Here are my Mountain West football power rankings heading into this week’s games.
- Boise State (6-2 overall, 4-0 MW): The Broncos are playing the best football of any team in the conference on offense and defense. They’ve won four in a row and have outscored those opponents 120-49.
2. Air Force (4-4, 3-2): Winners of three straight and coming off an impressive 45-28 win at Colorado State. The offense has been good all season, but if the defense can play like it did in the second half against the Rams, the Falcons will be tough to beat down the stretch.
3. Wyoming (5-3, 3-1): Some may think this is a homer pick, and perhaps it is a little high for a team that continues to struggle with consistency on offense. But after forcing a school-record seven turnovers in a 42-3 homecoming win over New Mexico, the Cowboys move up three spots from last week.
4. San Diego State (7-2, 3-2): The Aztecs snapped a two-game skid with an impressive road win at Hawaii, and looked more like the team that started the season 7-0 and ranked in the top 25. A game Saturday at San Jose State should continue this team’s upward trend.
5. Colorado State (6-3, 4-1): The Rams played some close games, but won them in recent weeks. But a close game at home to Air Force resulted in an ugly second half and an ugly loss. The Rams are better than what they showed in the second half of that game, but these are week-to-week rankings. Perhaps another rivalry game at Wyoming is what Colorado State needs to get refocused.
6. Fresno State (5-3, 4-1): The Bulldogs came crashing back to earth after a 26-16 home loss to UNLV in a game they were favored to win by 20 points. Was that loss a blip on the radar, or a sign of things to come? A home game Saturday against Brigham Young seems a lot bigger now than in previous weeks for this team.
7. UNLV (3-5, 2-3): Just when you thought the Rebels’ season was spiraling out of control, they go to Fresno State and win. Bowl eligibility is still a possibility for this team, which plays its next two games at home.
8. Nevada (1-7, 1-3): Up one spot from last week for a team that didn’t play last week, but the teams below it were awful. Nevada has scored 35, 42 and 42 points in its last three games, but has given up 44 and 45 in its last two. Nevada plays at Boise State Saturday, so this No. 8 ranking isn’t safe.
9. Utah State (4-5, 2-3): The up-and-down season for the Aggies continued with a 41-14 home loss to Boise State. Like UNLV, Utah State still has a shot at getting bowl eligible, which may be what it takes for coach Matt Wells to save his job.
10. New Mexico (3-5, 1-4): The Lobos are reeling after the 42-3 pasting they took at Wyoming. One thing New Mexico needs to do is get back to what it does, and that’s run the ball in its triple-option offense. Becoming a passing team isn’t happening this season, and not after five interceptions against the Cowboys.
11. Hawaii (3-5, 1-4): Not sure if there is a win in the Rainbow Warriors’ future over their final four games, but anything is possible in the West Division.
12. San Jose State (1-8, 0-4): The Spartans have the nation’s leading tackler in junior linebacker Frank Ginda at 13.8 per game. There, I found a positive to say about the Spartans.
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