WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi with his weekly installment of the Mountain West football power rankings and picks for Week 11 of the college football season. Look for this every week during the football season, and as always, your feedback is welcome.
1. Colorado State (8-1 overall, 4-1 MW): Got to stick with the Rams as they won their league-leading seventh straight game last week at San Jose State. However, senior quarterback Garrett Grayson and sophomore receiver Rashad Higgins got banged up. This week: vs. Hawaii, 5 p.m. MT Saturday (ESPNU). The Rams should keep rolling, but keeping Grayson healthy has to be a concern moving forward. Colorado State 33, Hawaii 20.
2. Boise State (6-2, 3-1): One of four bowl eligible teams in the conference, and maybe the best team right now based on its win over Colorado State in Week 2. Since his benching in a loss at Air Force, senior quarterback Grant Hedrick has been on fire. He’s completing 72.5 percent of his passes this season. This week: at New Mexico, 5 p.m. MT Saturday (CBSSN). The Broncos should roll, but the Lobos will put up a fight. Boise State 42, New Mexico 21.
3. Utah State (6-3, 3-1): The Aggies continue to be one of the more amazing stories in of college football. On their fourth different starting quarterback due to injuries, but still winning games. Heck of a program there in Logan, and a heck of a defense that is tops in the MW in rushing defense (90 ypg), turnovers forced (25) and sacks (37). This week: at Wyoming, 6 p.m. MT Friday (ESPN2). Even though the Aggies play on a short week after playing at Hawaii, it’s hard not to pick them. Utah State 24, Wyoming 13.
4. Air Force (6-2, 2-2): Won the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy last week against Army. A great comeback story after winning only two games last year. One of the better defenses the Falcons have had in a while. They’ve allowed 96 points in four conference games. This week: at UNLV, 2 p.m. MT Saturday (MW Network — online). Air Force can’t afford a letdown, but it usually handles these games well. Air Force 28, UNLV 20.
5. Nevada (6-3, 3-2): The Wolf Pack’s home win over San Diego State was its biggest of the season — conference-wise — and puts it atop the West Division. Nevada also is the only bowl-eligible team in that division right now, and only one with a winning streak (three). This week: Off.
6. San Diego State (4-4, 3-2): The 30-14 loss at Nevada now means the Aztecs need some help if they want to win the West Division. Still, the team has a solid formula for winning with a good running game and solid defense. Needs better and more consistent quarterback play. This week: vs. Idaho, 4:30 p.m. MT Saturday (ROOT). The Aztecs will get back to their winning ways. San Diego State 44, Idaho 17.
7. San Jose State (3-5, 2-2): Back-to-back losses have hurt the Spartans. Still a team to be reckoned with in the West Division, but it seems like it comes up short in the bigger games. This week: at Fresno State, 8:30 p.m. MT Saturday (CBSSN). This is a rivalry game, and one that the Spartans won last year. The way Fresno State is playing, San Jose State should win … but it won’t. Fresno State 34, San Jose State 30.
8. Wyoming (4-5, 2-3): The Cowboys played their most complete game of the season in a 45-17 win at Fresno State last week. The offense has scored 73 points over its last six quarters, and the defense — battered and bruised — played his best game in more than a month. This week: vs. Utah State, 6 p.m. MT Friday (ESPN2). Wyoming will need to match the physicality of Utah State, and while the team has made strides, it will fall a little short. Utah State 24, Wyoming 13.
9. Fresno State (3-6, 2-3): A surprising and bad home loss to Wyoming last weekend, and also some major issues at quarterback. Coach Tim DeRuyter may be losing this team mentally. The defense has allowed a league-worst 324 points. This week: vs. San Jose State, 8:30 p.m. MT Saturday (CBSSN). Based on the numbers, Fresno State shouldn’t win. But numbers don’t mean much in the West Division, or in this rivalry game. Fresno State 34, San Jose State 30.
10. New Mexico (3-5, 1-3): The trend continues for the Lobos as they won at UNLV last week. All their victories this season have been on the road. This week: vs. Boise State, 5 p.m. MT Saturday (CBSSN). The home woes continue, but it wouldn’t matter where this game was played. Boise State 42, New Mexico 21.
11. Hawaii (2-7, 1-3): The Rainbow Warriors were blown out for the first time this season in a 35-14 home loss to Utah State against the Aggies’ fourth-string quarterback. Hawaii’s 179 points are tied for the second-fewest in the conference. This week: at Colorado State, 5 p.m. MT Saturday (ESPNU). Expect Hawaii to play better, but it won’t be enough to keep up with the Rams. Colorado State 33, Hawaii 20.
12. UNLV (2-7, 1-4): Rebels allow 267.9 rushing yards per game, and their opponent this week averages 269.5. This week: vs. Air Force, 2 p.m. MT Saturday (MW Network — online). Expect UNLV to play well at times, but not long enough to get the win. Air Force 28, UNLV 20.
Last week’s picks: 4-2 (missed Wyoming at Fresno State and San Diego State at Nevada)
For the season: 60-16