WAC Title On The Line This Weekend

Week 12 in the WAC is a big one. A really big one.

This weekend the last WAC football champion might just be crowned. All eyes will be on Ruston, La., as No. 20 Louisiana Tech takes on Utah State with the winner being all but assured of the conference championship. In fact, either side can walk away as champion following this game, although the outcome of San Jose State’s match-up with Navy will be of importance also.

Utah State at No. 20 Louisiana Tech

Chuckie Keeton and the Utah State Aggies will look to clinch the WAC title with a win over No. 20 Louisiana Tech this weekend.

Thanks to a phenomenal offense and some inspired wins, the BCS Rankings-bothering Bulldogs have been the focal point of the conference for most of the season. But for No. 20 Louisiana Tech (9-1, 4-0 WAC), there could yet be a sting in the tail.

Less has been made of the solid season Utah State (8-2, 4-0 WAC) has had this year, but it is the Aggies who have the clearest goal going into Saturday’s high-pressure game; a win secures the WAC title for the Aggies, no questions asked.

The Bulldogs can also clinch the title with a win over the Aggies, but only if San Jose State loses to Navy on the East Coast.

Louisiana Tech has the advantage in the head-to-head series, leading Utah State 6-3 all-time. The Bulldogs have won the last two and six of the last seven. Utah State has one just once in Ruston, beating Louisiana Tech 7-3 in October 1994, back in the days of the Big West. The Aggies have won just once against BCS ranked opponents in 50 tries.

Despite history seemingly being in the favor of the Bulldogs, betting lines have seen a lot of movement. Louisiana Tech opened as three-point favorites, but as game time has neared, the pendulum has tipped in favor of the Aggies (- ½).

The over/under has seen movement also. An opening line of 68 has bumped up to 73. The total has gone over in nine of Louisiana Tech’s 10 games this season.

Brigham Young at San Jose State

San Jose State is still in the hunt for the WAC title but that may change by the time the Spartans take the field on Saturday night.

For San Jose State (8-2, 4-1 WAC), this weekend could prove triumphant or heartbreaking. The Spartans need a win to stay in the hunt but there’s a chance that the team might have been eliminated from contention before it even takes the field against Brigham Young (6-4) on Saturday.

If Utah State defeats Louisiana Tech earlier in the day, the Spartans can at best finish tied with the Aggies, and as Utah State defeated San Jose State on October 13, that’s one tiebreaker that will go in the direction of the Beehive State.

Still, there’s a game to be played and Mike MacIntyre’s side will look to knock-off the dangerous Cougars.

Saturday’s match-up marks the first time the two sides have met since 1998, and only the 12th time in history they’ve collided. BYU has taken six games to San Jose State’s five. Six of the last seven have gone to the Cougars. San Jose State’s last victory came in 1968.

Oddsmakers like BYU to take care of San Jose State, but the opening seven-point spread has shortened to three-points suggesting this could be a close one. The over/under has gone from 57 to 47.

An upset win for San Jose State and a win for Louisiana Tech means next weekend’s clash between the pair would be huge, not least because it is still possible for Louisiana Tech, Utah State, and San Jose State to all finish 5-1, leaving the WAC title to be decided by tiebreaker.

Around the Conference

Texas State (3-6, 1-3 WAC) hits the road with little but pride to play for. The Bobcats will make their way to Annapolis, Md., to take on the Navy Midshipmen (6-4), attempting to halt a three-game skid at the same time. In fact, Texas State has lost five of the last six and six of the last seven.

Navy meanwhile had a five-game winning streak snapped by Troy last weekend, and will be looking to run its way back to winning ways. The Midshipmen are heavy favorites going into this one, with the spread at 13½. The over under is 57.

Having fallen by the wayside following a hot start to the season, UTSA (6-4, 1-3 WAC) has a chance to at least finish the season with a .500 record in conference play. To do so, the Roadrunners will need to defeat Idaho (1-9, 1-3 WAC) before hosting Texas State next week.

It’s been five long weeks since the Vandals of Idaho picked up their solitary win of the season, and few expect Robb Akey’s team to win again this season. That’s the sort of motivation that could see the team flourish this weekend. Still, the Roadrunners are favorites (-6) with the over/under at 65.

 

Week 12 Schedule (in full)

Texas State (3-6, 1-3 WAC) at Navy (6-4)

Utah State (8-2, 4-0 WAC) at No. 20 Louisiana Tech (9-1, 4-0 WAC)

UTSA (6-4, 1-3 WAC) at Idaho (1-9, 1-3 WAC)

Brigham Young (6-4) at San Jose State (8-2, 4-1 WAC)

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