WAC Power Rankings - Week Thirteen

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 Thirteen.

Three teams in the Western Athletic Conference, Nevada, Idaho and Utah State, have completed their regular season. Nevada awaits there pending bowl destination. Utah State won't be going bowling, but can take solace in knowing that their program was one of the most improved in the conference. Idaho will likely go bowling, thanks in part to Boise State's BCS chances looking much brighter, which opens a WAC bowl spot. The only real drama that remains is whether or not Hawaii can slip into their own local bowl game by beating Wisconsin in their finale. Boise State should have no trouble finishing their season undefeated as they face New Mexico State at home. Fresno State's visit to Illinois would have had a lot more meaning had it been played back in September. San Jose State crawled out of the WAC cellar (barely) by giving Dick Tomey a victory in his final home game. The match-up between the Spartans and Louisiana Tech might provide a decent game, as both teams struggled through disappointing seasons, and are looking to finish with victories.

WAC Power Ranking – Week 13

# 1: Boise State (12-0, 7-0 WAC) Last week #1. Defeated Nevada 44-33
It was a great weekend for the Broncos. Not only did they defeat Nevada for the WAC championship, their BCS bowl game chances improved dramatically with both Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State losing. Recent injuries to several starters however, including All-World wide receiver Austin Pettis, has put a damper on the celebration.
Next up: vs New Mexico State

#2: Nevada (8-4, 7-1) Last week # 2. Lost to Boise State 44-33
Boise State rose to the occasion and jumped all over the Wolf Pack early, which proved to be too much to overcome. Pencil in next season's match-up with the Broncos, in Reno, as a must-see game.
Next up: regular season completed.

#3: Fresno State (7-4, 6-2 WAC) Last week #3. Idle
Other than a chance to knock off a team from a BCS conference and continue their "Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere" mantra, the Bulldogs have virtually nothing to gain in their season finale.
Next up: at Illinois

#4: Idaho (7-5, 4-4 WAC) Last Week #4. Lost to Utah State 52-49
After a great 6-1 start, the Vandals limped to the finish line, losing four of their final five games. One silver lining, besides a probable bowl game, the late season stumble may keep head coach Robb Akey in Moscow, ID for at least another season.
Next up: regular season completed

#5: Hawaii (6-6, 3-5 WAC) Last week #7. Defeated Navy 24-17
Outside of Boise State's opening season victory over Oregon, Hawaii's win against Navy is the most impressive out-of-conference win by any WAC team this season. The Warriors need to do it one more time, against Wisconsin, to squeeze into the Hawaii bowl.
Next up: vs Wisconsin

#6: Utah State (4-8, 3-5 WAC) Last week # 5. Defeated Idaho 52-49
In recording their best season since 2002, the average point margin in their eight losses was only 12.25, almost half of what it was a year ago. Outside of Idaho, this was the most improved team in the WAC this year.
Next up: Season completed.

#7: Louisiana Tech (3-8, 2-5 WAC) Last week #6. Idle
The Bulldogs are currently riding a five game losing streak. However, the total point margin in those five losses is only 23 points (4.6 average). With San Jose State coming to town, they have a very good chance to finish their season on a high note.
Next up: vs San Jose State

#8: San Jose State (2-9, 1-6 WAC) Last week # 9. Defeated New Mexico State 13-10
The Spartans not only gave Dick Tomey a victory in his final game at Spartan Stadium they avoided finishing the season in the bottom spot, sending New Mexico State back to the cellar.
Next up: at Louisiana Tech

#9: New Mexico State (3-9, 1-6 WAC) Last week # 8. Lost to San Jose State 13-10.
New Mexico State lost the pillow fight in San Jose against the Spartans, which guaranteed them the bottom spot in the WAC. With their season finale being a trip to Boise, the Aggies will most assuredly finish the season with a seven game losing streak. .
Next up: at Boise 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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