As the regular season begins to wind down, it may surprise some that the three top spots in the WAC Power Rankings are not held by the three schools that will be leaving the conference next year, after having been plucked by the Mountain West Conference (Nevada, Hawaii, and Fresno State). It's befitting that the showdown for the conference championship pits one of those departing teams, Nevada, against one of the five schools that are being left behind, Louisiana Tech. While the match-up won't have the national interest that last season's game between Boise State and Nevada did, the game will have the interesting dynamic of it being, what some may see as a "have" (Nevada) versus a "have-not" (LaTech). Regardless as to whether that is really true, anytime the two best teams in a conference meet in mid-November, it's a good thing for college football.
WAC Power Ranking – Week 11
No. 1: Nevada (7-3, 4-0 WAC) Last week No. 1: Defeated Hawaii 42-28
It's starting to become obvious that Wolf Pack quarterback Cody Fajardo is the WAC Freshman Of The Year. For the second year in a row, Reno will be the site of the conference's biggest game, when they host Louisiana Tech next Saturday.
Next up: vs Louisiana Tech
No. 2: Louisiana Tech (6-4, 4-1 WAC) Last Week No. 2: Defeated Ole Miss 27-7
Louisiana Tech got themselves bowl eligible with their convincing victory over the SEC's Ole Miss. Now the Bulldogs can grab a piece of the WAC crown with a victory over Nevada, a match-up of the conference's two best teams; both of whom are riding five game win streaks.
Next up: at Nevada
No. 3: Hawaii (5-5, 3-3 WAC) Last week No. 3: Lost to Nevada 42-28
The Warriors finish the season with three straight home games, but they need to win two of them to play in the post-season. Despite losing Bryant Moniz for the remainder of the season with a broken ankle, Hawaii should be able to get that done, as they face Fresno State and Tulane.
Next up: vs Fresno State
No. 4: Utah State (4-5, 2-2 WAC) Last week No. 4: Defeated San Jose State 34-33
Don't look now, but Utah State is on the verge of being bowl eligible for the first time since 1997. The Aggies must win two of their final three games, but will be favored in two of them..
Next up: at Idaho
No. 5: San Jose State (3-7, 2-4 WAC) Last week No. 6: Lost to Utah State 34-33
For the second week in a row, the Spartans gave up a double digit 4th quarter lead with their heartbreaking one-point loss to Utah State. San Jose State is now only playing for pride, as they have officially been eliminated from bowl contention.
Next up: vs Navy
No. 6: New Mexico State (4-5, 2-3 WAC) Last week No. 8: Defeated Fresno State 48-45
It only took 18 games, but the Aggies' 48-45 victory over Fresno State was their first ever victory over the Bulldogs. Prior to last Saturday's win, New Mexico State had never scored more that 28 points in a game against Fresno State.
Next up: at BYU
No. 7: Fresno State (3-7, 2-3 WAC) Last week No. 5:. Lost to New Mexico State 48-45
The free-falling Bulldogs have lost five of the past six games, and their defense is now ranked 114th in points allowed (37.4 per game). They do catch a break this week, visiting a Hawaii team that will be without quarterback Bryant Moniz, but the concern in the Big Valley is that the team has quit.
Next up: at Hawaii
No. 8: Idaho (2-8, 1-4 WAC) Last week No. 7: Lost to BYU 42-7
After one week out of the cellar, the Vandals fall back to the bottom after a dismal showing against BYU, a game in which they had twice as many yards in penalties as they did passing.
Next up: vs Utah 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 11
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