(Note: It's funny to us that the cover says "BCS Busters" when we all know.....Tom Brandstater and Ian Johnson ARE a couple of busters......)
Every year at this time, a number of college football previews come out. Some tend to be pretty close to accurate, others seem to be far off.
I'd like to take a look at each this off season and recap for you how they feel about our Wolf Pack. And also critique how they feel about our Wolf Pack. And lastly how they feel about our WAC brethren.
The first of these magazines is the Western Addition of Athlon. I would review the regular College Football Preview by Athlon. But standing in the local Border's and quickly thumbing through it I realized that the Western would have everything the national contained plus quite a bit more about the WAC so there is no need to do that.
Athlon's take on the Pack:
Athlon picks the Wolf Pack to be the #3 team in the WAC and the #68 team overall. The overall write up is similar to what the general vibe seems to be out there amongst non Pack fans. Than Nevada is a dangerous team and is on the upswing but is still one more year away from really challenging Fresno and Boise for the WAC. The offense will be hard to stop. The defense is a huge question mark.
We respectfully disagree but do understand the WAC ranking is fair at present. #48 would sound much more along the lines of national rank.
Athlon's preseason All WAC team:
Wolf Pack Players on 1st Team; RB Luke Lippincott, DE Kevin Basped
Wolf Pack Players on 2nd Team; QB Colin Kaepernick, WR Marko Mitchell, C Dominic Green, OL Alonzo Durham, DT Mundrae Clifton, ILB Josh Mauga
Wolf Pack Players on 3rd Team; OL Greg Hall
We feel that they got Luke right and actually got Kevin right, which they must have done their homework on because outside of Packland we didn't know that many knew about him. We felt that with the second team players, if they weren't first team they sure as hell better have been there. And we did like that Greg was listed on the 3rd team.
Athlon's Take on the Top 20 Incoming Recruits:
#3 is RB Michael Ball
We felt they missed on Thad Brown
Athlon's Take on Position Rank within the Conference:
#2 QB's, #2 OL, #3 RB, #3 LB, #4 DL, #5 WR/TE, #9 DB
Ok, here's the thing. How can they say that Kaepernick is 2nd team All WAC, but is not the clear starter because of Graziano (admitting we have two top level QB's) and then we are not #1? Are you serious that Colin and Nick combined are behind Touchdown Tommy Brandstater and whoever his backup is? Get real! Also, how can we be the #1 rushing attack last year and return 6 offensive linemen with starting experience and not be the #1 OL unit? I also think that #5 at WR is a little low. DB is understandable because we don't have positions determined yet.
Athlon's Rising Star for the Pack:
Red Shirt Freshman Linebacker Brandon Marshall
We agree and would love to see Brandon step up and get in the mix this season.
Athlon's Crucial Game:
At Hawaii Oct 25th.
As much as we feel Boise State at Mackay is THEE crucial game because it will be for a WAC championship at the end of the season, it's hard to disagree with Athlon. We haven't won on the rock yet and it should be a 4-0 start heading into the bye week before Fresno State when we grab that win.
Athlon's College Football Fantasy Draft Rankings:
For those of you who are looking for something else to do, Athlon provides us with their staff picks over the first four rounds as well as their fantasy rank for each position. Wolf Pack players are: #24 QB Colin Kaepernick, #17 RB Luke Lippincott, #35 WR Marko Mitchell. Lippincott is rated the #35 overall fantasy player (all positions) and was picked with the 25th pick in the staff draft.
Now a quick over view of other WAC teams:
#1 FSU (25 overall) They'll be higher than this mid season but finish around 35.
#2 BSU (47 overall) They'll be higher at the end of the season, around 45.
#4 UH (77 overall) That's about right.
#5 ULT (96 overall) They'll be higher at the end of the season, around 79.
#6 SJSU (99 overall) They'll be higher at the end of the season, around 85.
#7 NMSU (105 overall) That's about right.
#8 USU (117 overall) They'll be higher at the end of the season, around 101.
#9 UI (118 overall) 119.
Now normally we don't stick up for other WAC scum, but this is a bit ridiculous. We all know that LaTech, San Jose, and New Mexico St are not in the bottom 23 teams in college football. LaTech will play a tough OOC schedule, San Jose and New Mexico won't be great, but will play tough. We also don't think that Utah State will be the 3rd worst team in football. And lastly, if Idaho is not #119, we want to know who is.......