WAC Landmines - The Scary Letdown Games
San Jose State S Duke Ihenacho
San Jose State S Duke Ihenacho
Posted Aug 20, 2009

What are the dangerous games that every WAC team needs to watch out for? These are the ones that might be sandwiched in between two bigger games, they could be the ones late in the season that will be tough to get up for, or they simply could be letdowns.

The WAC Landmine Games

The traps to watch out for

By Pete Fiutak

Landmine Games For Every Team
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It's next to impossible for a team to get up for every game over the course of the long season. It's easy to be jazzed for the big rival or the top five team, but college kids can't remain focused enough to play razor sharp for one game and then maintain the same high level again the next week for the also-ran.

Below are the very dangerous letdown games for each team. These might be sandwich games, games a team and the fans won't take seriously, the game after a big rivalry, the game before a big game, or just a game that the team just won't be stoked for and could turn into a painful loss against a weaker opponent. If you find yourself arguing that these games will be easy, you're jumping into the same trap these teams might fall into. At the very least, these could be tougher tests than your favorite team might think. Sure, the team might win the game, but it might be pushed very, very hard.

Boise State - Nov. 6 at Louisiana Tech
This is a landmine because ... This is where the dream season has the potential to die. Even if the Broncos beat Oregon to start the season, and come up with good road wins at Fresno State and Tulsa, they could start to feel the effects of so much time away from the blue turf in a deadly WAC battle in Ruston. Boise State will have played three road games in four weeks at this point and will have logged a ton of frequent flier miles going to Tulsa, and back to Boise, and then to Honolulu, and back to Boise to face a nasty San Jose State team, and then it's off to Ruston.

Fresno State - Oct. 24 at New Mexico State
This is a landmine because ... Where's the clunker going to come. When the lights are on, like they will be against Wisconsin, Boise State, and Illinois, Fresno State comes up with its A game and tries for the splashy win. But can the program get up for the lesser games? There was a home loss to Hawaii last year, there was the close call against NMSU two years ago, and there was the loss to Utah State in 2006. Even though the Aggies have struggled over the years, they lost the last three games against Fresno by less than a touchdown.

Hawaii - Oct. 17 at Idaho
This is a landmine because ... At home, Hawaii can play with almost anyone. On the road, the Warriors are completely different and it's always a roll of the dice on which team will show up. Not only is the trip to Moscow, Idaho a long one, but this is the ultimate WAC sandwich game with Fresno State before it and Boise State and at Nevada to follow.

Idaho - Sept. 5 at New Mexico State
This is a landmine because ... The Aggies, with their new coaching staff, are going to come out jacked up for the season opener. There isn't a game on the schedule that Idaho will be the favorite, at least until the season finale against Utah State, after getting a week off, and there's a chance this might be a winless campaign without a victory on opening day. New Mexico State has problems, but it's at home. Idaho really needed this game under its dome.

Louisiana Tech - Oct. 31 at Idaho
This is a landmine because ... It's at the end of a long section of road games. Stuck on the other side of the country from the WAC, Louisiana Tech will be on the plane a long time over the first half of the season with road games at Auburn, Navy, Nevada, and Utah State before having to travel to Idaho for a Halloween day game. The Bulldogs won't just be playing their third road game in four, but they'll have Boise State, at LSU, and at Fresno State to follow.

Nevada - Nov. 21 at New Mexico State
This is a landmine because ... It's the biggest sandwich game on the slate. Nevada should be deep in the hunt for the WAC title all season long, but it has a brutal November to deal with starting with a trip to San Jose State, followed up by a home game against Fresno State, and then a date at New Mexico State. Not only is the game in Las Cruces the second road game in a stretch of three road games in four weeks, but it comes six days before the WAC game of the year at Boise State.

New Mexico State - Sept. 5 vs. Idaho
This is a landmine because ... Yes, this is a dual landmine game. Considering Idaho and New Mexico State are among the two worst teams in the country, and are expected to finish in the bottom of the WAC, this is the trap game for each. The Aggies have seven road games in the final ten, and they're not going to be favored at home against Fresno State or Nevada. The Utah State game might be dead even. The Idaho game at home to kick things off is a must win, or NMSU will be hard pressed to finish out of the WAC basement.

San Jose State - Sept. 26 vs. Cal Poly
This is a landmine because ... This is a different year and a different Cal Poly team, head coach Rich Ellerson is off to be the head man at Army, but it'll still be dangerous. The Mustangs led the FCS in total offense, scoring offense, and was second in sacks. The multi-faceted option attack will be tough for San Jose State to prepare for with USC, Utah, and Stanford to start out the season.

Utah State - Oct. 10 at New Mexico State
This is a landmine because ... Not only is this a dead-even WAC game that Utah State needs to win to have a shot of getting out of the conference cellar, but it's the last part of a long road trip to kick off the season. The Aggies play at Utah, at Texas A&M, and at BYU before going to New Mexico State (with a home opener against Southern Utah thrown into the mix). Even if Utah State is the better team, it could be cashed by the time it gets to Las Cruces.