Ladies and gentlemen, your 2008 WAC player of the year is ... Colin Kaepernick? Excuse us while we throw up in our mouth a little.
The Nevada quarterback-but-really-a-runningback beat out Boise State's Kellen Moore for the honor of WAC offensive player of the year in voting by the WAC's nine head coaches, proving once and for all that WAC head coaches don't know what they're talking about. And it gets worse. Kaepernick beat out Moore for first-team quarterback, too. Yes, this is the same Kaepernick who went 19-for-50 against the Broncos.
We are understandably steamed at the turn of events. Kellen Moore is the best quarterback in the conference by leaps and bounds, and he has been the most important player for any team's offense all season long. This is so painfully apparent, we find it completely implausible that no one else in the conference saw it this way.
Please allow us to make the case for Moore over Kaepernick, even though at this point it will only serve to make us feel better about ourselves.
Kellen Moore is the single most important player on the single best team in the conference. If that isn't reason enough to hand him the WAC Player of the Year award, then we don't know what is.
The Boise State offense would have been in complete shambles if it weren't for him. He single-handedly kept the Broncos alive in games that they would have lost otherwise. There was absolutely NO running game for him pretty much all season long, and there were games when he had very little time to throw, too. Yet he got the job done.
And not only did he get the job done, he did so with one of the greatest QB seasons in Boise State history. He finished the regular season with over 3000 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, and a 70 percent completion percentage. 70 percent! Against teams that were daring him to throw! Despite being the offense's only option!
And don't even get us started on the "well, at least he got freshman of the year" topic. Freshman of the year does not even begin to properly award him for the impact he has had this season. The kid has been sensational, and he has played beyond his years. Freshman of the year should be someone like George Iloka or Byron Hout or Billy Winn. Those guys are great for their age. Kellen Moore is great period. Quantifying his success by classifying him with a bunch of rookies is doing him an injustice. He deserves better than that because he is better than that.
The WAC offensive player of the year should have been his because he is the league's most important offensive player. Plain and simple. We understand that Kaepernick is dynamic and explosive and dangerous, but he is also error-prone, inconsistent, and flaky. So what if he ran for 1000 yards and passed for 2000 yards. He failed to come through in games against New Mexico State(!) and Hawaii. He had the WAC's leading rusher at his disposal all season long and was playing in an offense that masked his weaknesses. He completed barely over 50 percent of his passes and threw for a lower average than he did last year. His TD numbers were identical to his freshman season (in which he wasn't even the starter for several games), and his INTs were higher.
And the ultimate reason against Kaepernick being the WAC player of the year is the head-to-head matchup with Moore. Boise State's QB wiped the floor with Kaepernick when the two teams met a couple weeks ago. Moore had over 400 yards passing and three touchdowns. Kaepernick completed 38 percent of his throws and looked completely befuddled all game long.
Moore's case for first-team All-WAC is even more obvious. Kaepernick is a quarterback by association, not by definition. If you are looking for the best quarterback in the WAC, you shouldn't be looking at anyone other than Kellen Moore. Most Nevada fans would even agree with that sentiment.
Moore does quarterback things 10 times better than Kaepernick does. He threw for more touchdown passes, completed more throws, had more yardage, and put up a far better efficiency rating. What other quarterback stats could there be?
There is no excuse for the WAC blowing this one. The answer for both WAC player of the year and first-team All-WAC quarterback was as plain as could be.
Kellen Moore is a better quarterback than Colin Kaepernick.
Kellen Moore was a more important player than Colin Kaepernick.
Boise State is undefeated in conference play. Nevada is 5-3.
Moore beat Kaepernick head-to-head.
Need we go on?
Sadly, we probably should have.
Read more: WAC announces players of the year [WACSports.com]