This Week in the WAC. San Jose State BYE

I am rooting for Notre Dame because a Stanford loss puts their record at 3-3 with 6 conference games to play. They have Arizona, Wash St, and USC at home and UCLA, Oregon and Cal on the road. Looking at the remaining schedule, after Notre Dame, I believe they will go 2-4 (wins against UCLA and WSU) with an overall record of 5-7. However, Arizona and Cal are big if games and could go either way.

This Week in the WAC.

10/4/2008

I could be full of crap about no BCS for a WAC team.

A remote possibility exists that the ACC and Big East may not have their respective champions ranked high enough by the end of the season. The rule is simple, a non-BCS team needs to be ranked #12 or higher or ranked #16 or higher and be ranked above one of the BCS champions.

Also note that no more then two teams from one conference can qualify for the BCS games. Thus if you consider right now that BYU is ranked between #6-8 and Boise St is hovering around #16-18 in the polls. You also have the two best Big East teams UConn (#23-24) and USF (#10) and the best ACC team VaTech at #24. This could set up a pretty interesting BCS selection if USF losses a game and BYU and or Utah and Boise St. go undefeated.

Why the WAC should be concerned with the Pac-10?

Three teams are effectively eliminated from Bowl games, Washington, Washington St. and UCLA. The Pac-10 has seven guaranteed Bowl bids and has only seven teams with a reasonable chance of getting to a minimum of a 6-6 record for a bowl bid.

Stanford Bowl Death Watch.

Stanford beat a pathetic University of Washington but, Stanford is still officially the weak sister that needs to fall so the WAC can get a 4th bowl invite. This week Stanford is at Notre Dame.

I am rooting for Notre Dame because a Stanford loss puts their record at 3-3 with 6 conference games to play. They have Arizona, Wash. St. and USC at home and UCLA, Oregon and Cal on the road. Looking at the remaining schedule, after Notre Dame, I believe they will go 2-4 (wins against UCLA and WSU) with an overall record of 5-7. However, Arizona and Cal are big if games and could go either way.

The WAC title chase so far…..

Looking very good is Boise St and still undefeated.

Looking pretty good is Fresno St. good win at UCLA, SJSU getting a big road win at Hawaii and Nevada but will the QB make it to the end of the season?

Looking for wins to get in the race is La Tech not this week at Boise.

Looking for really big wins and some luck are Hawaii, Utah St. and New Mexico State.

Looking out of contention is Idaho.

Onto the analysis of this week's WAC games:

Team with a bye this week is SJSU

Best Game of the Week – Hawaii @ Fresno St.

This game will come down to how well Hawaii can stop the Bulldogs on the ground and reduce the turnovers. If Hawaii can keep Fresno St. to less than 100 yards on the ground then they will have a chance to steal one on the road. Fresno's offense has struggled at times and needs a good game to get back on track. Hawaii has had a hard time winning on the road over the years but this is one of the shortest trips in the WAC for the Warriors. Hawaii also looks strongest on defense and that is a team's best friend on the road. Also the Fresno St. run defense has been pretty bad giving up 198 yards per game and over 5 yards per attempt but, Hawaii had had no rushing offense so far. If Hawaii can get it going on the ground they just might give the Bulldogs some problems. So what will happen? I am not sure but I get the feeling that Hawaii keeps this one much closer than the line at the sports books. I figure a narrow win for the Bulldogs.

Ugly Games of the Week – BYU @ Utah St. or Nevada @ Idaho

BYU @ Utah State

Not much to say on this one except BYU totally boat races the UTags in Logan. BYU covers a pretty big spread to keep the human poll voters interested.

Nevada @ Idaho

Nevada just pounds the living tar out of Idaho in Moscow. The biggest question in this game is can Idaho keep Nevada from going for over 500 yards on the ground. Nevada should use this game to get their passing game going. Nevada covers a considerable spread and wins. The biggest question I have is can Nevada keep Colin Kaepernick healthy enough to finish the season? All the running he has been doing takes a toll an I thought we saw some fatigue that last year in Spartaville.

Critical Game of the Week – La Tech @ Boise St.

A tough road game for an improving La Tech. La Tech is 2-6 against Boise St. and this game looks like a Boise St. win. However, La Tech can pull the upset by controlling the ground game, time and the ball. La Tech has put up some decent numbers on the ground and Boise St. is somewhat suspect on defense against the rushing attack. La Tech will need to play mistake free football against the Broncos on the smurf turf to win. The key match up problem is La Tech's passing defense and Boise St. aerial attack, La Tech is giving up almost 8 yards per attempt and Boise is getting over 10 yards per attempt not a good match up for the Bulldogs. The book makers have the line at 22.5 in favor of the Broncos. I tend to believe this line and think Boise St. comes out firing the ball through the air and keeps the La Tech on their heals all game. In the bowl picture La Tech is currently 2-1 in non-conference games with a game scheduled with Army for its last non conference game. La Tech looks good in non-conference games because they should beat a bad Army team and go 3-1. However, the conference is different they have roady's against BSU, Hawaii, SJSU and NMSU with home games against Idaho, Fresno, Utah St., and Nevada. I think they can go 3-5 or 4-4 in league which would result in a 6-6 or 7-5 record. They will be borderline bowl material all season unless they pull an upset or two. I do not think they will get one in Boise, Idaho. Boise St. makes an improving La Tech look bad.

Alcorn St. @ New Mexico State

Alcorn St is a bad FCS team and New Mexico St. is a mediocre FBS team. I suspect that New Mexico State gets the win. As bad as NMSU is Alcorn is at or near the bottom of their conference in stats. If Troy can beat Alcorn St.65-0 then NMSU better put up some mean numbers too. This is a critical win for NMSU to get bowl eligible they are currently 1-2 and need to even the non conference record. NMSU has SJSU, Boise St, Hawaii and La Tech at home and Nevada, Idaho, Fresno St and Utah St on the road. Right now my feeling is NMSU will beat Idaho and Utah St if they are lucky. If you need any further evidence just look at their stats. They have a good passing attack and that's it, they have given up huge numbers on the ground and have one of the worst rushing defenses in the country. New Mexico State's defensive front eight are terrible, they run a 3-5-5 defense. They only have 4 sacks and only 20 tackles for a loss thru three games. Not a game winning or bowl caliber defense. Next week will be interesting when they face Nevada in Reno we might see Nevada roll up 1000 yards on the ground against NMSU. New Mexico State beats Alcorn St. but that is not saying much.

Next Week's Games – USU @ SJSU, Boise St @ S. Miss., Idaho @ Fresno St., LaTech @ Hawaii, New Mexico St @ Nevada

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