Down The Stretch They Come

With a little more than a month remaining in the annual WAC Commissioner's Cup race, it could be the tightest finish in league history. Current projections show the race narrowing, with Boise State now the projected winner by a mere 25/100th's of a point.

What was predicted just a few weeks ago to be a tight WAC Commissioner's Cup race has gotten even tighter.  That is because the Nevada baseball team has gone on a tear.  The Wolf Pack men are now in third place, just a game and a half behind Fresno State and Louisiana Tech  The Cup is awarded annually to the league school with the best overall athletic program, as figured by a point system.

 

Not only that, but the Boise State men's hopes of repeating in the WAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships are in jeopardy.  That is because the rapidly improving Utah State team is strong in every event, while the Broncos have several events in which they are projected to score zero or few points.  In fact, Fresno State is now projected to finish second ahead of the Broncos pending Coach Mike Maynard's annual magic.  Somehow, the popular coach always makes moves at the Championships that push his team over the top.

 

That magic may be necessary if Boise State is to get a second consecutive Commissioner's Cup.  The Broncos hold a slim lead in the race with eight sports remaining.  Boise State has 54.5 points to date, ahead of Utah State's 52 points and Nevada with 51.25.  Hawai'i is next with 41.75 points, followed by San Jose State (40.25), Idaho (38), New Mexico State (35), Fresno State (34.50) and Louisiana Tech (26.75). 

 

As revealed on BroncoCountry a few months ago, there are four league teams that have a chance to win the Cup this year—Boise State, Nevada, Utah State and Fresno State.  Realistically, however, the Broncos and Wolf Pack will once again battle it out for the Cup as they did last year.  Using national rankings and league projections and statistics, these are the projected final totals for the Commissioner's Cup.  Any results that vary radically from projections will of course affect the winner.

 

1.  Boise State 86.50

2.  Nevada 86.25

3.  Fresno State 84.00

4.  Utah State 78.00

5.  Hawai'i 76.75

6.  San Jose State 58.75

7.  Idaho 58.00

8.  New Mexico State 55.50

9.  Louisiana Tech 53.25

 

The next sport to be contested is tennis, which Boise State will host beginning this Wednesday.  Boise State is favored on the men's side according to the United States Tennis Association rankings with Fresno State the women's favorite and the Broncos battling Nevada for second.

 

The WAC Golf Championships are the same week as the tennis championships. The Nevada men are the favorite, ranked #91 by Golfweek Magazine. Fresno State is #100, then #116 Hawai'i, #119 Louisiana Tech, #130 New Mexico State, #135 Boise State, #164 San Jose State, #177 Idaho and #218 Utah State. San Jose State's women are #31 in Golfweek, followed by #39 Hawai'i, #52 Idaho, #62 Fresno State, #64 Nevada, #66 New Mexico state and #86 Boise State.

Following that will be track and field.  As mentioned above, the Broncos have slid in the league's ranking of top marks this spring.  Utah State is projected to score 180 points to 160 for Fresno State and 138 for Boise State.

  The Louisiana Tech women are once again the favorites but a very tight race could mean that any one of seven league teams will win the league title.  Louisiana Tech is projected to score 140 to 113 for Boise State, 112 for Nevada, 104 for Idaho, 100 for Fresno State, 99 for Utah State and 94 for Hawai'i.  Obviously as far as the Commissioner's Cup race is concerned, the close finish will have a monumental impact on the overall trophy.

 

 

The 2006-07 Commissioner's Cup race is so close that once again, the winner will not be decided until the WAC baseball and softball championships, set for the end of May.  Boise State could possibly lose the Cup because they do not field a baseball or a softball team, meaning they get zero points.  Currently, Louisiana Tech and Fresno State are tied for first in baseball, while Hawai'i is #1 in softball.

 

Hold on to those hats for a race that will come down to the wire as predicted.

 

Men's Tennis--April 26-29 in Boise) (with Commissioner's Cup points in parenthesis)
(Rankings according to ITA)

  1. Boise State (7)
  2. Fresno State (6)
  3. Hawai'i (5)
  4. Utah State (4)
  5. New Mexico State (3)
  6. Nevada (2)
  7. Idaho (1)

 

Women's Tennis (also in Boise)

(ITA Rankings and statistics)

  1. Fresno State (9)
  2. Boise State (8)
  3. Nevada (7)
  4. Utah State (6)
  5. New Mexico State (5)
  6. Idaho (4)
  7. Hawai'i (3)
  8. San Jose State (2)
  9. Louisiana Tech (1)

 

Men's Track (May 9-12 in Fresno)

(Projected Points according to WAC Office)

  1. Utah State—180 (6)
  2. Fresno State—160 (5)
  3. Boise State—138 (4)
  4. Louisiana Tech—75 (3)
  5. Idaho—61 (2)

 

Women's Track (also in Fresno)

(WAC Office)

  1. Louisiana Tech—140 (9)
  2. Boise State—113 (8)
  3. Nevada—112 (7)
  4. Idaho—104 (6)
  5. Fresno State—100 (5)
  6. Utah State—99 (4)
  7. Hawai'i—94 (3)
  8. Northridge State—38 (affiliate member)
  9. New Mexico State—15 (1)

 

Men's Golf (April 30-May 2 in Reno)

(Rankings provided by Golfweek)

#91 Nevada (9)

#100 Fresno State (8)

#116 Hawai'i (7)

#119 Louisiana Tech (6)

#130 New Mexico State (5)

#135 Boise State (4)

#164 San Jose State (3)

#177 Idaho (2)

#218 Utah State (1)

 

Women's Golf (in Las Cruces)

(Golfweek)

#31 San Jose State (7)

#39 Hawai'i (6)

#52 Idaho (5)

#62 Fresno State (4)

#64 Nevada (3)

#66 New Mexico State (2)

#86 Boise State (1)

 

Baseball (May 24-27 in Reno)

  1. Louisiana Tech—9-4 (6.5)
  1. Fresno State—9-4 (6.5)

3.   Nevada—7-5 (5)

  1. Hawai'i—7-6 (4)
  2. San Jose State—4-6 (3)
  3. Sacramento State—5-11 (affiliate member)
  4. New Mexico State—4-9 (1)

 

Softball (May 10-12 in Fresno)

  1. Hawai'i—12-1 (7)
  2. Fresno State—8-2 (6)
  3. Utah State—4-6 (5)
  4. New Mexico State—6-8 (3.5)
  5. San Jose State—5-8 (3.5)
  6. Nevada—5-9 (2)
  7. Louisiana Tech—3-9 (1)

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