WAC 2011 Odds Preview
Contenders for the WAC championship don't have to worry about Boise State anymore now that the Broncos, who won or shared eight of the previous nine WAC titles, have moved to the Mountain West.
* Editor note: See the 2012 WAC odds preview here.
Last year Boise State, Nevada and Hawaii finished in a three-way tie atop the WAC, and the Wolf Pack and Warriors lead the Bovada betting for this year's conference title:
Nevada Wolf Pack (Odds to Win WAC at Bovada 2/1)
Nevada returns 12 starters from a team that has gone 14-2 in the WAC the last two seasons. The Pack lost QB Colin Kaepernick and 1,600-yard rusher Vai Taua, but gets back three starters on the o-line and seven on defense. And, very importantly, Nevada gets Hawaii and Fresno State at home.
Hawaii Warriors (Odds to Win WAC at Bovada 5/2)
Hawaii went 7-1 in the WAC last year, losing only at Boise State. This year the Warriors return the best QB in the conference in Bryant Moniz, but only get back two other starters on offense and six on defense. And while they'll probably field the best defensive front seven in the league, they have to play at Nevada in November.
Fresno State Bulldogs (Odds to Win WAC at Bovada 3/1)
The Bulldogs return just 10 starters to a team that is 11-5 in WAC play the last two years. They lose their starting QB but expect good things from Derek Carr, David's younger brother. And they get back 1,100-yard rusher Robbie Rouse. They do, however, have to play at Nevada and Hawaii.
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (Odds to Win WAC at Bovada 6/1)
These 'Dogs get back 13 starters for their second season under head coach Sonny Dykes. Tech went 4-4 in the WAC last year, their first running the spread. While they lose their starting QB they return 1,100-yard rusher Lennon Creer, their top two receivers, and seven on defense. However, they have to play at Fresno State and Nevada.
Idaho Vandals (Odds to Win WAC at Bovada 14/1)
Idaho returns 12 starters, eight on defense, from last year's 3-5 WAC team.
San Jose State Spartans (Odds to Win WAC at Bovada 16/1)
The Spartans went 0-8 in the WAC last year, but four of those losses were by one score or less. This year San Jose State gets back a league-high 18 starters, including the entire defense, and they get Nevada and Hawaii at home.
Utah State Aggies (Odds to Win WAC at Bovada 20/1)
Utah State returns 14 starters, nine on offense, including four on the o-line, for its third season under head coach Gary Andersen.
New Mexico State Aggies (Odds to Win WAC at Bovada 33/1)
The Aggies get back 16 starters, nine on offense, including the entire o-line, after going 1-7 in the WAC each of the last four seasons.