The powerhouses haven’t changed in the WAC | NevadaAppeal.com
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The powerhouses haven’t changed in the WAC

Joe Santoro

Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .Predicting how the Western Athletic Conference football teams will finish every year is sort of like predicting the ending of every Gilligan’s Island episode. They are not going to get off the island, folks, no matter how many telephones and radios the professor can make out of the pineapples. Boise State, Nevada and Fresno State are the top three teams, in that order. Utah State, Louisiana Tech, Hawaii and Idaho are going to fight for the remaining bowl game (it will be either Louisiana Tech or Utah State) and San Jose State and New Mexico State wouldn’t make the playoffs in the Northern 4A Sierra League.

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Boise State got eight of the nine first-place votes in the WAC coach’s poll this week and 42 of the 43 first-place votes from the media. The coach’s poll is meaningless. It’s doubtful any of the coaches actually vote, leaving it up to their media services representative or their hunting dog. But the media should know better. Yes, Boise is the darling of college football. And, yes, the Broncos have beaten the Wolf Pack 10 times in a row and lose a WAC game about as often as J.D. Salinger wrote a novel. But the difference between Boise and Nevada is certainly not 42-1 or even 8-1. The Wolf Pack can certainly beat Boise at home this November and win the league.

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Boise State, though, can’t seem to wait to get out of the WAC. They jumped to the Mountain West Conference this summer and now their president and head coach are alienating their chief in-state rival, the Idaho Vandals. Boise president Bob Kustra recently said Vandal fans are “nasty” and “inebriated” and he doesn’t care if his Broncos ever play the Vandals again. Petersen said he doesn’t think the Broncos should ever go to Moscow, Id., to play the Vandals ever again. The Broncos obviously think they are too good for the WAC. The two teams, by the way, play in Moscow on Nov. 12.

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Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo said this week that it was Chris Bosh’s choice not to play for the Raptors down the stetch this season. Colangelo said Bosh was medically cleared to play but the LeBron James and Dwayne Wade wannabe preferred to sit out the rest of the year. Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said earlier this month that LeBron quit on the Cavs in the playoffs. I tend to believe Colangelo and Gilbert. It’s obvious that Bosh and LeBron already knew last spring that they would go to Miami and sit in the sun with Wade. They checked out mentally and physically on the Cavaliers and Raptors this year.

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This is the year the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers both return to the playoffs. The 49ers could win the NFC West by three games and the Raiders finally have a quarterback in Jason Campbell. Both the Niners and Raiders are among the best defensive teams in the NFL. Both play in bad divisions. Figure 10 wins for both teams and a playoff berth.

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The Pac-10 announced this week that it will change its name to the Pac-12 with the addition of Utah and Colorado next year. Makes sense. Hey, at least the Pac-10 will be mathematically correct. That’s more than we can say for the Big Ten and Big 12. Next year the Big Ten will have 12 teams and the Big 12 will have 10 teams. If they just switch names, it will be extremely confusing for everyone. Since ESPN runs college sports now, why don’t they just call the Big 10 the Chris Berman Conference and the Big 12 the Stuart Scott Conference?

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USC’s treatment of Reggie Bush is becoming a joke. The Trojans are now putting out a new football media guide cover for this season. The originally media guide cover for the 2010 season listed the school’s national titles (11), bowl victories (31), Heisman Trophy winners (7), All-American First Teamers (156) and NFL players (437). The only number they are changing is the Heisman winners (to 6). If the school really wants to disown Bush completely, shouldn’t it be 10 national titles, 29 bowl victories (they were 2-1 in bowls with Bush), 155 All-Americans and 436 NFL players?

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Georgia is also trying to distance itself from its former athletic director Damon Evans who was fired after being arrested this spring for a DUI. They are taking all references of Evans out of their media guides. This is why you cannot ever treat university Web sites as if they are legitimate media outlets. They just eliminate all of the things they don’t want you to know about as if they never happened.