Unlike basketball, which has a distinct line between the non-conference and conference games, college football blends its games from start to finish. For example, BYU started its season with a league game against UTEP, but will play non-league foe Utah State nearly three months later on Nov. 24.
It's impossible for all nine Western Athletic Conference teams to play league games the same week and it's rare for eight of them to play "counters" the same week. It only happens twice all season, but one of those occasions is this Saturday when the WAC plays a full slate of league games with BYU hosting San Diego State, Utah home against Hawaii, Wyoming playing host to Air Force and UTEP at Colorado State. Only New Mexico, which plays host to Texas Tech, won't be playing a WAC contest.Although it's still early, this week's games could determine which teams won't win the WAC this year.
Never in WAC history - remember, that's 26 years - has the WAC champion lost as many as two games. That means perennial contenders Air Force and Hawaii, who each have one loss, could both be eliminated from title consideration with losses this week at Wyoming and Utah. So could UTEP with a loss at Colorado State.
If Air Force, Hawaii and UTEP all win, only two teams, 0-0 New Mexico and the BYU-San Diego winner, will still be unbeaten.
WAC TRIVIA: BYU set a WAC record for most points in quarter with its 36-point outburst against Washington State, beating the old mark of 35. What is the national record for points in a quarter and by whom?
CORRECT TIME: Does anybody really know what time it is?
At least five different times have been given for this week's BYU-San Diego State game. The game tickets as well as the Ty Detmer poster/schedule list the game start as 1:30 p.m. The BYU media guide puts the starting time at 1:15. The San Diego State and WAC media guides say 12:30 p.m. The latest WAC release says kickoff will be at 1:13 p.m. Then early this week BYU officials came out saying the game would be at 1 p.m.
After doing some checking around all we can say is this: Be in your seats by 1 o'clock (but don't expect the opening kickoff for another 13 minutes).
POINTS ARE DECEIVING: Final point totals can often be deceiving. Such as Wyoming's 34 points against Arkansas State last week.
It looked like your typical four touchdowns with four extra points and two field goals. Or perhaps five touchdowns with one missed extra point out of five.
Here's what it actually was: Two touchdowns, two extra points, six field goals and a safety.
The six field goals by Sean Fleming were from 32, 22, 53, 30, 18 and 42 yards. That set a WAC record and earned Fleming WAC offensive player of the week honors.
SATURDAY PICKS: Last week's Utah-over-Fresno State pick was a real dumb one in retrospect, but the others turned out right. This week, three of the five games are toughies.
Air Force (2-1) at Wyoming (3-0), noon - Always one of the best WAC games of the year. The only difference may be the home field . . . Wyoming 20-17.
UTEP (1-2) at Colorado State (2-1), noon - Two years ago the Miners beat the Rams by 20 points. This time it will be worse, only with the Rams on top . . . Colorado State 40-16.
San Diego State (1-1) at BYU (3-0), 1 p.m. - Expect another high-scoring, pass-happy, four-hour contest . . . BYU 46-28.
Texas Tech (0-2) at New Mexico (1-2), 3 p.m. - The Raiders gave up 435 yards passing to Houston last week. Watch for Jeremy Leach to have a similar field day . . . New Mexico 31-24.
Hawaii (0-2) at Utah (2-1), 7 p.m. - This one has us stymied. After the Rainbows lost at Air Force, we vowed never to pick them on the mainland again. But after seeing Utah lose to Fresno last week . . . Hawaii 24-20.