Whew, talk about updates galore. We’ve been slacking slightly on the video stories, but these babies are back in full swing. Front and center — a recap of Idaho’s weekend and looking ahead to the WAC tournament. Excitement abound.
We’re ramping up hoops coverage here at Vandal Nation — but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about football.
Idaho’s Chelsea Small became the first Vandal ever named to the soccer All-WAC First Team. She led the WAC in shots with 101, scoring eight goals and adding four assists to lead the Vandals.
Now for your morning links.
- The WAC has suspended a replay official after blowing a first down call in the San Jose State/Boise State game.
- ESPN’s Graham Watson picks Idaho over Fresno State in her “upset special” of the week. She says the Vandals’ high-powered offense will overcome Ryan Mathews’ ground-pounding.
- The Idaho Press-Tribune’s Jake Alger says the Vandals have nothing left to prove.
- Football on the Fringe projects Idaho to wind up in one of the H-Bowls — the Humanitarian Bowl if Boise State goes to the BCS, the Hawaii Bowl if not.
- The Reno Gazette-Journal ranks Idaho fourth in the WAC.
- Raymond Partsch of The Town Talk says Louisiana Tech coach Derek Dooley has disappointed this season.
- The Lewiston Tribune’s Jesse Baumgartner blogs his WAC predictions.
- Fresno State has a secret formula for blocking kicks, The Fresno Bee’s Bryant-Jon Anteola reports.
- Nevada Wolf Pack coach David Carter says his team needs to focus on defense and rebounding, reports the Reno Gazette-Journal’s Chris Murray.
- Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News posts up his thoughts from NMSU’s season-opening exhibition game. He also has a report on two of the Aggies’ new frontcourters. (h/t to Bleed Crimson)
- Defiantly Dutch predicts the Colonial Athletic Association. No, it’s not WAC, but it’s another quality mid-major league.
Morning breaks with the news that the Idaho/Boise State game is under consideration for ESPN’s College GameDay. The Idaho Statesman reports that Idaho needs to win at least one — and preferably both — of its games between now and Nov. 14. The good news? Both are at home. The bad news? Fresno State comes to town in two weeks with one of the nation’s most dangerous rushers.
With that, here’s today’s links:
- The Argonaut has my game story from the Vandals’ loss at Nevada.
- The Argonaut’s Jennifer Schlake features Idaho kicker Trey Farquhar.
- ESPN’s Graham Watson reports that one of Louisiana Tech’s wide receivers — who also punted — has left the team. The Bulldogs have just three remaining healthy wideouts.
- Juan Lopez of the Nevada Sagebrush says forget the defense, just keep piling on the points.
- Ethan Conley of the Monroe News-Star looks at Louisiana Tech’s offensive struggles.
- The Lewiston Tribune’s Jesse Baumgartner posts up his WAC power rankings.
- Matt Markey of the Toledo Blade looks at Ohio State’s preparations to face the “FBS’ worst offense” — New Mexico State.
- Jason Kaneshiro of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin follows up on the Warriors’ quarterback injury woes.
- We posted up the second half of our interview with Vandal center Marvin Jefferson. Check it out, and read the first part if you missed it.
- The Argonaut’s Lisa Short previews this week’s matchups, including Gonzaga today and New Mexico State on Thursday.
- Ilya Pinchuk of The Argonaut reports from the Vandals’ double road loss, which makes getting into the WAC Tournament an iffy proposition.
- The Argonaut’s Theo Lawson has the story from Idaho’s tournament play in Las Vegas.
A drizzly, dark morning in Moscow to kick off Homecoming week. Fitting, given the usual weather patterns here — and the Vandals’ ugly performance in Reno this weekend. They’ll be looking to bounce back against Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
A few programming notes: Beginning on Wednesday, we’ll be joining with Nevada Sagebrush sports editor Juan Lopez for a weekly live chat about Western Athletic Conference sports. The chat will run every Wednesday afternoon from 3 to 4 p.m. Pacific — we’ll break down the week that was, preview the week ahead and answer your questions.
Also, hoops season kicks off this week — we’ll preview Friday’s Silver and Gold Scrimmage and have live coverage from the sidelines.
Now to the links… which are fairly thin, as per usual for a Monday morning.
- ESPN’s Graham Watson puts the Vandals 10th on her non-AQ Power Rankings, noting Idaho’s offensive success.
- The Lewiston Tribune’s Jesse Baumgartner grades out the Vandals’ performance in Reno.
- The Reno Gazette-Journal’s Dan Hinxman breaks down the Pistol offense, which gave Idaho’s defense so much trouble. He also has a Monday Review of the Wolf Pack.
- Stephen Tsai of the Honolulu Advertiser reports on Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz, who suffered a concussion in the Warriors’ blowout loss to Boise State.
- Bleed Crimson’s Sam Wasson has a photo gallery from the New Mexico State Aggies’ defeat at the hands of Fresno State. The Las Cruces Sun-News’ Teddy Feinberg reports from the game, where NMSU put up just 3 points.
- Jimmy Watson of the Shreveport Times says Louisiana Tech’s hopes of going bowling are “dim” after a hard-fought loss at Utah State.
- We collaborated with Sam Wasson of Bleed Crimson to put together Rush The Court’s 2009-10 Western Athletic Conference preview. Check it out.
- Parsing the WAC’s Kevin McCarthy puts together his list of impact newcomers for each WAC team.
- Jared Eborn of the Deseret News reports on an injury to Utah State’s Pooh Williams, which will keep him out of the early non-conference season.
- The Fresno State Collegian has a story on the Vandals’ loss to the Bulldogs down in Fresno, which may doom Idaho’s hopes of making the six-team WAC Tournament.
Vandal Nation is waking up to a reality it hasn’t experienced since 1999: Idaho is bowl-eligible after defeating Hawaii on Saturday.
The stats are pretty stunning: a 6-1 overall record and a conference-leading 3-0 record in the WAC. Running back DeMaundray Woolridge is ranked seventh in the nation in scoring and quarterback Nathan Enderle is 18th nationally in passing efficiency. (Thanks to SID extraordinaire Spencer Farrin for those stats.)
Vandal defensive end Aaron Lavarias earned WAC Defensive Player of the Week honors after a four-tackle, two-sack day that included a forced fumble on the second sack, leading to Idaho’s game-clinching touchdown. Lavarias is the sixth Idaho player so honored this season, equaling the Vandals’ Player of the Week total for the last three years.
Also, this isn’t WAC news, but it’s worthy of your attention nonetheless: Montana Grizzlies football coach Bobby Hauck is freezing out student journalists. He’s belittled them, sworn at them and refused to speak to them — all because they had the gall to report the truth about his team.
There’s a lot of talk about Idaho — look what happens when you win a few games — so let’s get to your morning links:
- The Seattle Times’ Bud Withers explores Idaho’s “dream season” and Robb Akey’s leadership.
- ESPN.com’s Graham Watson ranks Idaho 8th among non-AQ teams and awarded the entire team a helmet sticker.
- Happily, Hawaii receiver Rodney Bradley, who broke his leg in the Warriors’ loss, is expected to make a full recovery, the Honolulu Advertiser’s Stephen Tsai reports.
- The Argonaut’s Jennifer Schlake reports from the Vandals’ 35-23 victory.
- ESPN’s Mark May gave DeMaundray Woolridge a helmet sticker for his four-touchdown game against Hawaii.
- USA Today writer Erick Smith says Akey should be in the mix for national Coach of the Year.
- Reno Gazette-Journal writer Dan Hinxman has a Monday Review of the Wolf Pack’s win over Utah State.
- Honolulu Star-Bulletin columnist Dave Reardon has a bleak outlook on the rest of Hawaii’s season.
- The NMSU Round Up looks at the week that was in the WAC.
- AggieNoise.com has a post-mortem on Utah State’s loss to Nevada.
- In recruiting news, Kevin McCarthy of Parsing the WAC notes that combo guard Nick Bennett made a trip to Moscow this weekend.
- Another rivalry renewed: Idaho defeated Boise State on the soccer field yesterday, 3-1. The victory, Argonaut reporter Ilya Pinchuk tells us, was the Vandals’ first against the Broncos since 2003.
- Logan Herald-Journal reporter Joey Hislop looks at tonight’s nationally-televised volleyball match between Utah State and Idaho. The game begins at 8 p.m. Pacific, and is being broadcast on ESPNU.
Brrrrr… the weather outside says it’s getting to be basketball season on the Palouse. Hoops practice begins Friday.
Posting will be a bit sporadic today — we’ve got a couple big interviews to work on.
But as always, here’s your morning dose of Western Athletic Conference news and notes.
- The Argonaut’s Jennifer Schlake has a game wrapup from the Vandals’ victory over San Jose State.
- I’ve got a feature story on Max Komar, a kid who started as a walk-on, endured the years of futility and is now the leading receiver on a winning football team. Click here for the Web-only unedited Q&A.
- ESPN.com’s Pat Forde calls Idaho’s resurgence the “Miracle in Moscow,” crediting coach Robb Akey for rebuilding a broken program.
- The Reno Gazette-Journal’s Dan Hinxman talks about the WAC’s two Idaho teams on the verge of bowl eligibility.
- Vandal defensive back linebacker Tre’Shawn Robinson was officially reprimanded by the WAC after being ejected from the SJSU game for throwing a punch. ESPN.com’s Graham Watson has the story.
- Honolulu Star-Bulletin columnist Dave Reardon thinks Idaho’s wins aren’t very impressive, and picks the Warriors to win.
- Mike Christensen of the Twin Falls Times-News says the Vandals have become one of the best clutch teams in college football.
- Football on the Fringe has a midseason report card on the New Mexico State Aggies.
- Inside Sparta’s Mike Morgan reports from SJSU coach Dick Tomey’s Monday press conference.
- The Reno Gazette-Journal’s Chris Murray picks Louisiana Tech to finish sixth in the WAC.
- The Refraction, Utah State’s “cold-blooded wrecking machine” newsletter, makes their WAC preseason predictions — putting Idaho third.
It’s Monday morning, and as usual there’s a bunch of links looking at the weekend that was in college football.
It’ll be a mainly-hoops day on Vandal Nation: we’ll have a breakdown of our Preseason All-WAC ballot and the first of nine team previews, in reverse order of predicted finish.
But first, the links — with a heavy dose of Hawaii stories as we look ahead to Saturday.
- ESPN.com’s Graham Watson ranks the Vandals 8th among all non-AQ teams, adding “Idaho is playing like a team with something to prove.”
- Sports Illustrated’s Stewart Mandel adds to the chorus of national writers talking about Idaho’s resurgence.
- The Honolulu Advertiser’s Ferd Lewis compares the Idaho and Hawaii programs, and the Warriors don’t come off looking too hot.
- Honolulu Star-Bulletin columnist Dave Reardon says the Warriors should be “embarassed” by their performance against Fresno State.
- The Spartan Daily’s Tommy Wright reports on the Vandals spoiling SJSU’s Homecoming.
- The Spartan Daily also has a funny/sad story on Spartan coach Dick Tomey holding a lunch discussion for students… only six of whom bothered to show up. There’s some school spirit.
- The Reno Gazette-Journal’s Dan Hinxman has a Monday Review of the state of the Wolf Pack.
- The Fresno Bee’s Daniel Lyght talks about the key defensive plays that helped Fresno State squash Hawaii.
- The New Yorker has a thought-provoking Malcolm Gladwell article on football and brain damage.
- AggieNoise.com has a report on Utah State’s newest recruit: James Walker.
- Idaho’s footy squad has dropped two home games in a row after losing in double overtime to defending champion Utah State. Idaho Athletics has the story.