WAC Power Rankings - Week Nine

As a weekly feature on Inside Sparta this season, Senior Editor Mike Morgan ranks the Western Athletic Conference from top to bottom. Here's how he sees it after Week Nine.

It's nearly a foregone conclusion that Boise State will finish the season not only as the Western Athletic Conference champs, but also with an unblemished 12-0 record. That leaves little in the way of drama for the final month of the WAC schedule. The only real intrigue that remains for the Broncos is exactly where they are going to end up in the final BCS standings. Boise State, currently No. 7 in the latest BCS poll, needs Oregon to keep winning and TCU and Cincinnati to stumble, in order to crash the big party. The remaining battle that will be waged in the WAC will be the one for second place. With Fresno State and Nevada still to play one another, and Idaho yet to face Fresno State, there is still a couple of critical games that don't involve Boise State.

WAC Power Ranking – Week 9

# 1: Boise State (8-0, 3-0 WAC) Last week #1. Defeated San Jose State 45-7
The loudest cheer heard in Boise over the weekend didn't come from the Bronco's victory over San Jose State. Rather, it came after Oregon's victory over USC later that night. Still, Boise State was leapfrogged for the second straight week in the BCS poll by another team from a non-BCS conference. This time it was Cincinnati. With TCU, Cincinnati, and Boise State all in the Top 7, things are getting very interesting in the BCS poll.
Next up: at Louisiana Tech (Friday Nov. 6)

#2: Fresno State (5-3, 4-1 WAC) Last week #2. Defeated Utah State 31-27
The Bulldogs avoided a huge scare in their narrow victory at home over Utah State. With Idaho having to come to Fresno, the Bulldogs should win out the remainder of their WAC schedule.
Next up: at Idaho

#3: Nevada (5-3, 4-0) Last week # 3. Defeated Hawaii 31-21
The Wolf Pack failed to blow-out Hawaii on Saturday. But, given their poor pass defense, it's not surprising that Nevada struggled to beat the lowly Warriors.
Next up: at San Jose State (Sunday Nov. 8)

#4: Idaho (7-2, 4-1 WAC) Last Week #4. Defeated Louisiana Tech 35-34
The Vandal's miracle season continued as LaTech missed a late field goal that would have won the game for the Bulldogs. With a home game against Fresno State coming up, this will be the Vandal's first real test against An actual WAC power team.
Next up: vs Fresno State

#5: Utah State (2-6, 1-3 WAC) Last week # 5. Lost to Fresno State 31-27
A very good showing in their loss at Fresno State keeps the Aggies solidly in the No. 5 spot. Road trip to Honolulu will be a tremendous test, despite Hawaii's struggles this season.
Next up: at Hawaii

#6: Louisiana Tech (3-5, 2-3 WAC) Last week #6. Lost to Idaho 35-34
After their narrow defeat against Idaho on Saturday, the Bulldogs now must face a brutal stretch against Boise State, LSU, and at Fresno State. A bowl game does not appear in the making for this season.
Next up: vs Boise State (Friday Nov. 6)

#7: San Jose State (1-6, 0-3 WAC) Last week # 7. Lost to Boise State 45-7
The Spartans continue their schedule against seven bowl bound teams with a home date against the seventh, Nevada. Dick Tomey's team could start to salvage a abysmal season with a victory over the Wolf Pack.
Next up: vs Nevada (Sunday Nov. 8)

#8: Hawaii (2-6, 0-5 WAC) Last week #9. Lost to Nevada 31-21
The Warriors hope to snap a six game losing streak with a home game against Utah State. One more loss will officially end their chances of a bowl game.
Next up: vs Utah State

#9: New Mexico State (3-6, 1-3 WAC) Last week # 8. Lost to Ohio State 45-0
The Aggies managed only two first downs, 22 yards passing, and 68 total yards in their loss to Ohio State. Two realistic chances remain on the schedule for another victory, and both of them, Hawaii and San Jose State, are on the road.
Next up: Bye, then at Hawaii

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Mike Morgan is a Senior Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Mike with any questions, comments, or tips at mike@insidesparta.com

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