Here are my Mountain West football power rankings heading into this week’s games.
1. Boise State (3-1 overall, 1-0 MW): This may be the best team coach Bryan Harsin has had with the Broncos, and they showed it last week at Wyoming. However, senior quarterback Brett Rypien (no interceptions this season) will be tested at home Saturday against a stingy San Diego State defense.
2. Fresno State (3-1, 0-0): The Bulldogs are closing the gap with Boise State. Senior quarterback Marcus McMaryion is on a roll, and the defense is playing up to expectations.
3. San Diego State (3-1, 0-0): There are some teams on the Aztecs’ heels, but despite being down their starting quarterback and running back due to injuries they hold on to the No. 3 spot.
4. Utah State (3-1, 1-0): Winners of three straight that has scored 175 points during that span. All of those wins came at home. For the Aggies to move up among the league’s elite, I need to see a significant road win. Utah State gets its chance Friday at BYU.
5. Hawaii (5-1, 2-0): The Rainbow Warriors got more than what they bargained for last week, and needed five overtimes to win at San Jose State. Just shows you have to come ready to play every week in this conference, but sophomore quarterback Cole McDonald and Co. has the offense rolling right now.
6. Nevada (3-2, 1-0): The Wolf Pack went on the road and beat Air Force last week for its most impressive win this season, and moves up three spots from last week. Maybe my surprise team in the MW will begin to make me look like I know what I’m talking about.
7. UNLV (2-2, 0-0): The Rebels were off last week after a disappointing road loss at Arkansas State. The pieces are there for UNLV to be good, but sophomore quarterback Armani Rogers must prove he can be an accurate and efficient passer.
8. Wyoming (2-3, 0-1): The Cowboys can’t score (two touchdowns or fewer in four straight games), which is putting more pressure on a defense that is good, but not playing great and getting wore down. A trip to Hawaii Saturday isn’t what this team needs right now.
9. New Mexico (2-2, 0-0): Last week I said the Lobos could be “sneaky-good.” Then they lose 52-43 at home to Liberty and lost their starting quarterback to a broken collar bone. Serves me right for thinking.
10. Colorado State (1-4, 0-1): For as bad as things have gone for the Rams, they have a chance for a re-start — so to speak — coming off a bye week, with a game Saturday at San Jose State and then a home contest with New Mexico.
11. Air Force (1-3, 0-2): The Falcons continue to search for answers after a home loss to Nevada last week. They seem to dig themselves into early holes, rally but then come up short. Maybe a rivalry game Saturday with Navy will help maintain some focus.
12. San Jose State (0-4, 0-1): The Spartans had to be disappointed in the five-overtime home loss to Hawaii last week, but they showed some life. Can they maintain that from week-to-week is the question.
This week’s games
Predicted winners bolded
All times MT
Utah State at BYU, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
Navy at Air Force, 1:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
San Diego State at Boise State, 1:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
New Mexico at UNLV, 2 p.m. (AT&T SportsNet)
Colorado State at San Jose State, 8:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
Fresno State at Nevada, 8:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Wyoming at Hawaii, 10 p.m. (Spectrum/Stadium — online)
Last week: 3-2
For the season: 7-4