Here are my Mountain West men’s basketball power rankings this week. Figuring out the third through eighth or ninth teams once again was a challenge.
RPI rankings are from RealTimeRPI.com. Only two MW teams have RPIs in the top 100, and seven are ranked between 112 and 176. As a league, the MW slipped a bit this week with a RPI of 12 out of 32 conferences. It has been at 11 the last few weeks. The Summit, Mid-American and Colonial leagues are currently ahead of the MW.
As always, your feedback is welcome and encouraged.
1. San Diego State (14-6 overall, 7-0 MW, 64 RPI): The Aztecs remain the only undefeated team in the MW, and have the league’s longest winning streak at seven. The team will be tested this week with two games in the state of Nevada.
2. Boise State (15-5, 6-1, 60 RPI): The Broncos are more like 1A in the rankings, but its three-point home loss to San Diego State on Jan.16 is the difference. They responded well with two double-digit wins this past week.
3. Nevada (12-7, 4-3, 112 RPI): Some thought I was nuts for having UNLV third last week, and many may think the same having the Wolf Pack this high. But remember, these are weekly power rankings, and Nevada earned the jump up with wins over Wyoming and UNLV last week. Do I think Nevada will finish third in the MW? No, but for now it earned the jump up the rankings.
4. Fresno State (13-7, 4-3, 118 RPI): The Bulldogs won a game at Air Force 56-55 last Saturday — a game it should have lost. But the fact they won gives them some credit in my book. This is a team to watch the rest of the season.
5. UNLV: (12-8, 3-4, 115 RPI): The Runnin’ Rebels reverted back to their old ways in a close loss at Nevada, but they won at Utah State as well. This is a telling week for UNLV as it hosts Boise State and San Diego State.
6. New Mexico (11-8, 4-2, 139 RPI): The Lobos responded from their 70-68 home loss to Wyoming with a blowout win at San Jose State. New Mexico faces a big game this Saturday at Boise State.
7. Colorado State (12-8, 4-3 176 RPI): Tragedy struck the Rams when junior forward Emmanuel Omogobo lost his parents and his niece in a house fire last week. They won at Air Force in their only game last week. All of their conference games have been decided by single digits.
8. Utah State (11-8, 3-5, 141 RPI): The Aggies lost to UNLV and San Diego State last week, but have most of the week to regroup before hosting Nevada Saturday.
9. Wyoming (10-11, 3-5, 174 RPI): A tough week for the Cowboys with two home losses, and a tough road test Tuesday at Fresno State. Senior guard Josh Adams’ return from a one-game suspension last Saturday from the MW will help.
10. Air Force (10-10, 1-6, 207 RPI): The Falcons nearly dropped to the bottom of the rankings this week. They own the league’s longest losing streak at six, and they are on the road for two games this week.
11. San Jose State (6-14, 1-7, 324 RPI): Two blowout losses to Boise State and New Mexico keep the Spartans in the power rankings basement. It could get out of there with a home win over Air Force Saturday.
This week’s picks (predicted winners in bold)
Wyoming at Fresno State, 8 p.m. MT (ESPN3)
San Diego State at Nevada, 9 p.m. MT (ESPNU)
Air Force at New Mexico, 7 p.m. MT (ROOT)
San Jose State at Colorado State, 7 pm. MT (MW Network — online)
Boise State at UNLV, 9 p.m. MT (CBS Sports Network)
Air Fore at San Jose State, 3 p.m. MT (MW Network — online)
New Mexico at Boise State, 3 pm. MT (ESPN3)
Colorado State at Wyoming, 4 p.m. MT (ROOT)
San Diego State at UNLV, 6 p.m. MT (CBS Sports Network)
Nevada at Utah State, 7 p.m. MT (ROOT)
Last week: 7-3
For the season: 29-10