As we begin the home stretch of the 2011 season, with only three weeks remaining, it's easy now to see just what each team in the WAC is all about. Nevada has remained strong, Louisiana Tech is on the rise, and Fresno State is on the decline. Hawaii will squeeze into their local bowl game once again, while the rest of the WAC will probably be looking in from the outside during the post season. Although, with the departure of Boise State, the top end of the conference isn't nearly as strong as it has been in recent years, the bottom half of the WAC is probably stronger than it has ever been.
WAC Power Ranking – Week 10
No. 1: Nevada (5-3, 3-0 WAC) Last week No. 1: Idle
The WAC's top rated team enjoyed a much needed week off, which allowed them to heal the rash of injuries that have piled up in recent weeks. The next two weeks will decide the WAC championship, as the Wolf Pack face Hawaii and Louisiana Tech. Both games are in Reno, where they have won the past 13 games.
Next up: vs Hawaii
No. 2: Louisiana Tech (5-3, 4-1 WAC) Last Week No. 3: Defeated Fresno State 41-21
With four straight conference wins, head coach Sonny Dykes team now controls their own destiny. After facing Ole Miss, who fired their head coach Houston Nutt this week, the southern Bulldogs will face Nevada in a game that may be for all the marbles.
Next up: at Mississippi
No. 3: Hawaii (5-4, 3-2 WAC) Last week No. 2: Lost to Utah State 35-31
The Warriors chances for a share of the WAC crown went out the window with their 35-31 loss at home last week to Utah State, a game they led 28-7 in the 3rd quarter. Their final conference and final road game of the season proves to be their most difficult, as they travel to Reno, Nev. to face the WAC's top team.
Next up: at Utah State
No. 4: Utah State (3-5, 1-2 WAC) Last week No. 7: Defeated Hawaii 35-31
The Aggies move up three spots in the rankings thanks to their best performance of the season in beating Hawaii on the road for the first time since 1966. Back-up QB Adam Kennedy came in for the injured Chuckie Keeton and rallied his team, long after most Aggies fans had gone to bed.
Next up: vs San Jose State
No. 5: Fresno State (3-6, 2-2 WAC) Last week No. 4:. Lost to Louisiana Tech 41-21
Pat Hill's seat is getting awfully warm after seeing his team lose four of their last five games. Fan support is becoming an issue in Fresno as the sparse crowd that remained for the 2nd half in their blow-out loss to LaTech last Saturday night looked rather Spartan (pun intended).
Next up: at New Mexico State
No. 6: San Jose State (3-6, 2-3 WAC) Last week No. 5: Lost to Idaho 32-29
Head coach Mike MacIntyre's game plan was to not lose the football in their game against Idaho last Saturday. They didn't lose the football, but they did lose the game, as the conservative game plan cost them a much needed victory. Spartans now must rally from that devastating loss and win their last three games just to be bowl eligible.
Next up: at Utah State
No. 7: Idaho (2-7, 1-4 WAC) Last week No. 8: Defeated San Jose State 32-29
So, the question some will ask is how can I rate Idaho lower than San Jose State, even though the Vandals just defeated them in San Jose? After giving it much thought, I gave the nod to the Spartans because they, at least, have a victory over an FBS team (Hawaii) that has a winning record. The Aggies have two chances to achieve that goal over the final three weeks.
Next up: at BYU
No. 8: New Mexico State (3-5, 1-3 WAC) Last week No. 7: Lost to Georgia 63-16.
I honestly hate rating New Mexico State in the bottom spot, because I think their passing attack is pretty decent. But, somebody has to be last, so I went with the team that had the poorest performance in Week 10, and has the weakest defense.
Next up: vs Fresno State
Mike Morgan is an Associate Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Mike with any questions, comments, or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org
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WAC Power Rankings - Week 10
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