Brennan chosen WAC's best
But the preseason poll expects Hawaii to finish fourth
BOISE, Idaho » Hawaii will finish fourth in the Western Athletic Conference football race and Boise State will win its fifth straight league championship this fall, according to the WAC's poll of media covering the league released yesterday.
Hawaii junior quarterback Colt Brennan was voted preseason Offensive Player of the Year. He led the nation in touchdown passes (35), passing yards (4,301) and total offense (371.2 yards per game) last year.
"Obviously, our league doesn't get as much coverage as some of the others in the country. It's nice to get the recognition from those who have seen you play the most," Brennan said yesterday in a phone interview. "Still, you just have to take it for what it's worth and hope that you still have that standing in their eyes at the end of the season."
He received a similar preseason honor from The Sporting News in May, and is on the watch list for the Maxwell Award, which is goes to the nation's top player.
Boise State linebacker Korey Hall was selected the Defensive Player of the Year. He was first-team All-WAC last year for the second straight season after making 106 tackles.
Nearly three-fourths of the voters (36 of 50) pick the Broncos to win the league title again despite the departure of head coach Dan Hawkins for Colorado. Hawkins was replaced by BSU offensive coordinator Chris Petersen.
Fresno State was picked to finish second (with nine first-place votes), Nevada third (four firsts), and Hawaii fourth (one first).
"Definitely, we're shooting for much, much higher," Brennan said. "Everyone thinks we can't play on the road. That opinion will change if we do something special in our first game (Sept. 2 at Alabama)."
Hawaii plays annual contenders Boise State and Fresno State on the road this year. The Warriors have never beaten the Broncos there.
Louisiana Tech, San Jose State, Utah State, Idaho and New Mexico State are predicted to finish fifth through ninth in that order.
The WAC's nine coaches and selected players from each team are in Boise through today to meet with media covering the league.
UH coach June Jones was on his way to Boise yesterday and unavailable for comment. He will be joined by defensive end Ikaika Alama-Francis.
WAC MEDIA POLL
First-place votes in parenthesis
|1. Boise State (36)
|2. Fresno State (9)
|3. Nevada (4)
|4. Hawaii (1)
|5. Louisiana Tech
|6. San Jose State
|7. Utah State
|9. New Mexico St.