MW football power ratings

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi rates all 10 Mountain West football and why. Look for his ratings on a weekly basis as the season continues.

1. Boise State (6-1 overall, 3-0 MW): The Broncos are No. 21 in the country and remain a solid No. 1 this week in the rankings. Boise State continues to be far and away the best defensive team in the MW. It’s tops in scoring defense (13.6 ppg), pass defense (158.7 ypg), total defense (316.9 ypg), turnover margin (+11) and pass efficiency defense (95.6). The offense isn’t bad by any means, but the defense outstanding.

2. Fresno State (5-3, 3-1): I said last week the Bulldogs are the most complete team in the league, and I stand by that. They’re second to Boise State in most defensive categories, and their spread offense can hurt you via the run and pass. This may be the most athletic and talented team in the league.

Continue reading

MW mid-season power ratings

It’s the halfway point of the season in the Mountain West. All 10 teams have played at least six games, and some have played seven.

WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi rates all 10 teams and why. Look for his ratings on a weekly basis as the season continues

1. Boise State (5-1 overall, 2-0 MW): The offensive fire power isn’t there, but the defense has been stellar. The Broncos lead the MW in scoring defense (14.7 ppg), pass defense (173.3 ypg), total defense (334.7 ypg), turnover margin (+11), pass efficiency defense (103.4) and first downs allowed (109).

2. Nevada (6-1, 3-0): The most dynamic offense that leads the MW in scoring (41 ppg) and total offense (549.9 ypg). The Wolf Pack can run and throw with the best of them. A fourth-quarter letdown at home against South Florida is the only thing keeping this team from being undefeated and probably nationally ranked. The defense needs to improve and the better teams in the conference still await.

Continue reading

MW football news and notes

The Mountain West held a teleconference with its 10 football coaches Tuesday to talk about spring football and the upcoming season. For my story on that, see Wednesday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang.

Here are a few things that didn’t make my story:

–Air Force returned this week from a trip to the White House to receive the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy. It’s the second straight year and trip for the Falcons.

–Nevada coach Chris Ault enters his 27th year at the school, and has always called the plays and coached the quarterbacks. But this year he brought in former Nick Rolovich to coach the quarterbacks an impliment more of a run-and-shoot aspect to the Wolf Pack’s Pistol offense. Ault said one Rolovich, who was a quarterback at Hawaii, gets comfortable calling plays, he will hand that duty off to him.

Continue reading

MW, CUSA to form new conference

Here is the news release from the Mountain West on the forming of a new conference with Conference USA:

UNIVERSITIES ANNOUNCE PLANS TO FORM CONFERENCE

DALLAS, Texas – Presidents and chancellors from 16 universities met in Dallas Sunday to discuss future conference membership plans and agreed to work on forming a new intercollegiate athletic association that would begin competition in the 2013-14 academic year.

This presidentially led association will ensure stability and be built upon the principles of operating at the highest level of integrity and sportsmanship, enhancing the student-athlete academic and competitive experience, bringing fiscal discipline into athletics and ensuring competitive fairness.

“This is an exciting development that will stabilize the current conferences and create the first truly national conference with members in five time zones and television viewership from coast to coast.  This partnership brings together like-minded institutions to improve the integrity and stability of intercollegiate athletics,” said UNLV President Neal Smatresk. “We are moving our plans forward rapidly and expect to complete our conversations in the near future. Look for further announcements soon as we work together on this exciting new venture.”

Continue reading

Carta-Samuels still undecided on next school

Despite published reports, former Wyoming quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels has not transferred to Vanderbilt.

Not yet, at least.

Though text messages sent Wednesday, Carta-Samuels told me he visited Vanderbilt last weekend, and the Southeastern Conference school is one of his three finalists. He wouldn’t tell me his other two, but hopes to decide in a couple of weeks.

A photo of Carta-Samuels on Facebook from his visit to Vanderbilt surfaced a few days ago. Here is that link: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1981926902164&set=p.1981926902164&type=1&theater

“I simply went on a visit and took a picture there. I have not decided yet that is where my next home will be,” he said.

In today’s Honolulu Star-Advertiser, there’s an article about former Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier having interest in transferring to Hawaii. It also says Carta-Samuels showed interest in going there, but that he will play at Vanderbilt. Here’s the link: http://www.staradvertiser.com/sports/sportsnews/20110615_ExMichigan_QB_Forcier_wants_to_be_a_Warrior.html

Vanderbilt recently had a quarterback transfer in sophomore Charlie Goro, who will attend South Dakota and likely play safety. Senior Larry Smith returns and is the likely starter. Redshirt junior Jordan Rodgers, the younger brother of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and sophomore John Townsley are other quarterbacks on the roster. Rodgers redshirted last year and also had shoulder issues.

If Carta-Samuels transfers to another FBS school, he must sit out a year to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. He has yet to use a redshirt year, and has two years of eligibility remaining. If he transferred to a FCS school or lower division, he could play this fall.

Carta-Samuels was the 2009 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year and Outstanding Offensive Player in UW’s 35-28 double-overtime win over Fresno State in the 2009 New Mexico Bowl.

More from the MWC on Hawaii

Just got off the phone with Javan Hedlund, associate commissioner for communications for the Mountain West Conference. I asked him if I could talk with Commissioner Craig Thompson about Hawaii joining the league in football only. Thompson was flying back from Las Vegas and even though he didn’t talk to me, Hedlund asked him some questions for me.

I asked why only football for Hawaii? I assumed it was because it was too expensive for both the MWC and Hawaii to have all its teams travel to and from the islands. That was basically the case. Hawaii wanted to be in the Big West in other sports to cut down on travel and costs. All of the Big West schools are in California with relatively easy flights to Los Angeles or San Francisco. Also, the MWC presidents gave Thompson permission to go after Hawaii in football only.

With 10 teams in 2012, will the MWC play a nine-game conference schedule with an unbalanced league slate of four home games and five on the road, or vice versa, every year?

Hedlund said that will be discussed later. I know I am not a fan of unbalanced league schedules like that.

There were some travel subsidies agreed upon to make this move financially sound for both Hawaii and the MWC. What were they?

Hawaii will pay a “prescribed fee” to MWC teams that play at Hawaii each year, but MWC don’t have to do the same when Hawaii comes to their place. Hedlund said Thompson wouldn’t say what that fee is.

Is the MWC done expanding?

I think it is, but Hedlund said Thompson told him the league is “potentially interested but not actively looking” to expand at this time.

One would assume the Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu where Hawaii plays its home games would join the MWC’s list of bowls. That likely will happen but there will have to be some talks. However, that should be a mere formality.With a bowl game in Boise as well, don’t be surprised if bowl MWC bowl ties with the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth (where TCU is located) and the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., don’t get re-worked in the future.

Any thoughts on these issues? See my column in Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle www.wyomingnews.com and Laramie Boomerang www.laramieboomerang.com for more.