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WAC Football Betting Preview: 2012 Odds

Of the 11 conferences that make up college football’s Division IA, which is formally known as the Football Bowl Subdivision, no one has been more affected by realignment then the Western Athletic Conference.

It has been a revolving door in the WAC in recent years and this season is no different.

Nevada, Fresno State, and Hawaii have jumped ship for the Mountain West and in their place are Texas State and UT-San Antonio leaving just seven teams to compete for this year’s WAC title. The following is a look at a few of the top contenders to win the conference title this season along with their current odds as provided by 5Dimes.

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Head coach Sonny Dykes’ Louisiana Tech Bulldogs are clearly the class of what is left of this conference and have been opened as prohibitive -175 favorites to win this year’s WAC title. Last year’s run to the title with a perfect 6-0 record in conference play and a solid 9-3 record overall sets the stage for another successful run this season with several key starters back in the fold. Junior quarterback Colby Cameron clearly improved over the second half of last season and has some quality targets in wide receivers’ Quinton Patton and Myles White. IK Enemkpali is back to anchor the defensive line and the secondary returns three of last season’s starters.

One of the teams that could possibly give Louisiana Tech a run for its money is the Utah State Aggies, who have been opened as +425 second favorites at 5Dimes. They are coming off an 8-4 campaign including a 5-2 record in the WAC. Chuckie Keeton will most likely get the nod at quarterback but Adam Kennedy is more than capable of filling the starting role as well.

Utah State will have to plug a huge hole in its running game with the loss of Robert Turbin, but Kerwynn Williams has shown some tremendous potential to take his place. The Aggies’ defense also took a hit with the loss of linebacker Bobbie Wagner, but head coach Gary Anderson remains confident that both Tavaris McMillian and Jake Doughty can combine to fill his shoes.

The third-favorite to win the WAC at +450 is the San Jose State Spartans. The biggest question mark they have coming into this season is at quarterback. Projected starter Tate Forcier left school in January opening up a three-way battle for the starting job. David Fales appears to have the early edge, but things might not be decided until opening day. Fortunately, whoever gets the job will have a solid receiving corps led by tight end Ryan Otten and wide receiver Noel Grigsby. The main problem for the Spartans is a defense that returns just four starters from a unit that was already ranked as one of the worst in the conference last year.

The New Mexico State Aggies would have to be considered a moderate longshot at +1000 to win this year’s conference title. The Aggies are moving in the right direction with a 5-7 record last season but still have a number of holes to fill on both sides of the ball. Andrew Manley returns at quarterback after missing much of last season with a torn ACL but the team remains thin in both running backs and receivers. The defense will also have its issues with a unit that was ranked 112th in the nation in points allowed last year.

The odds to win the conference for the remaining three teams are Idaho at +1100, with Texas State and UT- San Antonio much longer odds.