Tuesday, August 12, 2008

2008 College Football Conference Predictions: Western Athletic Conference

The WAC has managed to send an undefeated team to the Bowl Championship Series each of the past 2 seasons, and Boise State managed to even make it out of the BCS with a bowl victory over Oklahoma in 2007. Hawaii of course wasn't as lucky in 2007, getting trounced by Georgia. The WAC isn't quite as strong this year, but the team I'm picking to win the conference has a schedule that just might give it another chance to run the table.

I'm not certain they are the best team in the league this year, but a very favorable league schedule leads me to believe that Boise State is the pick to take the WAC in 2008. Fresno State is just about everybody' else's pick to be this year's BCS buster, but the Bulldogs open up the season cross-country at Rutgers, and then welcome the Wisconsin Badgers to Fresno. That combined with a season ending trip to the blue turf at Boise will probably keep Fresno from winning the league, much less going undefeated on the season. Boise, meanwhile, has an early season test at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, OR, but a very favorable league and non-conference schedule. Hawaii lost alot of key talent, but will run a similar system to what brought so much success under June Jones, so they should be able to outscore most of the teams in the league. Nevada should round out the bowl eligible teams in the league in 2008.

As usual, the WAC has no shortage of fairly well-known offensive talent, with RBs Ian Johnson of Boise State and Luke Lippincott of Nevada, QBs Chase Holbrook of New Mexico State and Colin Kaepernick of Nevada, and WR Chris Williams of New Mexico State.

Conference Predictions
1. Boise State Broncos (Projected Overall Regular Season Record: 11-1, Projected Conference Regular Season Record: 8-0)
Key Non-Conference Game: at Oregon 9/20
Key Conference Game: vs Fresno State 11/28
Key Players: RB Ian Johnson, CB Kyle Wilson

2. Fresno State Bulldogs (9-3, 7-1)
Key Non-Conference Game: vs Wisconsin 9/13
Key Conference Game: at Boise State 11/28
Key Players: G Cole Popovich, DT Jon Monga

3. Hawaii Warriors (8-5, 6-2)
Key Non-Conference Game: vs Washington State 11/29
Key Conference Game: vs Nevada 10/25
Key Players: WR Daniel Lofton, PK Dan Kelly

4. Nevada Wolf Pack (7-5, 5-3)
Key Non-Conference Game: at UNLV 9/27
Key Conference Game: vs Fresno State 11/1
Key Players: RB Luke Lippincott, LB Joshua Mauga

5. New Mexico State Aggies (5-7, 4-4)
Key Non-Conference Game: vs New Mexico 9/27
Key Conference Game: vs Hawaii 11/8
Key Players: QB Chase Holbrook, DE Rhyan Anderson

6. San Jose State Spartans (5-7, 3-5)
Key Non-Conference Game: vs San Diego State 9/13
Key Conference Game: vs Louisiana Tech 11/22
Key Players: WR David Richmond, DE Jeff Schweiger

7. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (4-8, 2-6)
Key Non-Conference Game: at Army 10/25
Key Conference Game: vs Nevada 11/29
Key Players: RB Patrick Jackson, DT D'Anthony Smith

8. Utah State Aggies (1-11, 1-7)
Key Non-Conference Game: at UNLV 8/30
Key Conference Game: vs Idaho 9/20
Key Players: TE Rob Myers, LB Jake Hutton

9. Idaho Vandals (1-11, 0-8)
Key Non-Conference Game: vs Idaho State 9/6
Key Conference Game: at Utah State 9/20
Key Players: OG Mike Iupati, S Shiloh Keo


Mackie said...

There is a suprising amount of people pulling Fresno St's meat to win their conference. It'll be neat to see how this pans out. I also think Hawaii will be dropping back off the map after they get laughed out of Gainesville, FL.

JJ said...

Agreed, Mack. I am not buying into Fresno either. I don't think you can go wrong picking Boise in the WAC in any year, especially given that they get Fresno on the Smurf Turf. They're very well coached and probably the most stable program over time in the league.