SALT LAKE CITY - Boise State has been named the favorite in the 2009 Western Athletic Conference football coaches poll announced today at the league's football preview being held in Salt Lake City. It's the first time Boise State has been picked to win the WAC by the coaches since the 2006 season. Nevada was picked second, its highest selection since the poll began in 2005. Fresno State and Louisiana Tech tied for third.
Boise State finished last season with a 12-1 record and won the WAC regular season title with a perfect 8-0 mark. The Broncos lost a one-point contest to TCU in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, snapping its 12-game winning streak.
Nevada was 7-6 last year and finished tied for second in the WAC with a 5-3 record in conference play. The Wolf Pack played in the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl last season, their fourth consecutive bowl appearance. Nevada returns last year's WAC Offensive Player of the Year in junior quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Louisiana Tech posted its best finish in the WAC standings since the 2001 season, tying for second place. The Bulldogs were 8-5 overall and won the Independence Bowl by beating Northern Illinois, 17-10. Fresno State also advanced to a bowl game last year, playing in the New Mexico Bowl, and was 7-6 overall.
Nevada finished in a tie for fourth last season and played in the New Mexico Bowl, its third consecutive bowl appearance.
For the second year in a row, Boise State has been named the favorite in the Western Athletic Conference football media poll. The Broncos were 12-1 last year and finished with a perfect 8-0 mark in conference play. It was their sixth WAC title in the last seven years.
The media also voted on preseason players of the year. Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick was voted the Offensive Player of the Year, while Boise State cornerback Kyle Wilson was picked as the Defensive Player of the Year.
Kaepernick, a junior from Turlock, Calif. (Pittman HS), became the fifth quarterback in NCAA FBS history to throw for more than 2,000 yards and rush for more than 1,000 yards in the same season. Kaepernick threw for 2,849 yards and 22 touchdowns last year and added 1,130 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground. He was named the 2008 WAC Offensive Player of the Year following his 2007 season where he was voted the WAC Freshman of the Year.
Wilson, a senior from Piscataway, N.J. (Piscataway HS), was a first-team all-WAC performer last year after leading the Broncos with five interceptions. He had a total of 15 passes defended and 35 tackles in 2008. As a punt returner, Wilson also was named second-team all-WAC after averaging 14.2 yards per return and scoring three touchdowns.