Lookaheads ... WAC
WAC Preseason Rankings
WAC Recruiting Rankings
Click on each team for the 2009 Lookback & 2010 Lookahead
Boise State |
Fresno State |
New Mexico St |
Boise State Click for the Lookback &
There's loaded, and then there's what Boise State has coming back. All-star, NFL-caliber corner Kyle Wilson is gone, but everyone else on the defensive two-deep is back … EVERYONE.
QB Kellen Moore is back to lead an offense that gets all 11 starters back and ten of the second-teamers, placekicker/punter Kyle Brotzman is back, and the recruiting class is just good enough to provide a bit more help. Just hand the Broncos the WAC title right now.
Fresno State Click for the Lookback &
The pressure is off. No one is going to think Fresno State has a chance to win the WAC, and it's going to have several chances to sneak up on everyone and have a nice year. The Nevada game is at home, along with non-conference dates against Illinois and Cincinnati. Eight starters return on offense and nine are back on defense. Throw in all-star kicker Kevin Goessling and this might very quietly be the sleeper in the WAC race.
Hawaii Click for the Lookback &
All of the key skill players are back. Leon Wright-Jackson was the team's leading rusher, but he's replaceable. All the receivers are back, the entire two-deep across all four spots, and QBs Bryant Moniz and Shane Austin can both play. The defense gets the entire secondary back after finishing 35th in the nation in pass defense.
Idaho Click for the Lookback &
The offense that rolled up 451 yards per game and was able to keep up the pace in most games should have plenty of firepower with QB Nathan Enderle, RB Deonte Jackson (taking over for DeMaundray Woolridge), and receivers Daniel Hardy and Maurice Shaw. As bad as the defense has been, it's loaded with experience and can't be any worse.
Louisiana Tech Click for the Lookback &
The defensive back seven only loses on player, FS Deon Young. It's not like the D was that awful last season finishing second in the WAC in total defense, scoring defense, and sacks, and it's not like the WAC offenses, despite their reputations, are that great. The schedule isn't that bad with home games against Grambling State, Navy, and Southern Miss in the first month and with Fresno State, Idaho, and Nevada all coming to Ruston.
Nevada Click for the Lookback &
It should be more of the same as the devastating running attack gets back Kaepernick and a slew of talented running backs. Can there be more consistency and more production against better teams? It'll be a major disappointment if the Pack doesn't average well over 300 rushing yards per game, and it'll have to if the defense doesn't improve by leaps and bounds after finishing last in the WAC and 119th in the nation in run defense. Most of the defensive front is back, but both starting safeties are gone.
New Mexico State Click for the Lookback &
Veterans … the Aggies have them. The lumps taken last year on both sides of the ball should pay off with more production … in theory. The offense can't be worse after finishing at the bottom of the basement in so many categories, and it won't be with QB Jeff Fleming promising enough to hope for something, anything from the passing attack.
State Click for the Lookback &
Eight starters return on offense and seven are back on defense. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you've heard it all before last year about how the experience was supposed to translate into a big year, but in the hands of a fired up coach with something to prove, like new head man Mark MacIntyre, there really should be more production. MacIntyre was a nice get for the program.
Utah State Click for the Lookback &
The team made nice strides in the first year under head coach Gary Andersen, and now the expectations will be there to flirt with a winning record thanks to the return QB Diondre Borel and RB Robert Turbin in the backfield. The receiving corps could use a boost, but four starters return to the offensive front. The defense that was slowly built up under the old coaching regime should come through with a better performance with seven starters back. Going to Boise State and Nevada isn't a plus in WAC play.