By Chadd Cripe
SALT LAKE CITY — Boise State senior cornerback Kyle Wilson and Nevada junior quarterback Colin Kaepernick were named the WAC football preseason players of the year Wednesday.
Also, Boise State grabbed the top spot in the preseason media and coaches polls. The Broncos are the league’s clear favorites for the first time since 2006, when they went 13-0 and won the Fiesta Bowl.
Wilson, a Playboy Preseason All-American, tied for the WAC lead with five interceptions and 10 pass breakups last season. He also returned three punts for touchdowns. He was named the WAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Kaepernick, the reigning WAC Offensive Player of the Year, beat out Boise State sophomore quarterback Kellen Moore for the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year honor. Moore also was the top competition for last year’s postseason award.
Boise State received 55 of 58 first-place votes from the media and eight of nine from the coaches (coaches couldn’t vote for their own team). The Broncos won the coaches preseason poll for the first time since 2006; they won the media poll last year.
The rest of the media poll went Nevada, Fresno State, Louisiana Tech, Hawaii, San Jose State, Utah State, Idaho, New Mexico State.
The rest of the coaches poll went Nevada, Fresno State and Louisiana Tech (tied for third), Hawaii, San Jose State, Utah State, New Mexico State, Idaho.
WAC commissioner Karl Benson said Wednesday the WAC is closing in on a fourth bowl deal for 2010 and beyond, with the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego. Boise State played in the Poinsettia last year through an at-large arrangement.
The Poinsettia likely will have a Mountain West-WAC matchup with a stipulation that Navy will play if eligible in certain years, Benson said. He said the deal probably won't be finalized for a couple months.
Benson also said the WAC expects to generate an additional $5 million in revenue beginning in 2010-11 because of increases in its ESPN contract and the BCS contract.
We’ll have much more throughout the day. Boise State coach Chris Petersen takes the podium at 1:30 p.m.
The WAC, Mountain West, Big 12 and Conference USA have expanded their officiating cooperative. This year, the four leagues will pool their officials and every game in each league will feature a blended crew, Benson said.
On the rules front, a rule change removes the roughing-the-kicker penalty when the kicker leaves the tackle box — like Boise State's Kyle Brotzman does on the roll-out punt. Also, there is a threat that if coaches don't clean up unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties the rules committee might enforce celebration penalties as spot fouls next year. That means a player flagged for celebrating before reaching the end zone could lose a touchdown.
A few Boise State tidbits:
— Game times have been added for the games at Bowling Green (5 p.m. MT) and Hawaii (10 p.m. MT). Boise State still is waiting for a time for the home game against Nevada. KTVB is scheduled to air seven games — Miami, Bowling Green, UC Davis, Hawaii, San Jose State, Idaho and New Mexico State.
— The fall scrimmages are tentatively scheduled for Aug. 13, 21 and 26. The Aug. 21 scrimmage is the festive one; the Aug. 26 scrimmage is usually closed.
— The Broncos’ motto for this year: “Bleed Blue.”
— Boise State printed 65 copies of a 46-page media guide on standard paper for the WAC preview. It’s just the highlights from the actual media guide, which will be printed only to fulfill commitments to boosters. The media will receive the guide electronically. The cover features senior captains Wilson and tight end/fullback Richie Brockel.
— Benson said Boise State was able to increase the size of its payout for the Virginia Tech game in 2010 during the negotiating process. The $1.25 million was more than first proposed to the WAC, he said.
— ESPNU still can pick five WAC games for this season, as late as six days before kickoff. However, Boise State already has the maximum number of required appearances on ESPN networks — six — so the Broncos can't be forced onto ESPNU.
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