WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi rates all 10 Mountain West football and why. Look for his ratings on a weekly basis as the season continues.
1. Boise State (6-1 overall, 3-0 MW): The Broncos are No. 21 in the country and remain a solid No. 1 this week in the rankings. Boise State continues to be far and away the best defensive team in the MW. It’s tops in scoring defense (13.6 ppg), pass defense (158.7 ypg), total defense (316.9 ypg), turnover margin (+11) and pass efficiency defense (95.6). The offense isn’t bad by any means, but the defense outstanding.
2. Fresno State (5-3, 3-1): I said last week the Bulldogs are the most complete team in the league, and I stand by that. They’re second to Boise State in most defensive categories, and their spread offense can hurt you via the run and pass. This may be the most athletic and talented team in the league.
3. Nevada (6-2, 3-1): The Wolf Pack barely hold on to the No. 3 spot after its 29-28 home loss to San Diego State last week. The offense is fine, but the defense remains inconsistent and couldn’t make enough crucial stops late against San Diego State.
4. San Diego State (5-3, 3-1): You an argue that the Aztecs should be No. 3, and they might be next week. However, starting quarterback Ryan Katz is lost for the season with an injury. Backup Adam Dingwell did a good job last week at Nevada, but I need to see more from him to move the Aztecs up.
5. Air Force (4-3, 3-1): Despite giving up 338 rushing yards to New Mexico running back Kasey Carrier last week, the Falcons still won. Nothing the Falcons do is especially pretty, but they find ways to win.
6. New Mexico (4-4, 1-2): If Carrier and the rushing offense keeps rolling, the Lobos could go bowling this season — and not at the neighborhood bowling alley. The team remains one-dimensional with the run, and the defensive numbers aren’t eye-popping, but it’s tied for a +4 turnover margin in league play. Bob Davie should be the league’s coach of the year if he keeps this up. The team has won more games this season than in the last three seasons combined.
7. UNLV (1-7, 1-2): The Rebels are decent offensively, but can’t stop anybody as it allows 35.5 points and 468.1 yards of total offense a game. If the defense could just get a few stops, UNLV could win a couple of more games down the stretch.
8. Wyoming (1-6, 0-3): We will see what the Cowboys are made of from here on out as coach Dave Christensen is suspended this week. The team’s goals are all but shot and the Cowboys are coming off their worst loss of the season last week at Fresno State — 42-14. Three of its final five games are at home should help, although UW is 0-3 at home this season.
9. Colorado State (1-6, 0-3): Quarterbacks are dropping like flies in Fort Collins. The defense has held up relatively well. CSU was off last week and hosts Hawaii Saturday. The winner stays out of the cellar in these power rankings.
10. Hawaii (1-5, 0-3): Not much has gone well in coach Norm Chow’s first season. No one gives up more points in the MW than Hawaii (42.3 per game), and its 16 touchdowns this season is behind only CSU (14) for the fewest.
What do you think folks? Would love to hear your thoughts.
Lots of Wyoming coverage in Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Laramie Boomerang and at www.wyosports.net, including my column on the mess that is UW football and more on basketball player Shakir Smith and wrestler Patrick Martinez who were arrested by Laramie police recently and kicked off their respective teams.