Login  |   My Account  |   Subscribe
Joe Santoro
for the Nevada Appeal

Back to: News
February 1, 2013
Follow News

FODDER: Kap has chance to put Nevada on world map


Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . . Is there any doubt that Sunday's Super Bowl between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens is the greatest day in Nevada Wolf Pack sports history? Well, it could be if Colin Kaepernick leads the 49ers to victory. Nothing the Wolf Pack could ever realistically accomplish itself could be as memorable as becoming the winning quarterback in the Super Bowl. Yes, Kaepernick's tattoos, his hometown of Turlock, Calif., and his birth mother have gotten more publicity than The Wolf Pack this week. But this is still northern Nevada's biggest moment. Kaepernick put Nevada football on the national map as a Pack player from 2007-10 and now he is putting it on the world map.

•••

This is also the shining moment for former Pack coach Chris Ault. Dr. Ault built the quarterback you will see wearing No. 7 on Sunday for the San Francisco 49ers. He took a skinny kid with a sidearm pitching motion who couldn't read a defense and transformed him into a once-a-generation quarterback. Kaepernick is Ault's signature creation. This is Ault's moment. His pistol offense and his ultimate quarterback are about to win a Super Bowl.

•••

The Ravens are lucky to be in New Orleans this weekend. They lost four of their last five games in the regular season. If the Denver Broncos' secondary wouldn't have turned into the Wolf Pack secondary in the final 30 seconds, the Ravens' season would have ended three weeks ago. The Ravens' defense is old and banged up. They won't be able to keep up with and contain Kaepernick on the turf in New Orleans. The 49ers defense will devour Joe Flacco and Ray Rice. The 49ers have been the best team in the NFL the last two seasons. 49ers 27, Ravens 17.

•••

The Mountain West has not been kind to the Wolf Pack's signature sports so far. The football team fell on its face in league play and now the men's basketball team seems on its way to a 15-win season with a first-round exit in the conference tournament. And the Mountain West is only going to get tougher with the addition of San Jose State and Utah State next year.

•••

If the Wolf Pack football team wins all its game next year there is a good chance it will be in the BCS championship game. Don't laugh. The schedule is that tough. The schedule, depending on which Mountain West teams the Pack plays, could include nine bowl teams: UCLA, Florida State, BYU, Boise State, Fresno State, Utah State, San Jose State, Air Force and San Diego State. Chris Ault knew when to retire.

•••

There is, however, a refreshing new optimism surrounding Pack football right now. It's no secret that a large chunk of the community had grown tired and weary of the Ault era. That's not Ault's fault. That just comes with coaching three decades at one school. New coach Brian Polian, though, is a walking, breathing ball of energy and could sell a 1985 Toyota to Bill Gates. It's easy to see why it took the Pack all of about five minutes to offer him the job. Wolf Pack fans will always have a show-me type of attitude when it comes to buying tickets and Polian will have to win to sustain all this optimism. But it's going to be fun to watch it all unfold.

•••

Don't be overly shocked to see Ault and Kaepernick reunited next season or in 2014 in San Francisco. 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman is one of the hottest coaches out there and could just be waiting until after the Super Bowl to announce he is leaving. Ault, the Father of the Pistol and the Football Father of Kaepernick, would be perfect for the 49ers. But whether it is the 49ers or some other NFL team or BCS school, Ault needs to be coaching somewhere this fall. His offense is taking over the sport right now and he needs to be out there teaching it and developing it instead of playing golf and sitting on his couch in Reno.



Stories you may be interested in

Trending in: News

The Nevada Appeal Updated Feb 1, 2013 01:28AM Published Feb 1, 2013 01:26AM Copyright 2013 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.