Joe Santoro: WAC should promote more than just Boise State to BCS | SierraSun.com

Joe Santoro: WAC should promote more than just Boise State to BCS

Joe Santoro
Friday Fodder

The Western Athletic Conference has hired a public relations firm to help promote Boise State as a Bowl Championship Series team. OK, fine. We have no problem with the WAC trying to promote one of its member schools. That is its job. But what about the rest of the league? Boise Stateand#8217;s problem is not that the rest of the country doesnand#8217;t know how good it is. Boiseand#8217;s problem is that WAC football is looked upon as parsley on your plate next to that big, fat juicy steak. Itand#8217;s just there to help make the steak (the BCS conference teams) look good.

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The WAC should be telling everyone about the virtues of Nevada and Fresno State, how teams like Hawaii, Louisiana Tech and Idaho can play with anyone on a given day, how San Jose State plays an extremely tough schedule and how New Mexico State went into Reno last year and outscored one of the best offenses in the nation. Maybe then, and only then, the country will respect a team that goes undefeated coming out of the WAC.

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By hiring a P.R. firm (do they even know anything about college football?) to promote Boise State, the perception is that the WAC has a financial interest in Boise State going undefeated and getting a BCS bowl invite. Of course we all know thatand#8217;s true. But do they have to be so blatant about it? Why not wait until Boise State runs the table? Itand#8217;s only a few weeks away. What happens if Nevada goes into Boise on Nov. 27 and beats the Broncos? Does that fancy P.R. firm pack its leather briefcases and go home and#8212; and leaves the WAC with a big, fat juicy bill next to its wilted piece of parsley?

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The WAC also announced this week that they have suspended a football replay official (for one week) for missing a call during last weekand#8217;s Boise State-San Jose State football game. That seems a little harsh. If the WAC was in the practice of suspending everyone for missing calls, half of the leagueand#8217;s officials would be sitting out on any given week.

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This has to be the most competitive eight-team football playoff field in the history of the Northern 4A. Any one of the eight teams could beat any of the other seven teams. There is also another team (Hug) that didnand#8217;t even make the playoffs that nobody wanted to play in the playoffs. You have to believe that the team that plays the best defense (Carson, Reed or Spanish Springs?) has the best chance of representing the North in the state title game next month.

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An interesting statistic: The eight Northern 4A playoff teams went a combined 30-9 in October and all nine losses were to teams that eventually made the playoffs. The seven teams that didnand#8217;t make the playoffs went a combined 8-26 in October and seven of the wins were against teams that didnand#8217;t make the playoffs. The other win (by Reno) was over a northern California (Watsonville) school. The moral of the story? There is no shame in losing to a good team down the stretch. But you better beat the teams you are supposed to beat.

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Since we are on the subject of beating teams you are supposed to beat, it must be pointed out that the Nevada Wolf Pack will be at San Jose State Sunday night. The Wolf Pack (5-3) will become bowl eligible by beating San Jose State and will stay atop the WAC at 5-0. If the Wolf Pack wants to, it could run for 700 yards on San Jose State and control the ball for 45 minutes. Maybe then ESPN will realize that Boise State is not the only team in the WAC that can play football.

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The Wolf Pack needs to show it has the ability to stick a dagger in a team early in a game. They let Idaho, Hawaii, Utah State and Louisiana Tech hang around too long before closing the door. Yes, they buried UNLV. But that, donand#8217;t forget, was only after UNLV quit playing after the Pack treated the Rebels like a cat treats a ball of yarn with running back Luke Lippincott tossing a touchdown pass to quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Itand#8217;s time the Pack jumps out early (enough with the 14-0 deficits, guys), keeps pounding away and puts the game away about five minutes into the third quarter. The starters could use the rest with the Fresno State game just six days away.

and#8212; Joe Santoro writes a weekly column for the Sierra Nevada Media Group.