RENO - Twenty-six and counting.
Boise State has put together a 26-game Western Athletic Conference win streak, and that has put everybody in a catch-up mode, especially Fresno State.
"They have been the better team (in that span)," Fresno State coach Pat Hill said during Thursday's Media Day interviews at the Reno Hilton. "They have a tremendous program and Dan (Hawkins) has done a great job."
Hill, who has lost three straight to Boise State, said quicker starts are the key for his club.
"The last two games we've been behind 16-0 and 21-0 after the first quarter," Hill said. "They come out and play at an unbelievable pace. We've done a good job in the second, third and fourth quarters, but you have to play all four quarters."
Fresno State's Paul Pinegar and Daryn Colledge both said that they look forward to the Boise State game every year, and Boise State coach Dan Hawkins said it's turned into a rivalry of sorts.
"It's coaching scared," Hawkins said when asked why BSU has been able to dominate and stay on top in the WAC. "I've been blessed with good players. Fresno State has had to come to our place two of the last three years. We have to return the favor this year. I respect those guys a bunch."
Hawkins also said that with both teams having a lot of Californians on their rosters, that it's logical to think they have grown up together or played against each other in high school.
COACHES LIKE BSU, FRESNO STATE
Three-time defending champion Boise State and Fresno State have been deemed the favorites by Western Athletic League coaches.
Boise State, coming off an 11-1 season and winners of 26 straight WAC games, finished with 60 points. Fresno, which was 9-3 last year, also finished with 60 points.
Hawai'i was third (50 points), followed by Louisiana Tech (37), Nevada (35), San Jose State (28), New Mexico State (21), Utah State (20) and Idaho (13). The last three schools are new to the WAC this year.
Nick Holt, Idaho's second-year head coach, said it was an easy transition going from two-time national champion USC to Idaho.
Holt, who coached linebackers for three years at USC, went 3-8 in his first year as Idaho head coach.
"I'd been at Idaho before for eight years," he said. "I knew what I was getting into. It's a great town, but it's the people. It's the tradition. It's really a special place. People don't realize that until they come here and stay a few years. It grows on you."
Something that won't grow on Holt ever again will be hair. Holt was at a fund-raising golf tournament at the Elks Golf Course in Moscow, Idaho, when he was asked if he would shave his head to raise money.
Holt complied to the request, and was shaved on the spot. He said he got $2,000 for his efforts.
"I thought it was going to be more," he said. "When I first got it shaved it (my head) looked like an egg. It looks great since I got a tan."
Could it be that Holt's head might be the second-most recognizable dome in the state?