Before we delve into an analysis of the 2012 WAC race, let’s take a minute to review who’s actually participating in the 2012 WAC race.
Three longtime members, Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii, are gone — as of July 1, they will be members of the Mountain West.
Louisiana Tech, Utah State, Idaho, San Jose State and New Mexico State will remain in the WAC (because they didn’t have better options).
Those five continuing members will be joined by Texas State and Texas-San Antonio —— both are newcomers to the Football Bowl Subdivision — to form a seven-team conference.
For now. Several schools were possible expansion targets for Conference USA, the Mountain West Conference and the Sun Belt, as of late spring.
All of the turnover has resulted in
the following changes, qualifiers and caveats this fall:
• The league has just one bowl affiliation: The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise.
• Texas-San Antonio and Texas State are eligible for the conference title but cannot participate in the postseason due to their FBS transitional status (TSU is in the second year of the two-year process; UTSA is in the first).
• Victories over Texas State count toward bowl eligibility; victories over UTSA do not.
Now that we’ve addressed those matters: Who’s going to win this thing?
That seems fairly straightforward: Louisiana Tech is the clear favorite.
The Bulldogs won the conference last season with a 6-1 league record when Nevada, Hawaii and Fresno State
With most of its starting lineup returning — a lineup that includes a veteran quarterback, talent on both lines and proven playmakers — La. Tech’s advantage relative to the adjusted competition is even greater.
Only two teams seem capable of challenging the Bulldogs: Utah State and San Jose State.
Both are ascendant programs with veteran rosters. But they’ll need to far exceed expectations — or have Louisiana Tech stumble mightily — in order to capture the league title.
Idaho and New Mexico State simply suffered too much attrition to compete with the league’s upper echelon.
Meanwhile, it’s difficult to envision a scenario in which newcomers Texas State and UTSA don’t finish at the bottom of the standings.
The jump in competition from FCS to FBS — even WAC-level FBS — is simply too great to overcome in one season.
— Jon Wilner
OFFENSE – FIRST TEAM
|QB||Colby Cameron||Sr.||Louisiana Tech|
|RB||Kerwynn Williams||Sr.||Utah State|
|RB||Hunter Lee||So.||Louisiana Tech|
|WR||Quinton Patton||Sr.||Louisiana Tech|
|WR||Noel Grigsby||Jr.||San Jose State|
|TE||Ryan Otten||Sr.||San Jose State|
|C||Stephen Warner||Sr.||Louisiana Tech|
|OL||David Quessenberry||Sr.||San Jose State|
|OL||Tyler Larsen||Jr.||Utah State|
|OL||Davonte Wallace||Jr.||New Mexico State|
|OL||Oscar Molina-Sanchez||Sr.||Utah State|
|AP||Kerwynn Williams||Sr.||Utah State|
|K||Matt Nelson||Sr.||Louisiana Tech|
DEFENSE – FIRST TEAM
|DL||Travis Johnson||Sr.||San Jose State|
|DL||Justin Ellis||Jr.||Louisiana Tech|
|DL||Travis Raciti||So.||San Jose State|
|DL||Walton Taumoepeau||Sr.||New Mexico State|
|LB||Bojay Filimoeatu||Sr.||Utah State|
|LB||Keith Smith||Jr.||San Jose State|
|LB||Joplo Bartu||Sr.||Texas State|
|DB||Chad Boyd||Sr.||Louisiana Tech|
|DB||McKade Brady||Sr.||Utah State|
|DB||Jamel Johnson||Sr.||Louisiana Tech|
|P||Ryan Allen||Sr.||Louisiana State|
OFFENSE – SECOND TEAM
|QB||Andrew Manley||So.||New Mexico State|
|RB||DeLeon Eskridge||Sr.||San Jose State|
|RB||Terrence Franks||So.||Texas State|
|WR||Myles White||Sr.||Louisiana Tech|
|WR||Jabari Carr||So.||San Jose State|
|C||Nicholas Kaspar||So.||San Jose State|
|OL||Kevin Saia||Sr.||Louisiana Tech|
|OL||Eric Schultz||Jr.||Utah State|
|OL||Andrew Kersten||Sr.||New Mexico State|
|OL||Oscar Johnson||Sr.||Louisiana Tech|
DEFENSE – SECOND TEAM
|DL||Donte Savage||Sr.||New Mexico State|
|DL||Shakeil Lucas||Jr.||Louisiana Tech|
|DL||Anthony Larceval||Jr.||San Jose State|
|DL||Al Lapuaho||Sr.||Utah State|
|LB||B.J. Adolpho||Sr.||New Mexico State|
|DB||Nevin Lawson||Jr.||Utah State|
|DB||Dave Clark||Sr.||Louisiana Tech|
|DB||Quinn Giles||Sr.||Louisiana Tech|
|DB||Ronnie Yell||Sr.||San Jose State|