WAC Power Rankings - Week Twelve

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 Twelve.

This Friday, the Western Athletic Conference features the big game of the year when Nevada visits Boise State in a showdown for all the marbles. The last time Nevada played in Boise two years ago, the Wolf Pack gave the Broncos a game for the ages, with Boise State winning by the ridiculous score of 69-67. While this week's game may not quite reach the scoring level of that game in 2007, it will doubtless be quite a scoring festival for both teams. Boise State brings an 11-0 record and No. 6 BCS ranking. Nevada is riding an eight game win streak of their own, and the Wolf Pack have scored more than 60 points in half of those victories. Boise State is still the top team in the WAC, but a strong case can be made that the best football over the past month has been played by Nevada. I really like Nevada's chances in this game. Against Boise State, Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews ran for 234 yards, and had three touchdown runs of more than 60 yards. Nevada, as a team, is even better at running the ball than Fresno State, and they live off of big breakaway runs. Boise State has shown that they are not immune from giving up big plays on defense, despite having the top rated defense in the WAC. I expect that Nevada is going to have some big plays in this contest. I also like the way that Nevada's defense is playing right now. Last season, and earlier this year, they were horrendous. As this season has gone on, their defense has gotten stronger, and really shut down Fresno State through most of their game against the Bulldogs two weeks ago. Don't be surprised if the Top 2 teams in this week's rankings switch places next week.

WAC Power Ranking – Week 12

# 1: Boise State (11-0, 6-0 WAC) Last week #1. Defeated Utah State 52-21
Had their game against Nevada come early in the season, the Broncos would have had no trouble defeating the Wolf Pack. But, the game wasn't played in September, it's being played this coming week, when Nevada appears to be peaking. Something tells me the Broncos are in for a big surprise.
Next up: vs Nevada (Friday Nov. 27)

#2: Nevada (8-3, 7-0) Last week # 3. Defeated New Mexico State 63-20
No team in the WAC is playing more like a juggernaut right now than are the Nevada Wolf Pack. The problem is, nobody in the country realizes just how good this team is. That will all change on Friday.
Next up: at Boise State (Friday Nov. 27)

#3: Fresno State (7-4, 6-2 WAC) Last week #2. Defeated Louisiana Tech 30-28
The Bulldogs have secured a third place finish in the WAC, which for most fans in Fresno is a disappointment. It's silly to think that Pat Hill might be on the hot seat. But he just may be.
Next up: bye, then at Illinois

#4: Idaho (7-4, 4-3 WAC) Last Week #4. Idle
After a 6-1 start, some of the luster has come off of the Vandals' dream season with their dropping three of their past four games. Still, nobody is complaining in Moscow, Idaho.
Next up: vs Utah State

#5: Utah State (3-8, 2-5 WAC) Last week # 5. Lost to Boise State 52-21
Quarterback Diondre Borel is a star in the making. Despite their record, this is a program headed in the right direction.
Next up: at Idaho

#6: Louisiana Tech (3-8, 2-5 WAC) Last week #6. Lost to Fresno State 30-28
At this point in season the Bulldogs are only playing for pride, but two close losses the past two weeks to LSU and Fresno State proves this team still has a lot of pride in them.
Next up: bye, then vs San Jose State

#7: Hawaii (5-6, 3-5 WAC) Last week #8. Defeated San Jose State 17-10
The Warriors bowl hopes are on life-support. With their WAC schedule now complete, they need to defeat either Navy or Wisconsin in the next two weeks to reach eligibility. A tall order, even though the games will be played at home.
Next up: vs Navy

#8: New Mexico State (3-8, 1-5 WAC) Last week # 9. Lost to Nevada 63-20.
Aggies are 1-9 in their last 10 WAC road games, and have been outscored 211-36 during their current five game losing streak. Next up: at San Jose State

#9: San Jose State (1-9, 0-6 WAC) Last week # 7. Lost to Hawaii 17-10
Spartans nearly ended their losing streak at home against Hawaii. This week presents a home farewell to both the seniors and head coach Dick Tomey.
Next up: vs New Mexico State

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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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