2010 WAC: Looking Ahead

David HedlindAnalyst IIMay 15, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 04:  Kicker Kyle Brotzman #35 of the Boise State Broncos reacts after he passes the ball on a fake punt for 29-yards in the fourth quarter against the TCU Horned Frogs during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 4, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Suddenly the rumors have started coming that the Mountain West will be active instead of reactive in all this expansion hoopla.

Currently, it has been reported that the MWC could be extending an invitation to as many as three WAC schools including Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada.

If this happens, it could cripple the WAC, especially if Boise State jumps ship.

Fresno State, Nevada and even Hawaii are solid teams but none put the WAC on the map the way Boise State does. There are a few other schools that maybe candidates to join if they make the jump from FCS to FBS or for some, when they do. None would strengthen the conference though.

Two new coaches are making their head coaching debuts this season.

Sonny Dykes goes from offensive coordinator at Arizona to head coach at Louisiana Tech where he replaces Derek Dooley who moved to Tennessee. Dykes has also had assistant jobs with Texas Tech, Kentucky and Louisiana Monroe at the DIA level.

Dick Tomey has decided to retire from his head job at San Jose State. His replacement is Mike McIntyre. McIntyre comes across the country from Duke where he was the defensive coordinator. He also brings experience from the NFL.

Two very different minded coaches, one wired for offense and one for defense. I think both are pretty good hires for the respective schools.

At the end of the season it will be interesting to see exactly how the bowls play out.

Boise State is again considered as a favorite to earn a BCS bowl. Here is where things could get interesting.

Some are considering them as potential national championship contenders.

If they don’t qualify for that but earn a BCS bowl, they could be playing in the Rose Bowl. In the event the champion of either the Big 10 or the Pac 10 go the national championship game, a qualifying non auto-qualifier takes that spot in the Rose Bowl.

Besides the addition of the Rose Bowl as a potential game, the WAC has added the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl against a Pac 10 team. The other bowls, Hawaii, Humanitarian, and New Mexico, stay connected to the conference.

I think a person would have to be crazy at this point not to take Boise State as the favorite to win the conference.

Most people see Nevada and Fresno State as the perennial challengers.

My take though is that Idaho will be a surprise contender.