Broncos picked first in media poll; Johnson Preseason WAC Offensive Player of the Year

SALT LAKE CITY Boise State has been named the favorite in the 2008 Western Athletic Conference football media poll announced today at the conference’s football preview being held in Salt Lake City.  The Broncos were 10-3 last year and finished in second place in the WAC with a 7-1 mark after winning titles the previous five seasons (2002-06).


Boise State received 383 points and 25 first-place votes from media members around the WAC and the nation.  Fresno State was picked a close second after garnering 379 points and 20 first-place votes.  Nevada finished third with 296 points followed by Hawaii, last year’s champion, with 243 points.  Louisiana Tech was selected fifth with 209 points followed by San Jose State (183), New Mexico State (167), Idaho (87) and Utah State (78).


The media also voted on preseason players of the year.  Boise State running back Ian Johnson was voted the Offensive Player of the Year, while Hawaii linebacker Solomon Elimimian was picked as the Defensive Player of the Year.


Johnson, a senior from San Dimas, Calif. (Damien HS), is the top returning running back in the country with 3,417 career rushing yards and 46 touchdowns scored.  He ran for 1,041 yards and 16 touchdowns last year after a sophomore season with 1,714 yards and 25 scores.  Johnson’s 45 career rushing touchdowns are just 12 shy of tying the WAC all-time record of 57 set by Marshall Faulk (San Diego State, 1991-93).


Fresno State has been named the favorite in the 2008 Western Athletic Conference football coaches poll.  For the second season in a row, Boise State was picked second and Nevada was selected third.


The following is the complete 2008 WAC football media poll with first-place votes in parentheses:


                                                Rank    Team (1st place votes)     Points

                                                1.         Boise State (25)                     383

                                                2.         Fresno State (20)                    379

                                                3.         Nevada                                  296

                                                4.         Hawaii                                   243

                                                5.         Louisiana Tech                       209

                                                6.         San Jose State                       183

                                                7.         New Mexico State                  167

                                                8.         Idaho                                       87

                                                9.         Utah State                               78


      The following is the complete 2008 WAC football coaches’ poll (coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams):


                                                Rank    Team (1st Place Votes)    Points

                                                1.         Fresno State (7)                       63

                                                2.         Boise State (2)                         57

                                                3.         Nevada                                    43

                                                4.         Hawaii                                    41

                                                5.         Louisiana Tech                         33

                                                            San Jose State                        33

                                                7.         New Mexico State                    26

                                                8.         Idaho                                       15

                                                9.         Utah State                               13






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