WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi with his weekly installment of the Mountain West football power rankings and picks for Week 12 of the college football season. Look for this every week during the football season, and as always, your feedback is welcome.
1. Colorado State (9-1 overall, 5-1 MW): Remains No. 1 again this week. Winners of eight straight and the only MW team ranked (23rd in the coaches poll, 25th AP). Despite its success, the Rams must win out and hope Boise State loses one of its final three games to claim the Mountain Division title. This week: Off.
2. Boise State (7-2, 5-1): A close second behind Colorado State, and is the only team to beat the Rams this season. You can make a case for the Broncos to be at the top. Leads the MW in scoring (37.7 ppg) and is second with 43 touchdowns scored. This week: vs. San Diego State, 8:15 p.m. MT Saturday (ESPNU). Boise State had trouble stopping New Mexico’s run game last week. It will be better this week. Boise St. 27, San Diego St. 16.
3. Utah State (7-3, 4-1): No matter who plays quarterback, the Aggies have speed on the edges and the league’s leading defense in scoring (19.2 ppg), rushing (96.1 ypg), turnover forced (27) and turnover margin (+13). This week: vs. New Mexico, 2 p.m. MT Saturday (ESPNews). New Mexico may get some rushing yards as it is third in the nation running the ball, but not nearly enough as the Aggies will roll. Utah State 38, New Mexico 17.
4. Air Force (7-2, 3-2): Quietly putting together a solid season, and Troy Calhoun should be a candidate for Coach of the Year in the league. The defense is rock-solid, including top 10 against the run. This week: vs. Nevada, noon MT Saturday (ROOT). One of the best match-ups of the week. Can the Falcons’ defense slow down Nevada senior quarterback Cody Fajardo? It will enough to remain unbeaten at home. Air Force 24, Nevada 20.
5. Nevada (6-3, 3-2): The favorite to win the West Division, and the only team in that division with a winning road record (3-1). This week: at Air Force, noon MT Saturday (ROOT). Should be a good game, but I got to go with the home team as the West Division race will continue to be a jumbled mess. Air Force 24, Nevada 20.
6. San Diego State (3-2, 5-4): The Aztecs picked up a nonconference win last week, and head to Boise State where they won the last time they played there. Defense and a good run game are good ingredients to win any game, but the shaky play at quarterback will hurt them this week. This week: at Boise State, 8:15 p.m. MT Saturday (ESPNU). Home team on the blue turf this late in the year. Boise State 27, San Diego State 16.
7. Fresno State (4-6, 3-3): Moves up a couple of spots this week after its home win over San Jose State. Has enough talent to become bowl eligible, and even win the West Division, but who knows who will show up week to week. This week: Off.
8. San Jose State (3-6, 2-3): Can’t seem to win big games when it needs to, but like Fresno State, talent is there. Spartans have the nation’s leading pass defense, but needs more help to get into the win column. This week: vs. Hawaii, 2:30 p.m. MT Saturday (MW Network — online). San Jose State will put enough together to beat a reeling Hawaii team at home. San Jose State 33, Hawaii 21.
9. Wyoming (4-6, 2-4): The Cowboys drop a bit, although it had chances to win at home last week against Utah State. Team is playing hard and making strides with a first-year coach. Better days will come for the Pokes. This week: Off.
10. New Mexico (3-6, 1-4): Put a big scare in Boise State last week, but lost a shootout 60-49. If this team could find some way to throw the ball it would be more dangerous. Lobos also need to defend their home field where they are 0-5 this season. This week: at Utah State, 2 p.m. MT Saturday (ESPNews). Wonder what the Lobos will do when the Aggies slow that run game down. Utah State 38, New Mexico 17.
11. Hawaii (2-8, 1-4): After being competitive for eight games, the Rainbow Warriors have been blown out in their last two. Hawaii hasn’t won on the mainland in nearly three years. That streak will continue. This week: at San Jose State, 2:30 p.m. MT Saturday (MW Network — online). There won’t be much offense for Hawaii, and the defense won’t hold up for long. San Jose State 33, Hawaii 21.
12. UNLV (2-8, 1-5): Rebels have scored the fewest points (200) and allowed the most (372) in the league. Not much else to add there. This week: at Brigham Young, 5 p.m. MT Saturday (ESPNU). Provo won’t be kind to the Rebels. BYU 31, UNLV 13.
Last week’s picks: 6-0 (that’s more like it)
Season’s picks: 66-16.