Wednesday, August 4, 2010
WAC media days recap
By Andrea Adelson
Let us recap what happened at media days for the non-AQ conferences. Today we feature the WAC.
Preseason favorite: No surprise here. Boise St. was the unanimous choice among coaches to win the WAC. The Broncos were a near-unanimous choice in the media poll as well, receiving 42 of 43 first-place votes. The other first-place vote went to Nevada.
The rest: Here is the rest of the preseason order, as selected by the coaches:
3. Fresno State
4. Utah State
7. Louisiana Tech
8. New Mexico State
9. San Jose State
Preseason Players of the Year: Boise St. QB Kellen Moore, offense; Nevada DE Dontay Moch, defense.
Seen and heard: The hottest topic, of course, is what would happen to the league once Boise State jumps to the Mountain West in 2011.
Commissioner Karl Benson said the league would not expand until 2012 at the earliest, meaning it would have eight teams for next season. Conference athletic directors are meeting Aug. 19 to begin evaluating future membership.
"Is there another Boise State out there?" Benson said. "I think there is. I also think there's another Boise State among the eight schools here today."
He also took a shot at the Mountain West and its drive to become a BCS conference. "We believe the AQ standard is almost impossible to meet by any of the non-qualifying conferences," Benson said. "Now, with losing Utah, they are not even close to meeting the criteria. I don't think they have a chance."
Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson retorted during his conference’s media day: "I don't know what numbers he's looking at," Thompson said. "Boise State has finished sixth and ninth in the last two years in the BCS final rankings. Utah has finished sixth and 23rd. I'm not a mathematician but six and nine is better than six and 23."
Side note: Even with Boise St. the MWC would fall short in one of the three required categories.
Benson also said he would be paying attention to how his schools fare vs. the Mountain West. There are 12 games between them this year.
As for the coaches, all of them said the league would be fine without Boise State.
"The WAC is a survivor, obviously," Fresno St. coach Pat Hill said. "I've seen so many changes in this league, it's amazing. But the resiliency of our conference, the ability to keep playing at a high level, is good."
Well, at least somebody else would have the chance to win the conference. Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes said, “I hate that they're leaving, but I'm excited that it gives everyone else the chance to become the next Boise State.”
News and notes: It appears Utah St. RB Robert Turbin won’t be able to play this season after tearing his ACL in offseason drills. Coach Gary Andersen expects him back in 2011.
Nevada coach Chris Ault is going into his 26th year at Nevada. When asked whether he would coach into his 80s, Ault said, "No. I'm not Bobby Bowden or Joe [Paterno]. I'm not doing that."
Should Fresno St. redshirt Derek Carr, the backup to Ryan Colburn would be Kelly O’Brien, son of former New York Jets QB Ken O’Brien.
San Jose St. leading tackler Tanner Burns has left the team and transferred to Kansas St. WR Marquis Avery, who led the team with 6 touchdown receptions last season, is academically ineligible.
Louisiana Tech hasn’t chosen a starting QB yet. The race is between Ross Jenkins and Steve Ensminger.
A Utah St. student journalist took on various players in arm wrestling, thumb war and rock, paper, scissors. The video is pretty funny.