Saturday, July 14, 2012

Working the polls: Notes and opinion, as we power rank for 2012 WAC football

(Aggie quarterback Andrew Manley)

Some notes as I'm currently doing homework on my WAC football preseason poll.

The media poll is due next week, and will be released, along with the coaches poll, on July 26.

• On paper, Louisiana Tech is the premier team in the conference, coming off a 2011 WAC championship.

A look at preseason All-WAC members on the league's respective teams according to college football guru Phil Steele, who's preseason magazine is out of this world: Louisiana Tech (21), Utah State (14), Idaho (14), San Jose State (13), New Mexico State (9), Texas State (8), Texas-San Antonio (5).

The biggest surprise here for me here? Idaho, with 14 players on the list.

• I really think some things need to break the Aggies way if they want to push the .500 mark this season — or be bowl eligible.

One of these things is to sweep their rivals in 2012. I think the University of New Mexico will be better this year — they should be better coached — although that would still figure to be a very winnable game for NMSU in Las Cruces.

UTEP was, in many respects, rebuilding last year yet somehow won in Las Cruces — that fake punt/special teams made all the difference in the Aggies 16-10 loss.

Winning at the Sun Bowl won't be easy for NMSU this season, but it's a rivalry game and anything can happen here.

Another scenario would be the Aggies winning two of three games this season against three teams in particular — Louisiana Tech, Utah State and San Jose State. No, this won't be easy, actually quite difficult.

Again, Louisiana Tech is the WAC's premier team on paper, and NMSU gets them in Las Cruces.

The Aggies also host San Jose State, a team that was much improved last year and could make a push atop the WAC standings this season.

And Utah State, another good team, will host the Aggies — this should be a tough game in Logan.

• The No. 1 key to the entire Aggies season could very well be the health and production of quarterback Andrew Manley.

Manley tore his ACL last year as NMSU did a very poor job protecting him — too many seven-step drops for the big-armed passer, and he was out for the season by the end of Week 3.

A healthy Manley has the ability to be a difference maker for the Aggies.

This actually falls in line with some of NMSU's WAC foes — look no further than Louisiana Tech and Utah State, who have signal callers Colby Cameron and Chuckie Keeton under center. Both of these players' health could very well hold the keys to their two teams' respective seasons. Cameron played very well down the stretch last year for the Bulldogs, while Keaton was a spectacular early-season player for the UtAgs before getting hurt. Both have to be out on the field for their clubs.

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Anonymous said...

Do you think Andrew McDonald could step in if Andrew Manley got hurt?

Anonymous said...

My guess is 7-5 but that requires staying healthy. Having the ball bounce our way and a good running game. Franklin needs to step up along with K Walker, can't wait for the season to start.

Anonymous said...

According to the President of the International Society of Boasters, an organization the NMSU has been a proud member of for years, fabrications are acceptable.

The Aggies could go win less and the spin machine will turn it into a successful year.

Anonymous said...

Power ranking the Weak Ass Conference doesn't sound right.

Anyways, I say 6-6 maybe even going7-5.
I believe NMSU will can be 5-1 by the time mid October rolls around (the only loss at Ohio and beating Sac. St. utep unm, UTSA & Idaho).

The schedule does get tougher after that but, wins against SJSU & Texas St. are possible.

Then again, I've predicting NMSU will sweep it's rivals for a few years now and it has yet to happen.
We'll see. Go Aggies!


Anonymous said...

I'll go with Phil Steele, the guy is usually right on or close in his predictions.

Outside of the WAC who around the nation will even care about the WAC coaches and media poll ?

What you should be keeping close eye on after this season is the number of players who will undoubtedly leave NMSU in all sports.

Speaking of leaving once again the volleyball team, that other fall sport, has a large group not returning but it won't show up until the roster is updated.

Anonymous said...

This season would be a good time to start winning if the Aggies want into another conference.

Anonymous said...


Would like to believe the 5-1, but can't see it. Not because the Aggies don't have the talent or the coaching, but because they don't know how to win.

Anonymous said...

Big Sky commish says NMSU slow to react,so whats new ?