry Bird-less Indiana State Sycamore squad.  That's the kind of scheduling that even Gene Bleymeier couldn't devise!

Zagco seriously hopes Hawaii hangs half a hundred on Purdue by halftime.

The Rainbow Warriors will get an easy win over Purdue.


Boise State Broncos v. Reno
Where:  The Biggest Little City in the World
When:  Saturday, November 25, 2006, at 2:15 p.m. MT (ESPN 2)

An outright WAC title, an undefeated regular season, a possible Top 10 poll finish, a BCS bowl invitation, and millions and millions of dollars are at stake this Saturday in Reno.  Boise State 's players have the eyes of the nation, nay, the EYES OF THE WORLD, gazing upon them.  Bronco fans are nervous.  Bronco haters have quivering lips and pasty white, sweaty faces over the prospects of a Bronco loss—imagine, if you will, the look of Gollum when he first gazes upon the Ring around Frodo's neck. 

Meanwhile, Zagco says unto all of you to heed the foreboding wisdom of Friedrich Nietzsche:

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

As a threshold matter, Zagco pronounced, in the wake of the San Jose game, that he felt Boise State —the five-time WAC champions—would lose to Reno unless the Broncos improved substantially.  Quite frankly, Boise State has been very disappointing in its road games this year, with the exception of the almost perfect performance at Utah .  Zagco has been alarmed by Boise State 's road performances, especially as the season has progressed.  The wins at New Mexico State , Idaho , and San Jose State were all closer than they should have been, and they were marked by stretches of Bronco futility and mistakes.

Reno , on the other hand, has been en fuego of late!  Zagco has been very, very impressed with how the Pack has finished this season, seemingly getting better every week.  The Pack comes in to this game with two consecutive shutouts, 9 consecutive scoreless quarters, and only 7 points allowed in the last 3 games.  WOW!

Zagco's analysis will begin with a brief comparison of common opponents.

1.                  Fresno State :  Reno lost to Fresno in the first game of the year at Fresno , by a score of 28-19.  Boise State recently beat Fresno at home by a score of 45-21.  Reno 's excuse is that they played Fresno on the road back before Fresno packed it in for the year after they lost to the BCS teams.  Boise State creamed Fresno , and the score would have been even worse without some breakdowns.  The bottom line is a win is a win and a loss is a loss.  Big edge to Boise State .

2.                  Hawaii :  Boise State beat Hawaii at home by a score of 41-34.  The game turned out much closer than it should have been, because Boise State was putting the hurt on Hawaii by a score of 34-14 midway through the third quarter.  Once again, innumerable breakdowns by Boise State and a crappy defensive performance kept the game closer than it should have been.  Reno lost to Hawaii by the same score, 34-41, at Hawaii .  In that game, Reno fell behind big and then closed the gap at the end due to several Hawaii mistakes.  It should have been a bigger win for Hawaii .  Big edge to Boise State .

3.                  San Jose State :  Reno beat San Jose 23-7 in Reno .  It was only 17-7 until late in the game.  It was a tough, defensive slugfest.  Boise State beat San Jose on the road, by a score of 23-20.  Statistically, Reno performed better than Boise did against San Jose .  A road win is always tougher, but Zagco gives a slight edge to Reno .

4.                  Louisiana Tech:  Boise State destroyed La Tech at home by a score of 55-14.  It should have been worse.  Reno shut out La Tech on the road by a score of 42-0, doing most of its damage in the first half.  Although Reno 's win was a road win, this comparison is a tossup.

5.                  New Mexico State :  Reno beat the Aggies at home by a score of 48-21, keeping Chase Holbrook under control and knocking him out of the game.  The Broncos beat New Mexico State on the road by a score of 40-28.  However, similar to the Hawaii game, the Broncos were about ready to blow out the Aggies (leading 27-7 late in the first half) when the defense took a break and the offense made key mistakes.  This was just a crappy, crappy game for our defense and a sloppy game for our offense.  Tossup.

6.                  Idaho :  Boise State beat the Vandals 42-26 in Moscow .  Once again, in the first quarter, our pass defense looked silly.  Reno went up to Moscow and completely dominated the awful Vandals, 45-7.  Big edge to Reno .

7.                  Utah State :  Reno beat Utah State 42-0 in Reno .  We just beat the Aggies on the blue 49-10, and it should have been worse.  Tossup.

Thus, in the comparisons of common opponents, Zagco feels that two big edges go to Boise State (Fresno and Hawaii), one big edge goes to Reno (Idaho),  one slight edge goes to Reno (San Jose), and three games are tossups (La Tech, New Mexico State, Utah State.  Thus, not surprisingly perhaps, the difference really comes down to the fact that Boise State beat Fresno and Hawaii and Reno did not.

Let's now turn our attention to the statistics: 

1.                  Scoring Offense:  Boise State is second, and Reno is third.  The Broncos score almost a touchdown per game more than Reno .

2.                  Scoring Defense:  Boise State is first, and Reno is second.  They are within one point of one another.

3.                  Passing Offense:  Neither team is prolific.  Reno has a slight statistical edge.

4.                  Passing Defense:  Reno leads the WAC, and Boise State is second.  Zagco, however, thinks passing defense is Boise State 's main weakness. 

5.                  Rushing Offense:  Boise State leads the WAC with 226.9 yards per game and 5.4 yards per carry.  Reno is in third place with 183.7 yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry.

6.                  Rushing Defense:  The Broncos lead the WAC, giving up only 79.8 yards rushing per game and 2.9 yards per carry.  Reno is second, giving up 133.2 yards per game, but a whopping 4.4 yards per carry.  The yards per carry number for Reno is troubling—it's near the bottom of the WAC.

7.                  Total Offense:  Boise State is third in the WAC, about 40 yards per game ahead of fourth place Reno .

8.                  Total Defense:  Boise State leads the WAC, about 30 yards better than second place Reno .

You can go down through the statistics and find some differences, but overall it appears close.  Reno leads in some, and Boise State leads in others.  Overall, however, Zagco gives Boise State the statistical edge.  Yet, as the late Professor Aaron Levenstein (professor emeritus at Baruch College ) famously said, "[s]tatistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital."

This is a game that will be defined in large measure by whether Boise State brings its "A" game.  If the Broncos bring the same kind of mistake-prone, uninspired effort to Reno that they brought to New Mexico State , Idaho , and even San Jose , the Broncos will lose.  If the Broncos bring their "A" game, they'll win. 

Reno seems like a consistent team that does a great job of focusing on the task at hand.  This game, however, will bring the weight of the world down on the shoulders of the Pack.  Let there be no doubt that Reno 's players want to win this game in the worst way!  Reno 's players have waited all their life to test their metal against an undefeated Top 25 team in a clutch, late season game.  Here is their chance to shine and be somebody in this cruel world.

Zagco believes the keys to a Boise State win are the following:  (1)  Ian Johnson; (2) Z needs to continue playing a calm, mistake-free game—he has been a great leader this year; (3) the receivers need to keep catching the ball—Zagco thinks Drisan James, Legadu Nanee, Jerard Rabb, and the others have been doing a great job lately; (4) the defense must get pressure on The Schnauz; (5) if we have a chance to put the game away, we need to capitalize early, not late, i.e., have that "killer instinct;" and (6) avoid the silly, sloppy turnovers that have plagued us in too many games this year at bizarre moments, allowing our opponents to stay alive.

Zagco was pleased with how the Broncos performed against Utah State .  However, let's keep in mind that the Aggies are horrible.  It's hard to gauge our current status from that game.  However, Zagco does think that the receivers have been much better lately at route running and catching the ball.  That's critical, because that was a problem earlier this year.  Moreover, Zagco has noticed that Legadu Nanee seems to be taking over—he is a HUGE match up nightmare!    Zagco's biggest concern remains our defensive ability to get pressure on the quarterback, which in turn makes our defensive secondary look much better. 

Zagco believes the Reno game will be the toughest game of the year for Boise State .  He would say that even if it was a home game.  Chris Ault, the man who invented the "Pistol Offense," has built himself a fine football team that deserves our respect.  They beat Colorado State and Northwestern at home—not great opponents but still nice wins that would have eluded previous Reno teams.  To win, Boise State will have to perform better than it has all year.

Alas, the Broncos will eke out a win in a wild, high-scoring  battle that will come down to the last play of the game.


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


Bronco Country Top Stories

\r\n
\r\n

Once again, Zagco was perfect in\r\nhis picks last week—4-0.  He has\r\nnow accurately forecasted 23 straight WAC games. \r\nAs you regular readers know, Zagco's perfection is as certain as the\r\nSun rising in the east.  Zagco's\r\nseason record is now 56-7, an .889 winning percentage.

\r\n

SPECIAL BONUS SECTION:  KNOW\r\nYOUR RIGHTS!\r\n\r\n

\r\n

QUESTION: \r\nWhich of the following publications have been censored somewhere in the\r\nUnited States:  (1) Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger; (2) Grapes of\r\nWrath, by John Steinbeck; (3) Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs; (4)\r\nZag's Frags, by Zagco; and/or (5) Welcome to the Monkey House, by Kurt\r\nVonnegut? 

\r\n

ANSWER: \r\nAll of them.  That's right,\r\nfolks, ALL OF THEM. 

\r\n

Zagco, for one, opposes all\r\nforms of censorship.  He believes\r\npeople should decide for themselves what they read.  For over 200 years,\r\nthe freedom of speech, via the First Amendment, has been our most cherished\r\nfreedom, i.e., the Founding Fathers didn't call it the FIRST Amendment because\r\nit was the second most important! 

\r\n

Zagco thought of this issue at\r\nlast Saturday's game, at the conclusion of the National Anthem after the four\r\nA-10 jets flew over the stadium.  This\r\nbrief, shining moment brought a tear to Zagco's eye—similar in some respects\r\nto that old Indian warrior in that commercial from the 70's where a single\r\ntear runs down his cheek after he paddled his canoe through a garbage-strewn,\r\npolluted river…. 

\r\n

But Zagco digresses!  What\r\nhe really wants to say is the following:  \"Attention\r\nScout—you Corporate Slavemasters!  STOP\r\nTHE CENSORSHIP!\" 

\r\n

To the rest of you fine folks at\r\nBroncoCountry, Zagco says:  \"Welcome\r\nto Zagco's Monkey House!\"

\r\n

SPECIAL BONUS SECTION:  A\r\nFUNNY STORY TO LIGHTEN THE MOOD\r\n\r\n

\r\n

As the collective sphincter\r\nmuscle of Bronco Nation puckers up tighter than the nut holding the blade on\r\nZagco's lawnmower, he felt it would be worthwhile for all of us to take a deep\r\nbreath and keep things in perspective:  If\r\nwe win on Saturday, all of our dreams will come true. \r\nIf we lose, we'll become despondent and begin worrying about strange\r\nthings, like alien invasions and the compounding interest on our credit card\r\nbalances.

\r\n

\r\nIt's moments like this that Zagco likes to remember a story that a good buddy\r\nof his told not that long ago.  It\r\ngoes something like this:

\r\n

\r\nZagco's buddy and his buddy's wife have a little daughter named Sophie. \r\nDuring Sophie's potty training phase, she was being particularly\r\nstubborn like some kids can be, causing the mom to become frustrated, as moms\r\ncan sometimes get.  So, one day in\r\nparticular, not long after little Sophie got to watch The Princess Bride with\r\nher family, the mom sat Sophie down and implored her to begin practicing proper\r\npotty training technique.  Zagco,\r\nknowing the mom, has no doubt that the mom's speech was impassioned and\r\nprecise with instruction. Little Sophie listened attentively as her mom went on\r\nand on about the wonders of using the toilet and, as mom finished her lecture\r\nwith the mom-like exclamation \"AND I MEAN IT!,\" sweet little Sophie looked\r\nup at mom and said \"ANYBODY WANT A PEANUT?\"

\r\n

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

\r\n

\r\n Click 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


\r\nMAIN SECTION:  ZAGCO'S WEEK\r\n13 PICKS!!!!\r\n\r\n

\r\n

\r\n\r\n\r\nFresno\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n Bulldogs v. La Tech Bulldogs
\r\nWhere:  \r\n\r\nHazard County\r\n, \r\nLouisiana
\r\nWhen:  Friday, November 24, 2006, at\r\n7:00 p.m. MT (ESPN 2)\r\n\r\n

\r\n

If, at the beginning of the\r\nseason, Zagco would have told you that \r\n\r\nFresno\r\n\r\n would be trying to distance itself from the WAC's bottom feeders, you would\r\nhave gasped:  \"INCONTHEIVABLE!\"

\r\n

Yet, here we are, and \r\nFresno\r\n \r\nState\r\n's on a role, sort of like \r\n\r\nIdaho\r\n\r\n was on a roll when it was playing the worst teams in the WAC\r\nback-to-back-to-back.  Zagco still\r\nrespects \r\n\r\nFresno\r\n\r\n, and he thinks the Cali Bulldogs have some decent talent, but clearly they are\r\nnot the team we thought they would be. 

\r\n

La Tech is plain bad. \r\nEven at home, and having knocked off a better \r\nFresno\r\n team last year at \r\n\r\nFresno\r\n\r\n, Zagco doubts La Tech's chances.  This\r\ngame should be a relatively easy win for \r\n\r\nFresno\r\n\r\n.  Pat Hill seems to have them\r\nrallying around a strong finish, which is what \r\n\r\nFresno\r\n\r\n needs going into next year.  The sad\r\nthing, however, is that Fresno continues to search outside of itself for the\r\nmotivation it needs to win a game, sort of like a thespian wannabe trying to win\r\na character role in an off Broadway show.  \r\n\r\nFresno\r\n\r\n needs to look within itself.

\r\n

\r\n\r\nFresno\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n will get its third consecutive WAC win down South.

\r\n


\r\n\r\nNew Mexico\r\n \r\nState\r\n Aggies 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 25, 2006,\r\nat 1:00 p.m. MT (WAC.tv)\r\n\r\n

\r\n

The thing that really surprises\r\nZagco about New Mexico State isn't that they are winless against Division I\r\nopponents since that memorable win over Middle Tennessee State on November 6,\r\n2004, it's that Hal Mumme has done such a terrible job of coaching them. \r\nI mean, seriously, the snotgobbler has gone 2-20 since taking over this\r\nprogram!!!  His only two wins this\r\nyear were against I-AA teams.  The\r\nAggies are number 139 in the Sagarin ratings. 

\r\n

HELLLLLLOOOO! 

\r\n

EARTH to \r\n\r\nNew Mexico\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n:  Fire your coach! \r\nHe sucks.

\r\n

Alas, in a world where\r\ncraptastic can be outdone by suckalicious, the Las Cruces Aggies get to play the\r\nLogan Aggies.  We Broncos got to see\r\nCharles Nelson Riley and his merry band of young men last week, and they plain\r\nstunk.  The offense seems to obsess\r\nover trying to trick people by calling quarterback draws and other designed\r\nquarterback runs.  It's bizarre,\r\nunless someone like Michael Vick is your quarterback. \r\nZagco thinks Brent Guy deserves support for at least one more year, but\r\nafter seeing his offensive scheme last week, the respect-o-meter for Coach Guy\r\nwent down a couple notches.

\r\n

As much as Zagco would prefer to\r\navoid using \"win\" and \"Aggies\" in the same sentence, the reality is that\r\nfootball is a zero sum game.  Still,\r\nthe whole concept of picking a winner is about as pointless and technical as the\r\nargument about whether you prefer the harder-edged or 80's-synth version of\r\nthe Dandy Warhols.

\r\n

Thus, Zagco will predict that\r\nHal Mumme's Aggies will finally get off the Division I Schneid this week,\r\npulling a close win out over Charles Nelson Riley and the Utah State Aggies.

\r\n


\r\n\r\nSan Jose\r\n Can You See Spartans v. North \r\nCentral Idaho\r\n Vandals
\r\nWhere:  The Pea and Lentil Capital of\r\nthe World
\r\nWhen:  Saturday, November 25, 2006,\r\nat 1:00 p.m. MT (WAC.tv)\r\n\r\n

\r\n

\r\nSan Jose\r\n did exactly what Zagco expected them to do last week—give \r\nHawaii\r\n some real problems through three quarters, but eventually fall prey to superior\r\nskill talent, a long road trip, and the hangover from the \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n loss.

\r\n

Speaking of hangovers, San Jose\r\nCan You See now gets to go to \r\n\r\nMoscow\r\n\r\n as the special guest star in the Steven Wichman Cocktail Hour and Interception\r\nShow.  \r\nMoscow\r\n, of course, is a town where parents send their kids to drink like fish, barf on\r\nthe floors in communal bathrooms, and obsess over the superiority of \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n's football team and the \r\n\r\nTreasure\r\n \r\nValley\r\n\r\n's growth and raw beauty.  The good\r\nnews for the Spartans, however, is that they get to turn down the\r\nopponent-o-meter a few notches to play the hapless Vandals in the world's\r\nlargest smoked oyster can. 

\r\n

The real question in this game\r\nis whether the Bay Area Spartans can recapture their mojo. \r\nHas Dick Tomey—a totally decent guy—instilled a sense of purpose and\r\ndirection inside these young men, such that they can overcome the last two weeks\r\nand get a road win against a lightly regarded opponent? \r\nZagco is not 100% certain, but he does believe that the Spartans are a\r\nprogram on the rise, with good talent, speed, strength, and coaching. \r\nIt's also highly notable that \r\n\r\nSan Jose\r\n\r\n is playing for a possible bowl bid, thus providing motivation for players that\r\nmight be a bit shell-shocked after the last two weeks. \r\nMeanwhile, Zagco hears rumblings that \r\n\r\nIdaho\r\n\r\n has given up, with players joking around with each other during blowout losses\r\nand things of that nature.  Perhaps\r\nthe Vandals should spend more time listening to the wisdom of the brothers Gibb\r\nthan engaging in  the same old\r\ntediously pointless and glib Vandal jocularity that we've been witness to for\r\nso, so long:

\r\n

I\r\nstarted a joke, which started the whole world crying,
\r\nbut I didn't see that the joke was on me, oh no.

\r\n

\r\n \r\n\r\nSan Jose\r\n\r\n will pull out a relatively comfortable win in the tin can.

\r\n

\r\n 
\r\nPurdue Boilermakers v. \r\n\r\nHawaii\r\n\r\n Rainbow Warriors
\r\n
Where:  \r\nParadise
\r\nWhen:  Saturday, November 25, 2006,\r\nat 10-ish p.m. MT (ESPN Gameplan)\r\n\r\n

\r\n

Bob Griese's alma mater,\r\nPurdue—a member of the world's most boring football conference—won't\r\nknow what hit it come Saturday night in Paradise. \r\nWhile Purdue's players are dreaming of hula dancing to Don Ho tunes and\r\ndrinking Mai Tai's at a luau, the Rainbow Warriors and their bongo-beating\r\nchubby mascot  will be unleashing the\r\nfull power of the Dark Side of the Force.   It'll\r\nbe crazy, like when Darth Sidious shoots out that Force lightning that we've\r\nonly seen from the Sith.  Rest\r\nassured that Purdue lacks the Force lightning resistance/reversal skills that\r\nonly High Jedi Masters like Obi Wan and Yoda possess.

\r\n

In Big Eleven Country, \r\n\r\nHawaii\r\n\r\n's offense would be considered hard core porn—they don't allow it unless\r\nit's covered with a brown paper wrapper.  Woody\r\nHayes would FREAK OUT if he saw the kind of stuff June Jones is doing—he'd\r\nprobably come over and throw a haymaker at June! 

\r\n

Three things can happen when \r\n\r\nHawaii\r\n\r\n passes the ball, and two of them are bad:  (1)\r\nan interception; (2) an incompletion; or (3) a super fast touchdown. \r\nUnfortunately for \r\nHawaii\r\n's opponents, the super fast touchdowns are happening at a much larger clip\r\nthan interceptions, and the incompletions are only serving to lengthen the game\r\nfor \r\n\r\nHawaii\r\n\r\n.  Seriously, people, Purdue is not\r\ngoing to know what to do.

\r\n

Moreover, Purdue is wholly\r\nunimpressive in the Big Eleven.  They\r\nare in fourth place, with a decent record of 8-4 and 5-3 in conference, but they\r\ndon't play \r\nOhio\r\n \r\nState\r\n or \r\nMichigan\r\n, and they lost to \r\n\r\nWisconsin\r\n\r\n.  They have one semi-quality win\r\nversus \r\n\r\nMinnesota\r\n\r\n.  The rest of their conference wins\r\ncome against teams that would struggle against crappy WAC teams, like \r\nMichigan\r\n \r\nState\r\n squeaking by \r\n\r\nIdaho\r\n\r\n.  Purdue's non-conference schedule\r\nincluded Miami of Ohio, \r\n\r\nBall\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n, and a Larry Bird-less Indiana State Sycamore squad. \r\nThat's the kind of scheduling that even Gene Bleymeier couldn't\r\ndevise!

\r\n

Zagco seriously hopes \r\n\r\nHawaii\r\n\r\n hangs half a hundred on Purdue by halftime.

\r\n

The Rainbow Warriors will get an\r\neasy win over Purdue.

\r\n


\r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n Broncos v. \r\n\r\nReno
\r\nWhere:  The Biggest Little City in\r\nthe World
\r\nWhen:  Saturday, November 25, 2006,\r\nat 2:15 p.m. MT (ESPN 2)\r\n\r\n

\r\n

An outright WAC title, an\r\nundefeated regular season, a possible Top 10 poll finish, a BCS bowl invitation,\r\nand millions and millions of dollars are at stake this Saturday in Reno. \r\n\r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n's players have the eyes of the nation, nay, the EYES OF THE WORLD, gazing\r\nupon them.  Bronco fans are nervous. \r\nBronco haters have quivering lips and pasty white, sweaty faces over the\r\nprospects of a Bronco loss—imagine, if you will, the look of Gollum when he\r\nfirst gazes upon the Ring around Frodo's neck. 

\r\n

Meanwhile, Zagco says unto all\r\nof you to heed the foreboding wisdom of Friedrich Nietzsche:

\r\n

Whoever fights\r\nmonsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And\r\nif you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

\r\n

As a threshold matter, Zagco\r\npronounced, in the wake of the \r\nSan Jose\r\n game, that he felt \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n—the five-time WAC champions—would lose to \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n unless the Broncos improved substantially. \r\nQuite frankly, \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n has been very disappointing in its road games this year, with the exception of\r\nthe almost perfect performance at \r\n\r\nUtah\r\n\r\n.  Zagco has been alarmed by \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n's road performances, especially as the season has progressed. \r\nThe wins at \r\nNew Mexico State\r\n, \r\nIdaho\r\n, and \r\n\r\nSan Jose\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n were all closer than they should have been, and they were marked by stretches\r\nof Bronco futility and mistakes.

\r\n

\r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n, on the other hand, has been en fuego of late! \r\nZagco has been very, very impressed with how the Pack has finished this\r\nseason, seemingly getting better every week. \r\nThe Pack comes in to this game with two consecutive shutouts, 9\r\nconsecutive scoreless quarters, and only 7 points allowed in the last 3 games. \r\nWOW!

\r\n

Zagco's analysis will begin\r\nwith a brief comparison of common opponents.\r\n

\r\n

1.                 \r\n\r\nFresno\r\n \r\nState\r\n:  \r\nReno\r\n lost to \r\nFresno\r\n in the first game of the year at \r\n\r\nFresno\r\n\r\n, by a score of 28-19.  \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n recently beat \r\n\r\nFresno\r\n\r\n at home by a score of 45-21.  \r\nReno\r\n's excuse is that they played \r\nFresno\r\n on the road back before \r\n\r\nFresno\r\n\r\n packed it in for the year after they lost to the BCS teams. \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n creamed \r\n\r\nFresno\r\n\r\n, and the score would have been even worse without some breakdowns. \r\nThe bottom line is a win is a win and a loss is a loss.  Big\r\nedge to \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n.\r\n

\r\n

2.                 \r\n\r\nHawaii\r\n:  \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n beat \r\n\r\nHawaii\r\n\r\n at home by a score of 41-34.  The\r\ngame turned out much closer than it should have been, because \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n was putting the hurt on \r\n\r\nHawaii\r\n\r\n by a score of 34-14 midway through the third quarter. \r\nOnce again, innumerable breakdowns by \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n and a crappy defensive performance kept the game closer than it should have\r\nbeen.  \r\nReno\r\n lost to \r\nHawaii\r\n by the same score, 34-41, at \r\n\r\nHawaii\r\n\r\n.  In that game, \r\nReno\r\n fell behind big and then closed the gap at the end due to several \r\n\r\nHawaii\r\n\r\n mistakes.  It should have been a\r\nbigger win for \r\n\r\nHawaii\r\n\r\n.  Big edge to \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n.\r\n

\r\n

3.                 \r\n\r\nSan Jose\r\n \r\nState\r\n:  \r\nReno\r\n beat \r\nSan Jose\r\n 23-7 in \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n.  It was only 17-7 until late in the\r\ngame.  It was a tough, defensive\r\nslugfest.  \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n beat \r\n\r\nSan Jose\r\n\r\n on the road, by a score of 23-20.  Statistically,\r\n\r\nReno\r\n performed better than \r\nBoise\r\n did against \r\n\r\nSan Jose\r\n\r\n.  A road win is always tougher, but\r\nZagco gives a slight edge to \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n.\r\n

\r\n

4.                 \r\n\r\nLouisiana\r\n Tech:  \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n destroyed La Tech at home by a score of 55-14. \r\nIt should have been worse.  \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n shut out La Tech on the road by a score of 42-0, doing most of its damage in\r\nthe first half.  Although \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n's win was a road win, this comparison is a tossup.\r\n

\r\n

5.                 \r\n\r\nNew Mexico\r\n \r\nState\r\n:  \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n beat the Aggies at home by a score of 48-21, keeping Chase Holbrook under\r\ncontrol and knocking him out of the game.  The\r\nBroncos beat \r\n\r\nNew Mexico\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n on the road by a score of 40-28.  However,\r\nsimilar to the \r\n\r\nHawaii\r\n\r\n game, the Broncos were about ready to blow out the Aggies (leading 27-7 late in\r\nthe first half) when the defense took a break and the offense made key mistakes. \r\nThis was just a crappy, crappy game for our defense and a sloppy game for\r\nour offense.  Tossup.\r\n

\r\n

6.                 \r\n\r\nIdaho\r\n:  \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n beat the Vandals 42-26 in \r\n\r\nMoscow\r\n\r\n.  Once again, in the first quarter,\r\nour pass defense looked silly.  \r\nReno\r\n went up to \r\n\r\nMoscow\r\n\r\n and completely dominated the awful Vandals, 45-7. \r\nBig edge to \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n.\r\n

\r\n

7.                 \r\n\r\nUtah\r\n \r\nState\r\n:  \r\nReno\r\n beat \r\nUtah\r\n \r\nState\r\n 42-0 in \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n.  We just beat the Aggies on the\r\nblue 49-10, and it should have been worse.  Tossup.

\r\n

Thus, in the comparisons of\r\ncommon opponents, Zagco feels that two big edges go to Boise State (Fresno and\r\nHawaii), one big edge goes to Reno (Idaho), \r\none slight edge goes to Reno (San Jose), and three games are tossups (La\r\nTech, New Mexico State, Utah State.  Thus,\r\nnot surprisingly perhaps, the difference really comes down to the fact that \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n beat \r\nFresno\r\n and \r\nHawaii\r\n and \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n did not.

\r\n

Let's now turn our attention\r\nto the statistics: \r\n

\r\n

1.                 \r\nScoring Offense:  \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n is second, and \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n is third.  The Broncos score almost\r\na touchdown per game more than \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n.\r\n

\r\n

2.                 \r\nScoring Defense:  \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n is first, and \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n is second.  They are within one\r\npoint of one another.\r\n

\r\n

3.                 \r\nPassing Offense:  Neither\r\nteam is prolific.  \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n has a slight statistical edge.\r\n

\r\n

4.                 \r\nPassing Defense:  \r\nReno\r\n leads the WAC, and \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n is second.  Zagco, however, thinks\r\npassing defense is \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n's main weakness. 

\r\n

5.                 \r\nRushing Offense:  \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n leads the WAC with 226.9 yards per game and 5.4 yards per carry. \r\n\r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n is in third place with 183.7 yards per game and 4.5 yards per carry.\r\n

\r\n

6.                 \r\nRushing Defense:  The\r\nBroncos lead the WAC, giving up only 79.8 yards rushing per game and 2.9 yards\r\nper carry.  \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n is second, giving up 133.2 yards per game, but a whopping 4.4 yards per carry. \r\nThe yards per carry number for \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n is troubling—it's near the bottom of the WAC.\r\n

\r\n

7.                 \r\nTotal Offense:  \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n is third in the WAC, about 40 yards per game ahead of fourth place \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n.\r\n

\r\n

8.                 \r\nTotal Defense:  \r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n leads the WAC, about 30 yards better than second place \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n.

\r\n

You can go down through the\r\nstatistics and find some differences, but overall it appears close. \r\n\r\nReno\r\n leads in some, and \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n leads in others.  Overall, however,\r\nZagco gives \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n the statistical edge.  Yet, as the\r\nlate Professor Aaron Levenstein (professor emeritus at \r\n\r\nBaruch\r\n \r\nCollege\r\n\r\n) famously said, \"[s]tatistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is\r\nsuggestive, but what they conceal is vital.\"

\r\n

This is a game that will be\r\ndefined in large measure by whether \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n brings its \"A\" game.  If the\r\nBroncos bring the same kind of mistake-prone, uninspired effort to \r\nReno\r\n that they brought to \r\nNew Mexico State\r\n, \r\nIdaho\r\n, and even \r\n\r\nSan Jose\r\n\r\n, the Broncos will lose.  If the\r\nBroncos bring their \"A\" game, they'll win. 

\r\n

\r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n seems like a consistent team that does a great job of focusing on the task at\r\nhand.  This game, however, will bring\r\nthe weight of the world down on the shoulders of the Pack. \r\nLet there be no doubt that \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n's players want to win this game in the worst way! \r\n\r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n's players have waited all their life to test their metal against an\r\nundefeated Top 25 team in a clutch, late season game. \r\nHere is their chance to shine and be somebody in this cruel world.

\r\n

Zagco believes the keys to a\r\nBoise State win are the following:  (1) \r\nIan Johnson; (2) Z needs to continue playing a calm, mistake-free\r\ngame—he has been a great leader this year; (3) the receivers need to keep\r\ncatching the ball—Zagco thinks Drisan James, Legadu Nanee, Jerard Rabb, and\r\nthe others have been doing a great job lately; (4) the defense must get pressure\r\non The Schnauz; (5) if we have a chance to put the game away, we need to\r\ncapitalize early, not late, i.e., have that \"killer instinct;\" and (6) avoid\r\nthe silly, sloppy turnovers that have plagued us in too many games this year at\r\nbizarre moments, allowing our opponents to stay alive.

\r\n

Zagco was pleased with how the\r\nBroncos performed against \r\n\r\nUtah\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n.  However, let's keep in mind that\r\nthe Aggies are horrible.  It's hard\r\nto gauge our current status from that game. \r\nHowever, Zagco does think that the receivers have been much better lately\r\nat route running and catching the ball.  That's\r\ncritical, because that was a problem earlier this year. \r\nMoreover, Zagco has noticed that Legadu Nanee seems to be taking\r\nover—he is a HUGE match up nightmare!   \r\nZagco's biggest concern remains our defensive ability to get pressure\r\non the quarterback, which in turn makes our defensive secondary look much\r\nbetter. 

\r\n

Zagco believes the \r\nReno\r\n game will be the toughest game of the year for \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n.  He would say that even if it was a\r\nhome game.  Chris Ault, the man who\r\ninvented the \"Pistol Offense,\" has built himself a fine football team that\r\ndeserves our respect.  They beat \r\nColorado\r\n \r\nState\r\n and Northwestern at home—not great opponents but still nice wins that would\r\nhave eluded previous \r\n\r\nReno\r\n\r\n teams.  To win, \r\n\r\nBoise\r\n \r\nState\r\n\r\n will have to perform better than it has all year.

\r\n

Alas, the Broncos will eke out a\r\nwin in a wild, high-scoring  battle that will come down to the last play of\r\nthe game.

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


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

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