Friday Fodder: Pack on quest for perfect WAC season | NevadaAppeal.com
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Friday Fodder: Pack on quest for perfect WAC season

JOE SANTORO
For the Nevada Appeal

Sports fodder for a Friday morning … Believe it or not, the Nevada Wolf Pack football team this season can actually accomplish something that not even the 2010 Dream Team could manage. A perfect, unblemished Western Athletic Conference championship season. The Pack, which joined the WAC in 2000, has never gone through an entire WAC schedule unbeaten and has never even won a WAC title without sharing it. College football teams have a way of creating imaginary championships, like beating UNLV and calling it a state title or beating Boston College or Central Florida and calling it a championship. But this lofty goal – a perfect WAC season – is real. The Pack has been perfect in league play just three times (1995, 1991, 1986) over the last 70 seasons. Chris Ault coached all three of those teams. After he does it for a fourth time this year, it might be a good idea to finally put his name on the stadium where it belongs.

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It’s a magical time of year. There is a wonderful chill in the air, the leaves are falling off the trees and everyone is all giddy with excitement. Yes, Wolf Pack football fans, it’s bowl eligibility season once again. The Wolf Pack needs just one more victory – it will likely come the next time they step on the field Nov. 12 at Mackay Stadium against Hawaii – to become eligible for one of the 70 bowl spots this holiday season. Isn’t college football wonderful? You beat six mediocre-to-bad teams over three months and everyone treats you like you accomplished something special. The 6-year-old kid with the runny nose and baggy shorts who always kicked the soccer ball at his own goal does more to receive his postseason team trophy than most college football teams do to get to a bowl.

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Why is Boise State even considering a move to the Big East for football? Even if the Big East keeps its automatic BCS spot – and that’s a big, big if – it is still unlikely Boise will ever get to play in the national title game. Boise can get to a secondary BCS bowl game out of the Mountain West, just like it got there out of the WAC. Why would Boise State subject its fans to traveling east of the Mississippi River for away games when it doesn’t have to? Stop chasing the dollar signs, Boise State. The Broncos outgrew their own bowl game, leaving their fans to watch Northern Illinois, Maryland, Fresno State and Bowling Green and now they are outgrowing their own state, region and long-time rivals. Boise needs to remember who supported them when they were a junior college. It’s time schools start showing a little loyalty to their own fans.

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Jose Canseco is going to box Lenny Dykstra in a celebrity pay-per-view match this Saturday. It will only cost you $19.95 to watch. Dykstra will be fighting for all the little guys in the major leagues who can no longer use performance enhancing drugs. Canseco will be fighting because, well, he’d do anything for a few bucks. I’m not ashamed to admit it. This is the first fight I’d pay $19.95 to watch since Mike Tyson bit off Evander Holyfield’s ear.

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It is easier to join the Big East or the Kardashian family than it is to get into the baseball Hall of Fame through the stingy veteran’s committee. The vets have inducted just nine into the Hall since 2001. This year they will vote in early December for the 2012 class and, well, there are eight more that should get in – Jim Kaat, Gil Hodges, Ron Santo, Minnie Minoso, Luis Tiant, Charlie Finley, Tony Oliva and Ken Boyer. The best criteria for voting for a Hall of Famer is this: Can you write a complete history of the sport without mentioning the player’s name? If the answer is no, they are a Hall of Famer. All eight deserve it but the vets will find a way to keep at least four or five out.

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Steve Garvey and Orel Hershiser want to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers despite the $1 billion sticker price. It’s time we start to get used to former players buying the teams they once played for. After decades of million dollar salaries it’s only natural for some of those players to save enough to buy a team. This is a good thing for baseball. A guy who made his living hitting or throwing fastballs has to make better baseball decisions than a guy who got rich selling chewing gum, insurance, hamburgers, television programming or pizzas, right?

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The managerial jobs of the Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox are currently open. And, depending on who buys the club, don’t be shocked to see the Dodgers’ job opening up. This is certainly a good time to be an out-of-work big league manager. Which job would you want among the Cubs, Red Sox or Cardinals? The Cubs might be the best of the three. The Red Sox are a mess internally. The Cardinals won with mirrors this year and could lose their best player this winter. The Cubs, though, have Theo Epstein and a forgiving, comforting fan base that just wants a cold beer, some sunshine and a few home runs to chase down Waveland Avenue in the summertime.

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It’s time everyone gives Tim Tebow a break. Tebow is easy to pick on. I get it. Nobody can be that perfect, right? He’s not ready to start in the NFL. No kidding. He throws a football like he’s heaving a brick to one of his construction buddies on the job. And he will likely never lead a team to the Super Bowl. Well, don’t be so quick to judge. Give the guy some time. OK, give him a lot of time. But it will be worth it. Tebow is only 24-years-old and he’s playing with a team that has absolutely no talent around him. Tebow is a winner. He is a leader. If Mark Rypien, Trent Dilfer and Jeff Hostettler can win a Super Bowl, so can Tebow. And if the Denver Broncos are smart, they will build an offense around his talents and make him their quarterback for the next 10 years.