The Western Athletic Conference has yet to announce the 2006 football schedule, but some unverified info has been released about a Fresno State vs Nevada opener on Friday September 1 on ESPN. Makes perfect sense, the Wolfpack were the only WAC school that had an open date the first week of the season. My guess was Pat Hill was not going to play at LSU, unless WAC commissioner Karl Benson gave Fresno State a WAC opener the first week of September before Oregon came to Bulldog Stadium the next weekend.
New Mexico State or Idaho were obvious choices because of their creampuff status, but Idaho was already scheduled to play at Michigan State September 2. NMSU still had an open date the first week of September, and looked to be the choice for the Bulldogs to play. But NMSU signed to play IAA Southeastern Louisiana on August 31. I am speculating Benson tried to get Aggie head coach Hal Mumme to move the game, but with no prevail. Thus, Nevada vs Fresno State is a likely go.
Nevada will likely be the media favorite to win the WAC this upcoming season. The "Oracle" of college football, CFN, has already said the Pack is the best team from the WAC for 2006. It will be a huge home opener for Fresno State, and there is no high school football that Friday. If there is not a sellout for Pat Hill's first ever DIA home season opener, then there will probably never be one in his career. The new coaching staff better come together quickly, as the Pack will be looking to jump ahead in the WAC with a big win over Fresno State.
If the 'Dogs were to lose, all might come crashing down with the Ducks coming to town the next week. A 6 game losing streak will not sit well with the fickle Bulldog fans. Even the ones that clamored for the LSU game will be questioning Hill for scheduling the Tigers instead of a IAA "tune up" to get the kinks out before UO. Tom Brandstater/Sean Norton will have his hands full come September. Just ask Paul Pinegar how kind Bulldog fans are when it comes to "rooting" for the quarterback.
I will post a link when available or as soon as I verify the source.