Chappy's Clipboard - 2003 WAC Breakdown
By Tim Chapman Writer/Analyst


Order of Finish - Overall record (Conference record):
1. Fresno State 11-2 (8-0)
2. Hawaii 11-2 (7-1)
3. Boise State 9-4 (6-2)
T4. Louisiana Tech 6-6 (5-3)
T4. San Jose State 6-6 (5-3)
6. Tulsa 6-6 (4-4)
7. Nevada 4-8 (2-6)
8. UTEP 3-9 (2-6)
9. SMU 1-11 (1-7)
10. Rice 1-11 (0-8)

Team most likely to surprise - Tulsa… The Golden Hurricane might have caused more damage if Tyler Gooch had stayed, but this should still be a fairly disruptive team. The offense has explosives at the skill positions and the right coach running the show. If the defense can step up and hold a few more times this year (providing the offense can help them out), they should reach .500 - quite an accomplishment considering the last years' dreadful finish.

Team most likely to disappoint - Nevada… Hopes are set relatively high for the Wolfpack. After all, they do return 54 lettermen, including 17 starters on offense and defense, as well as both kickers. Does that spell relief? I'm not so sure. They have a bumpy schedule down the middle and play the three WAC beasts in their final three games to close. Frankly, a .500 season in Reno would impress me.

1. Fresno State
2. Hawaii
3. Boise State
4. San Jose State
5. Louisiana Tech

1. Boise State
2. Hawaii
3. Fresno State
4. Nevada
5. SMU

OFF BACKFIELD: Fresno State (QB Pinegar, RB R. Davis, FB Cummings… backups- QB Grady, RB D.Wright, RB Sumlin, RB Rivera)

RECEIVERS: Fresno State (WR Berrian, WR M.Davis, TE Reid, HB Greco… backups- WR Jamison, WR Gilbert, WR Jennings, WR Mackey, HB Spach, TE M.Wood, WR Fernandez)

O-LINE: Nevada (OT Parker, OG Hines, C Gosselin, OG Ross, OT Dahl … backups- OT/OG J.Tennert, OT Kiefer, OG Schneider, OG T.Willis, C Church)

D-LINE: Hawaii (DE La Boy, DT Sopoaga, DT Samuseva, DE Ala… backups- DE K.Jackson, DT Fuga, DE Kamakawiwo'ole, DT Ma'afala)

LINEBACKERS: Fresno State (OLB Adamo, MLB Dailey, OLB McGill… backups- OLB Goodman, MLB Lolohea, OLB T.Garcia, MLB R.Miller)

DEFENSIVE BACKS: Hawaii (CB Elimimian, CB Millhouse, FS Gilmore, SS H.Peters… backups- CB Patton, CB G.Wright, FS L.Peters, SS Faavae, CB A.Martinez, SAF Broadway)

SPECIAL TEAMS: UTEP (PK K.Robinson, P Benekos, KR H.Jackson, PR Fenner)

Chappy's 2003 All-WAC Team
QB Timmy Chang (jr)- HAWAII
RB Rodney Davis (sr)- FRESNO STATE
RB Eric Richardson (sr)- TULSA
FB Robbie Beck (sr)- RICE
WR Bernard Berrian (sr)- FRESNO STATE
WR Chris Norwood (sr)- LA TECH
TE Caleb Blankenship (jr)- TULSA
OT Logan Mankins (jr)- FRESNO STATE
OG Joseph Hayes (sr)- SAN JOSE STATE
C Ben Stephens (sr)- RICE
OG Uriah Moenoa (jr)- HAWAII
OT Alan Parker (sr)- NEVADA

DE Travis LaBoy (sr)- HAWAII
DT Isaac Sopoaga (sr)- HAWAII
DT Allan Adami (jr)- SMU
DE Jorge Cordova (sr)- NEVADA
OLB Bryce McGill (sr)- FRESNO STATE
ILB Daryl Towns (sr)- NEVADA
ILB Jeff Vanover (sr)- RICE
OLB Andy Avalos (jr)- BOISE STATE
CB Kelvin Millhouse (sr)- HAWAII
CB Gabe Franklin (jr)- BOISE STATE
FS Gerald Jones (sr)- SAN JOSE STATE
SS Tim Woodard (sr)- UTEP

KO Tyler Jones (jr)- BOISE STATE
PK Keith Robinson (jr)- UTEP
P Derek Jones (sr)- NEVADA
KR Quinton Jones (fr)- BOISE STATE
PR Tim Gilligan (sr)- BOISE STATE


TOUGHEST SCHEDULE: Fresno State… It's becoming tradition to put Pat Hill's squad in this category- that's because he wouldn't want it any other way. This year the Bulldogs open up with consecutive bouts against Tennessee (away), Oregon State, and Oklahoma (away). They must also take back-to-back road trips to Colorado State and Hawaii then wind down the year with home games against San Jose State and Boise State. Phew. If they want respect, they'll definitely have to earn it this year.

WEAKEST SCHEDULE: Rice… Aside from a home game vs. Texas in late September, the Owls get off fairly easy. Road trips to Houston and Duke, along with a home game against Navy and no Boise State on the itinerary gives the Owls a fairly favorable chance at pulling off some wins. Will they though? Don't bet on it.

BEST COACHING STAFF: Boise State…It's hard to argue against numbers. Dan Hawkins and his staff are 20-5 since being planted in the Blue Turf of Boise, including a Humanitarian Bowl victory and #12 ranking at the end of last season. His offensive coordinator, Chris Peterson, was a finalist for the Broyles Award (top assistant coach) and his offenses have put up astronomical numbers the last three years. DC Ron Collins has also helped the cause, giving the Broncos a pretty feisty bunch going after the ball.

MOST TO PROVE: Fresno State QB Paul Pinegar… Pinegar was thrust into his freshman season a little earlier than planned, but sowed the seeds of greatness. Now, with expectations high, it is his time to blossom and take the Bulldogs to new heights. He certainly has the arm and the poise to do so, but he must also find patience, as FSU toils through a 13-game slate.

MOST TO GAIN: Boise State MLB Chris Barrios… Much of the (opposing) offensive focus will be on handling OLBs Avalos and Burgher, leaving Barrios free to move laterally without giving up much, if any, ground. Providing the defensive line doesn't collapse, expect Barrios to finish the season as Boise's top tackler.

OVERRATED: SMU RB Keylon Kincade... Sure, he had 1279 rushing yards, but only averaged 3.9 a pop. That number doesn't exactly jump out and frighten most (though he would if he were barreling down on me). In fact, he may need to watch his back, as last year's projected starter, ShanDerrick Charles, returns from injury and is more of a big-play back than Kincade. Boy, it seems like a long time since the Pony Express, doesn't it?

UNDERRATED: San Jose State QB Scott Rislov… Ole Scotty 'Slov put up some outstanding numbers a season ago, and barely raked the credit. He completed 61 percent of his throws for 3,251 yards and 22 TDs. He brings back three of his top four receivers, a talented new TE, and an exciting RB. Yeah, you go ahead and underestimate him.

BEST PLAYER NOBODY KNOWS: San Jose State DE Phillip Perry... Outside of California, his name is not recognized readily. He was in on 74 tackles a year ago, and added seven sacks, 14.5 TFLs and seven forced fumbles - Ouch! He will certainly garner some double-teams and, by season's end, some national recognition.


Oct. 11th FRESNO ST at Hawaii
Nov. 22nd Boise State at FRESNO ST
Dec 6th Boise State at HAWAII
Oct. 25th San Jose State at BOISE ST
Sept. 20th Louisiana Tech at FRESNO STATE
(team in BOLD-CAPS is Chappy's pick to win)