It was a busy, and eventful morning at the WAC Football Preview Monday with coaches, players and administrators gathering to kick off the football season.
Here are a few of the highlights from the meetings in form of quick-hit news items, notes and quotes.
First, a basketball-related note: The WAC tournament will reward regular season success. Following the West Coast Conference model, the No. 1 and 2 seeds will receive byes into the semifinal games.
On to football — here’s a closer look at the new USU helmets with their blue flake paint scheme and the Merlin Olsen tribute sticker.
The WAC has guaranteed tie-ins to four bowl games this year. The New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 18, 2 p.m.), the Humanitarian Bowl (Dec. 18, 5:30 p.m.), the Hawaii Bowl (Dec. 24, 8 p.m.) and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (Jan. 9, 9 p.m.) in San Francisco. There is also a possible spot in a BCS bowl if Boise State performs as many expect, and another spot in the Poinsettia Bowl if one of the other teams does not qualify.
Representatives from six bowl games were in attendance at the WAC meetings, including the New Mexico, Humanitarian, Kraft Fight Hunger, Fiesta and Rose Bowls.
Fresno State coach Pat Hill on USU quarterback Diondre Borel: “I don’t know how he gets wet in the shower, he is quick.”
Speaking of Borel, the USU quarterback put on about 15 pounds over the offseason. “Just trying to gain weight so the hits won’t be so harsh,” he said. “I want to be more intimidating.” And then everyone at the table chuckled at the thought of Borel scaring people with his size instead of his quicks.
San Jose State received nine points in the coaches poll. That means the Spartans were a unanimous choice to finish last.
Boise State is headed to the MWC, as you should well know by now. One WAC school that wants to see the Broncos every year in the future, though, is Idaho. The Vandals are campaigning openly to have the traditional in-state rivalry continue as a home-and-home series. BSU coach Chris Peterson, however, isn’t too keen on that idea. “Why would we? I don’t think our fans even like to go up there.”
Follow me at twitter.com/DesNewsEborn for the latest Utah State updates and news.