Hawai‘i has been named the favorite in both the WAC football coaches and media polls as announced today at the league’s football preview being held in San Jose, Calif. Five-time defending champion Boise State was picked second in both of the polls as well.
Nevada was picked third in the coaches' poll and fourth by the media.
Hawai‘i finished last season with an 11-3 record and was second in the WAC with a 7-1 mark. The Warriors only conference loss came at Boise State, 41-34, in September. Hawai‘i led the nation in 2006 in scoring offense, passing offense and total offense thanks in part to its record-setting quarterback Colt Brennan. The Warriors won the Sheraton Hawai‘i Bowl last year beating Arizona State, 41-24.
Boise State was the only team in the nation last year to go undefeated after posting a 13-0 mark. The Broncos won the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl by defeating Oklahoma, 43-42, in overtime. That game earned an ESPY earlier this month as the Best Game of the Year. Boise State has posted a 39-1 record in conference games the past five seasons.
Rank Team (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Hawai‘i (6) 62
2. Boise State (3) 59
3. Nevada 45
4. Fresno State 40
5. San Jose State 39
6. New Mexico State 31
7. Louisiana Tech 25
8. Utah State 13
9. Idaho 10
The media also voted on preseason players of the year. Hawai‘i quarterback Colt Brennan was voted the Offensive Player of the Year for the second-straight preseason, while San Jose State defensive back Dwight Lowery was picked as the Defensive Player of the Year.
Brennan, a senior from Irvine, Calif. (Saddleback CC), has set numerous NCAA records over the past two years. Last year he completed 406-of-559 passes for 5,549 yards and 58 touchdowns with just 12 interceptions. He also rushed for 366 yards and five scores. Brennan set NCAA single-season records in 2006 with the 58 touchdown passes and an efficiency rating of 186.0.
Lowery, a senior from Santa Cruz, Calif. (Cabrillo College) was a first-team All-America selection in 2006 (AFCA and FWAA) after setting the school-record for interceptions with nine. He made 48 tackles and racked up 111 interception return yards in helping the Spartan defense rank third in the WAC.
Rank Team (1st place votes) Points
1. Hawai‘i (32) 494
2. Boise State (26) 490
3. Fresno State 361
4. Nevada 337
5. San Jose State 321
6. New Mexico State 233
7. Louisiana Tech 157
8. Utah State 110
9. Idaho 107