Friday, October 06, 2006
Fresno State vs. Utah State
At the beginning of the season I thought going into the Utah State game we would be 3-1. It never crossed my mind that the Bulldogs would actually be 1-3 t this point in the season. However, that is exactly where we stand at this point in time. The Utah State game is going to be much tougher than most of us would hope mainly because we aren't a very good team right now. This game reminds me of one we played in 2004 after we had lost three straight WAC games and everyone wondered what was going to happen the rest of the season. Instead the Bulldogs went out and pummelled SMU 42-0 in what was one of Pinegar's best games of his career. True it came against lowly SMU but it was a confidence builder that led to six straight wins and a finish in the top 25 nationally. Utah State may be just the game that could springboard the Dogs back into the mix this season. If Brandstater can come out and establish himself this game it possibly could lead to more confidence leading into the Hawaii game. If this Fresno State team can figure out a way to beat Hawaii they will have a chance to win every remaining game on their schedule. Hawaii in my opinion is the hardest remaining game we have left, but it all starts with Utah State.
Utah State is not a good team, but they do have some momentum going into the game. They scored 21 points last week, their biggest offensive output of the season. They will be starting a new QB which always seems to give teams some momentum if for no other reason than the fact a change is being made. This game will be much closer than any of us as Fresno State fans want it to be. I keep believing that Fresno State's offense is going to explode but it just hasn't done it quite yet this year. I feel like this will be Brandstater's make or break game. He will either perform amazing and lead us to a big win, or once again perform mediocre leading to a change at QB. Pat Hill believes in Brandstater but you can tell that Hill will replace him if he does not do the job in this game. Hill knows he has little room for error with Hawaii, LSU, and Boise State coming up so expect him to have a relatively short leash with Brandstater this weekend, something we are not used to. Hill will have to get Norton reps before a game against Hawaii and he knows this. If he wants Norton to be sharp he knows he will have to get him some snaps in this game. So as I said, if Brandstater struggles look for Norton to come in and take his spot in this one.
Fresno State should be able to put up 40 points in this game, Idaho did last weekend against Utah State and they are absolutely one of the worst teams in the nation. If the Bulldogs score 40 they will win this game with relative ease, but this is Fresno State so don't expect that to happen. We have a problem with playing down to our opponents level. I wouldn't be surprised to see it happen again tomorrow.
Boise and the BCS - Last night was a very good night for Boise State without having to step on the field. With Florida State losing the ACC is becoming a very disappointing conference. With the new BCS rules in place Boise needs to finish in the top 12 in order to qualify automatically for a BCS game. However, if Boise finishes in the top 16 they still have a great shot to play in a BCS game. If there is no team from the ACC ranked higher than Boise and the Broncos finish at 13-16, they will qualify for a BCS game as an undefeated mid-major conference winner. The chances of this happening are very good now that Miami and Florida State each have two losses. Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and Clemson are all good teams, but none are good enough to run the remainder of their schedules without another loss meaning that each team in the ACC will have at least two losses. Hopefully Boise will represent the WAC well if they go undefeated. They will be underdogs in whatever BCS bowl game they play, but the Broncos offense is good enough to hang with just about anyone so we will see how this turns out. Not to mention that if a WAC team does make a BCS game it will help the conference as a whole as that is a great amount of money for the entire conference to split.
WAC Weekend Schedule: WAC play finally begins as four games take place this weekend with the highlight game being Nevada @ Hawaii.
1) Nevada @ Hawaii - Nevada is a good team, but Hawaii is different this year. Look for Hawaii to win this game by two touchdowns.
2) New Mexico State @ Idaho - Chase Holbrook could throw for 600 yards in this game if Mumme lets him throw the ball that much. New Mexico State could pull out a close one here.
3) La. Tech @ Boise St. - Biggest mismatch of the weekend. Look for Boise to win big.
4) Fresno State @ Utah State - Will be closer than Bulldog fans want it to be but Fresno will pull out a tough one.
Notre Dame's BCS Deal - I didn't realize this until today but Notre Dame makes money off of the BCS even if they don't participate in a game. Because of the agreement the BCS made with Notre Dame the Golden Domers receive 1.3 million dollars regardless if they play in a BCS game or not. Now I am not saying Notre Dame is cheating the system but how exactly is this fair? Why is it that Notre Dame seems to get special treatment with respect to college football and the rules of the game? It is almost as if they make an entire set of rules that does not apply to Notre Dame. Just wondering if anyone else has noticed this and cares to comment on it.