The knotmove.com Western Athletic Conference football power rankings for the Week of Sept. 26 . . .
1. NEVADA (1-2, 1-0): A 1-2 team on top of the WAC rankings? Yeah, well, that’s the kind of year it’s been in the WAC. The Wolf Pack had Texas Tech beaten last week on the road. But the defense (heard this one before?) betrayed them once again. The good news is that coach Chris Ault finally has his quarterbacks playing well, the running game seems to be solid and this team will likely average 35 points a game from here on out. The bad news is that their own defense is their biggest nemesis every week.
2. FRESNO STATE (2-2, 1-0): The Bulldogs blitzed Idaho last week, 48-24, as Derek Carr threw for 371 yards and five touchdowns. The brother of David Carr is justifying the hype, folks. The Bulldogs will be able to score on anybody. We can’t wait for the shootout at Nevada later this year. They can run (Robbie Rouse had 112 yards last week) and throw (Jalen Saunders and Rashad Eveans combined to catch 12 passes for 223 yards and three scores last week). But they also need to find some help on the other side of the ball.
3. HAWAII (2-2, 0-0): How do you lose to UNLV? OK, I know, it was a couple weeks ago. But that is the type of loss that will stick with you for a decade. The Warriors rebounded to destroy poor UC Davis last week, 56-14. Quarterback Bryant Moniz passed for 424 yards and seven touchdowns in the first half on 30-of-40 passing. What, exactly, are you proving by throwing 40 passes on UC Davis in the first half?
4. UTAH STATE (1-2, 0-0): The Aggies lost a tough one last week, 35-34, to Colorado State in overtime. Maybe this is why they prefer to stay in the WAC instead of jumping to the Mountain West. Robert Turbin makes the Aggies a pain in the neck for the rest of the WAC this year. The running back had 115 yards and four scores against Colorado State so at least the Aggies can put some points on the board this year. Senior linebacker Bobby Wagner had 17 tackles. Has there ever been a guy in NCAA history who makes so many meaningless tackles each week for a team that regularly gives up 30-plus points a game? Can’t anyone else on the Aggies roster make a tackle?
5. SAN JOSE STATE (1-3, 1-1): The Spartans beat New Mexico State 34-24 last week as Matt Faulkner tossed two touchdown passes to Ryan Otten and Brandon Rutley ran for 209 yards and two scores. Had Faulkner started a week ago against Nevada the Spartans might very well be 2-0 in league play. The victory broke a 13-game losing streak for San Jose. This is a program that is getting better.
6. LOUISIANA TECH (1-3, 0-0): The Bulldogs simply don’t know how to win yet. Two weeks ago they blew a 34-7 lead in a 35-34 loss to Houston. This past week they lost 26-20 to Mississippi State in overtime. The Bulldogs, though, could be ready to turn the corner soon. Quarterback Nick Isham pased for 233 yards and a touchdown. But two interceptions — one crucial one in overtime — still plague him and the Bulldogs. As soon as Isham cuts out the mistakes we’ll see this team climb the standings.
7. NEW MEXICO STATE (1-3, 0-1): The Aggies are at least in most of their games this year. Two weeks ago they lost 16-10 to rival UTEP and this past week they got beat by San Jose State by 10. They simply just don’t have enough talent to be able to compete with most teams in this mediocre league.
8. IDAHO (1-3, 0-1): The Vandals fell to Fresno State, 48-24, last week and let Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr shred them for 371 yards and five scores. The good news for Idaho is that Hawaii, Fresno and Nevada are leaving the league after this year.