MW football power rankings – Week 8

Here are my weekly Mountain West football power rankings heading into this week’s games.

  1. Boise State 4-2 overall, 2-0 MW): Moves to the top this week after its 31-14 dismantling of previously undefeated and No 19 San Diego State on the road. The Broncos dominated from start to finish, and if they play like that the rest of the season they will be tough to beat.

2. Colorado State (5-2, 3-0): The Rams stay at No. 2 this week due in large part to Boise State’s dominating effort. But Colorado State had its hands full with one-win Nevada at home. It won, but that effort wasn’t enough to move it up to the No. 1 spot. On a short week, the Rams must go to New Mexico on Friday.

3. San Diego State (6-1, 2-1): The Aztecs’ hopes for a big-time bowl — and the MW’s hope for a big-time pay day — went up in smoke at home against Boise State. San Diego State is still very good, but Boise State exposed some weaknesses, such as offensive line play. The Aztecs still control their own destiny to win the West Division, and first place will be on the line Saturday night at home against the biggest surprise team in the conference.

4. Fresno State (4-2, 3-0): Yes, the Bulldogs are biggest surprise in the MW, and this week sits alone at the top of the West Division after a 38-0 home win last week against New Mexico. Can Fresno State keep this up? My guess is no. However, I didn’t expect the Bulldogs to get four victories this season, let alone be No. 4 in these rankings at any point of the season.

5. Wyoming (4-2, 2-0): The Cowboys won’t earn any style points for how they play — especially offensively. But they seem to do enough and are riding a defense that has forced 17 turnovers through six games.

6. Air Force (2-4, 1-2): The Falcons were down 27-7 at halftime at home to UNLV, and was staring straight at a fifth straight loss. But they outscored the Rebels 27-3 in the second half for a 34-30 victory. Those are the kind of wins that turn seasons around. Future opponents better take note — specifically Nevada Friday night.

7. New Mexico (3-3, 1-2): Just when you thought the Lobos had things figured out after a 1-2 start, it goes to Fresno State and gets blasted. New Mexico was coming off a bye week, but that didn’t seem to help. Maybe it is a good thing the Lobos have a short week before hosting Colorado State Friday.

8. Nevada (1-6, 1-2): Close losses are still losses, but the Wolf Pack showed some signs of life with a 44-42 loss at Colorado State. Maybe not a whole lot of positive signs on defense, but the offense is improving and could be formidable for future foes.

9. Utah State (3-4, 1-2): The Aggies really aren’t that bad of a team, but they can’t seem to put enough together to consistently win games. Better play at quarterback will help. Utah State is playing two guys, and you know what they say: if you have two quarterbacks you really have no quarterbacks.

10. Hawaii (3-4, 1-3): The Rainbow Warriors had to rally at home to beat San Jose State, but they did and snapped a four-game losing streak. If this team can stay out of its own way and cut down on mistakes, they could win some games in the second half of the season.

11. UNLV (2-4, 1-2): Not sure what is more demoralizing: losing at home on national television to San Diego State by 31 points, or blowing a 20-point halftime lead and losing at Air Force. The Rebels appear to be deflated at this point.

12. San Jose State (1-7, 0-4): The Spartans are off this week so they can’t extend their losing streak, which is now a league-high six games.