We enter the third week of conference play, and while there wasn’t a lot of movement among the top teams in my power rankings, there was some among other teams.
RPI rankings are from RealTimeRPI.com, and nine of the 11 MW teams have RPIs of between 100 and 181. As a league, the MW has an RPI of 11 out of 32 conferences.
As always, your feedback is welcome and encouraged.
1. Boise State (12-4 overall, 3-0 MW, 49 RPI): The Broncos remain the top dog in the conference. They’ve won nine in a row. Junior forward James Webb III has won back-to-back MW Player of the Week honors, and three this season. Boise State made nearly a 30-point rise in the RPI from last week.
2. San Diego State (10-6, 3-0, 100 RPI): We will see this week if the Aztecs are worthy of being ranked this high with road games at Colorado State and Boise State.
3. New Mexico (10-6, 3-0, 116 RPI): A four-game losing streak prior to league play seems a distant memory after winning three straight to open league play. The defense has improved, which has led to better offense.
4. Fresno State (11-6, 2-2, 125 RPI): There is no shame in losing at Boise State last week, but the Bulldogs still need to be more consistent game in and game out. The pieces are in place to make a run at the MW title.
5. Nevada (10-6, 2-2, 118 RPI): A 22-point loss at Fresno State was answered with a 23-point win at Air Force last week. Senior guard Marqueze Coleman is one of the more underrated players in the conference.
6. Colorado State (10-6, 2-1, 181 RPI): Don’t let the RPI fool you, the Rams are talented and Larry Eustachy can coach. Colorado State won 1-point overtime games over UNLV and San Jose State last week, and has proven it can win close games. Look out for the Rams.
7. Wyoming (9-8, 2-2, 161 RPI): Two nice home wins over Air Force and UNLV gives the Cowboys a boost up the standings this week. Other guys have been playing better aside from senior guard Josh Adams. That will need to continue.
8. Utah State (9-6, 1-3, 153 RPI): Three of the Aggies’ conference losses have come against the three best teams so far in the league — San Diego State, Boise State and New Mexico. Unfortunately, two of them were at home.
9. UNLV (9-7, 0-3, 141 RPI): There is no way the Runnin’ Rebels should be in this spot. And, I had a hard time putting them this low. There is too much talent on that roster to be where they’re at. Their three conference losses have been by a combined six points. Perhaps a change in coaches will make a difference.
10. Air Force (10-6, 1-2, 178 RPI): A big drop in the rankings for the Falcons after double-digit losses to Wyoming and Nevada last week. Maybe I jinxed them by ranking them fifth last week? Or, perhaps I was just downright wrong for doing so?
11. San Jose State (5-11, 0-4, 333 RPI): The record and RPI are ugly, but the Spartans are better. I know that sounds like a broken record from me, but Wyoming will have its hands full there Wednesday. San Jose State has been in all of its league games, and is looking to snap a 26-game conference losing streak Wednesday at home against Wyoming. The Cowboys better bring their A-game.
This week’s picks (predicted winners in bold)
Air Force at Utah State, 7 p.m. MT (ROOT)
New Mexico at UNLV, 8 p.m. MT (CBS Sports Network)
Boise State at Nevada, 8 p.m. MT (MW Network — online)
Colorado State at San Diego State, 8 p.m. MT (CBS Sports Network)
Wyoming at San Jose State, 8 p.m. MT (MW Network — online)
Utah State at Colorado State, 2 p.m. MT (ESPN3)
Wyoming at New Mexico, 2 p.m. MT (CBS Sports Network)
San Jose State at Fresno State, 5 p.m. MT (MW Network — online)
Air Force at UNLV, 8 p.m. MT (ESPN3)
San Diego State at Boise State, 8 p.m. MT (ESPN2)
Last week’s record: 8-2
Season record: 15-4