2012 Western Athletic Conference Preview
NCAA Football 2012 Conference Betting Previews- Western Athletic Conference
The mass exodus of schools from the Western Athletic Conference has left this Mid-Major on life-support with its future in serious doubt, but do not tell that to the seven remaining teams that are left to compete for this season’s conference title.
The following is a brief look as a few of the top contenders in the WAC along with their odds to win the conference championship as provided by BetDSI.
The team at the head of the class is the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. Head coach Sonny Dykes’ squad has been opened as a -175 favorite to claim its second-straight WAC title after rolling through the competition last season with a perfect 6-0 record and 9-3 mark overall. The Bulldogs return a number of key starters on both sides of the ball that should help them pick-up where they left off. Junior quarterback Colby Cameron did an excellent job down the stretch last season and he will have two of his favorite targets back in wide receivers Quinton Patton and Myles White. The defense will have IK Enemkpali back to anchor the defensive line and the secondary remains basically intact with three of four starters returning from last year’s team.
The Utah State Aggies have been opened as distant +425 second favorites, but are more than capable of making things interesting. The Aggies posted an 8-4 record overall and a 5-2 record in conference play in 2011 and return some key pieces of the puzzle to duplicate this success in 2012. Chuckie Keeton and Adam Kennedy will vie for the starting quarterback job with the edge going to Keeton at this point. The offense will have to find a way to replace running back Robert Turbin, who is now in the NFL but Kerwynn Williams appears ready to try and fill those shoes. Linebacker Bobbie Wagner is also off to the NFL, but Utah State still has Tavaris McMillian and Jake Doughty to fill that hole. Things will have to come together quickly for the Aggies, but do not count them out of this race.
Another team that has high aspirations for this season is the San Jose State Spartans, who have been opened as +450 third-favorites to win the WAC. They will first have to figure out which of the three quarterbacks they have on the roster will lineup behind center on opening day after projected starter Tate Forcier left the team earlier this year. David Fales should end up getting the nod, but nothing will be set in stone all season long. Fortunately, the Spartans have a solid receiving corps led by tight end Ryan Otten and wide receiver Noel Grigsby. The main issue for San Diego State is fixing a defense that returns just four starters from a unit that was not very good to begin with.
The only other team that may have an outside shot at a title run is the New Mexico State Aggies at +1000. This program continues to improve and was actually better than last season’s 5-7 record might indicate. None the less, right now there are still more questions than answers on both sides of the ball. The Aggies will get Andrew Manley back at quarterback after missing much of last season with a torn ACL but they will need some players to step up at the rest of the skill positions. There is major work to be done on the defensive side of the ball considering that this unit was ranked 112th in the nation last year in points allowed.
The odds to win the conference for the remaining three teams are Idaho at +1100, Texas State at +2500, and UT- San Antonio at +2500.
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