MW football power rankings

Here are my power rankings for Mountain West football teams entering this week’s games.

1. Fresno State (5-1, 2-0): I said last week this may be the most complete team in the MW, and that was reinforced with a convincing home win over a struggling Wyoming squad.   

2. San Diego State (5-1, 2-0): The Aztecs are a close second behind the Bulldogs. San Diego State is getting things done with a plethora of injuries. Really like watching this team play defense.

3. Utah State (5-1, 2-0): The Aggies have scored 40 or more points in a school-record five straight games. They have offensive weapons all over the place, and a defense that quietly gets it done. This is a fun team to watch.

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Wyoming at Hawaii – pregame reading

Some notes and quotes for Wyoming’s football game tonight at Hawaii. Kick off is at 10 p.m. MT (6 p.m. in Honolulu. There is no regular TV coverage for us not in Hawaii. You can watch the game on a phone or tablet using the Stadium app, which is a free download. Here is a link in how to do that — if you haven’t already.

http://themw.com/sports/2018/9/5/where-to-watch-hawaii-football-on-spectrum.aspx

Craig Bohl

— “Your time table gets changed. Young people probably adapt better than coaches. You’re dealing with a four-hour time change. Getting players acclimated to a big time change is a challenge.” — fifth-year UW coach Craig Bohl

See Saturday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang for my story on not just the time change, but other challenges UW and other teams face when having to travel to Hawaii to play football.

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MW football power rankings

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

1. Boise State (2-1 overall, 0-0 MW): The Broncos remain at the top despite a bye week. They are No. 25 in the coaches poll and 27th in the AP poll — the highest ranked conference team for what it is worth.

2. Fresno State (2-1, 0-0): Rarely to teams move up having not played a game, but the Bulldogs get bumped up one spot this week. The lone loss to Minnesota was a close one a few weeks ago. A good home test comes Saturday against Toledo.

3. San Diego State (3-1, 0-0): The Aztecs drop one spot from last week after its 23-20 overtime win over Eastern Michigan at home. A young team that is still among the league’s best, but also still trying to find itself a bit.

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MW football power rankings return

For the first time on this platform this season, where are my Mountain West football power rankings heading into this week’s games. The rankings have been running in our four-page wrap that goes around the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang for every Wyoming game. With no game this week for the Cowboys, there is no wrap. But from now  on I will post these rankings on the blog — along with my picks for the week.

Here we go.

1. Boise State (2-1 overall, 0-0 MW): The Broncos came back to earth, and fell out of the national rankings, with their 44-21 loss at now 15th-ranked Oklahoma State. Special teams were their demise with two blocked punts. Boise State still has a shot at New Year’s 6 bowl game, but for a team not used to losing, this had to have been a humbling blow.

2. San Diego State (2-1, 0-0): The Aztecs vault back up to near the top of these rankings after their 28-21 home victory over then No. 23 Arizona State. They did it with their typical style — a strong running game and good defense. They also did it with a backup quarterback.

3. Fresno State (2-1, 0-0): The Bulldogs did what they were supposed to do last week — go on the road and easily beat an undermanned UCLA team from the Pac-12. Senior Marcus McMaryion showed why he’s one of the better quarterbacks in the league. All seems right with San Diego State and Fresno State after both lost the previous week.

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MW men’s basketball power rankings entering 9th week of conference play

Here are my weekly power rankings for Mountain West men’s basketball teams heading into this week’s games. RPI numbers are from NCAA.com for games through Feb. 18.

  1. No. 20 Nevada (23-5 overall, 12-2 MW, 9 RPI): Winners of three straight, including road wins at Boise State and Utah State last week. A season-ending Achilles injury to junior point guard Lindsey Drew is big blow. It will be interesting to see who steps up in Drew’s absence. The Wolf Pack has a two-game lead in the loss column in conference standings with two weeks left in the regular season. Games this week: vs. San Jose State, 8 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN3 — online); vs. Colorado State, 2 p.m. Sunday (CBS Sports Network)

2. Boise State (21-6, 11-4, 53 RPI): Still a solid second in these rankings, but the gap is closing. The Broncos have a toughness to them, but may have to fight to keep this ranking and their place in the league standings. Game this week: at Colorado State, 7 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN3 — online)

3. Fresno State (19-8, 9-5, 96 RPI): The Bulldogs have the longest current winning streak in the conference at four, and may be playing the best basketball of any team in the conference right now. This is the team I thought we would see more often than not this season. Game this week: at UNLV, 8 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN3 — online); vs. Wyoming, 8 p.m. Saturday (ESPNU)

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MW men’s basketball power rankings entering 8th week of conference play

Here are my weekly power rankings for Mountain West men’s basketball teams heading into this week’s games. RPI numbers are from NCAA.com for games through Feb. 12.

  1. No. 24 Nevada (21-5 overall, 10-2 MW, 15 RPI): Split last week’s games with UNLV and San Diego State, but maintained its national ranking and first place in the conference. What looked to be a serious foot injury to junior star Caleb Martin forced him to miss only one game. The margin of error depth-wise for Nevada is razor-thin, but it is still the best team in the MW. The game of the year in the league to this point is coming up. Games this week: at Boise State, 9 p.m. Wednesday (ESPNU); at Utah State, 4 p.m. Saturday (CBS Sports Network)

2. Boise State (20-5, 10-3, 37 RPI): The Broncos were in first place briefly after its come-from-behind win at New Mexico and Nevada’s loss to UNLV, but they gave it back to Nevada with a road loss at Utah State. Boise State can get back to the top spot Wednesday, and its NCAA Tournament at-large hopes may come down to it winning out until — at very least — the MW Tournament championship game. Games this week: vs. Nevada, 9 p.m. Wednesday (ESPNU); vs. Air Force, noon Saturday (AT&T SportsNet)

3. Fresno State (17-8, 7-5, 94 RPI): Just one game last week, a home win over San Diego State. No one is playing better basketball right now than the Bulldogs, but they can’t afford a let down. Game this week: at San Jose State, 8 p.m. Wednesday (MW Network — online); vs. Colorado State, 5 p.m. Saturday (ESPN3 — online)

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MW men’s basketball power rankings entering 7th week of conference play

Here are my weekly power rankings for Mountain West men’s basketball teams heading into this week’s games. RPI numbers are from NCAA.com as of Feb. 4.

  1. No. 23 Nevada (20-4 overall, 9-1 MW, 12 RPI): The Wolf Pack have bounced back well after a loss at Wyoming Jan. 24. Still not a deep team, but also still the best team in the conference. A couple of tough games this week, but they are at home. Games this week: vs. Nevada, 9 p.m. Wednesday (CBS Sports Network); vs. San Diego State, 6 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2).

2. Boise State (19-4, 9-2, 37 RPI): Coach Leon Rice has waded across the Boise River and rode a horse through campus to get people to Taco Bell Arena. It has worked, but he shouldn’t have to do these things because the Broncos are legit. A pair of challenging road games await the Broncos. Games this week: at New Mexico, 8 p.m. Tuesday (ESPNU); at Utah State, 7 p.m. Saturday (AT&T SportsNet).

3. New Mexico (12-12, 7-4, 160 RPI): A short-handed squad lost at Utah State and then struggled to win at San Jose State last week. Still, the Lobos remain in third place in the standings, and in these power rankings. Don’t think anyone saw this coming. Games this week: vs. Boise State, 8 p.m. Tuesday (ESPNU); at Air Force, 2 p.m. Saturday (ESPN3 — online).

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MW men’s basketball power rankings entering the 4th week of conference play

Here are my weekly power rankings for Mountain West men’s basketball teams heading into this week’s games. Look for these rankings on a weekly basis throughout the conference season. RPI numbers are from NCAA.com as of Jan. 15.

  1. Nevada (16-3 overall, 5-0 MW, 16 RPI): Still the only undefeated team in conference play, and also the team with the longest winning streak in the conference at five. Depth remains an issue with this team, but so far it has made it work with its main players logging a lot of minutes. There will be a big test for the Wolf Pack this week. Games this week: at San Jose State, 8:30 p.m. Wednesday (ESPNU); vs. Boise State, 8 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2).

2. Boise State (15-3, 5-1, 29 RPI): The Broncos bounced back well after their loss at Wyoming Jan. 6 with a road win at Fresno State and a home win over San Diego State in front of a sellout crowd. Senior guard Chandler Hutchison scored 44 points in the win over San Diego State and leads the conference in scoring at 19.8 points per game. The supporting cast around Hutchison is good, but also needs to be more consistent. Games this week: vs. Utah State, 7 p.m. Wednesday (Stadium/Facebook Live); at Nevada, 8 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2).

3. San Diego State (11-5, 3-2, 64 RPI): No shame in a close loss at Boise State last week. Like many MW teams, consistency is an issue night in and night out. The defense is the best in the MW in terms of points allowed per game, but veteran guys need to be better on offense. Games this week: vs. Fresno State, 9 p.m. Wednesday (ESPNU); at New Mexico, 5 p.m. Saturday (CBS Sports Network).

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MW men’s basketball power rankings entering third week of conference play

Here are my weekly power rankings for Mountain West men’s basketball teams. Look for these rankings on a weekly basis throughout the conference season. RPI numbers are from NCAA.com as of Jan. 7.

1. Nevada (15-3 overall, 4-0 MW, 16 RPI): The lone undefeated team in conference play, and also the team with the longest winning streak in the conference at four. Not the deepest team in the MW, but probably the most talented. It will take a heck of an effort from any team in the league to beat the Wolf Pack. Game this week: vs. Utah State, 6 p.m. Saturday (ESPN3 — online).

2. Boise State (13-3, 3-1, 45 RPI): Yeah, the Broncos lost in overtime at Wyoming last Saturday, but they stay No. 2 in these rankings because — to me — they are the most complete team in the conference with the best player in senior guard Chandler Hutchison. But Boise State has a big week ahead of it to stay in this spot, or possibly surpass Nevada. Games this week: at Fresno State, 9 p.m. Tuesday (ESPNU); vs. San Diego State, 8 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2).

3. Wyoming (11-5, 2-1, 50 RPI): The Cowboys’ first three games in league play were against San Diego State, Nevada and Boise State, and they went 2-1 with both wins at home. Any team would take that. Wyoming must become more consistent across the board, and a leg injury to junior guard Justin James late in last Saturday’s game with Boise State is a concern. The Cowboys also are last in the MW in scoring defense (76.1 ppg). That has to change. Games this week: at New Mexico, 7 p.m. Wednesday (Stadium/Facebook Live); vs. Colorado State, 2 p.m. Saturday (CBS Sports Network)

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MW men’s basketball power rankings as league play begins

It is time for conference play for Mountain West men’s basketball team, and also the debut of my weekly power rankings. Look for these rankings on a weekly basis throughout the conference season. RPI numbers are from NCAA.com as of Dec. 26.

1. Nevada (11-3, 23 RPI): A head-scratching loss at San Francisco to end its nonconference season, but the preseason league favorite and defending regular-season and conference tournament champion earns the top spot. The Wolf Pack will be tested in its MW opener at Fresno State Wednesday. Games this week: at Fresno State, 8 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN3); vs. New Mexico, 3 p.m. Saturday (AT&T SportsNet).

2. Boise State (10-2, 29 RPI): The Broncos got smoked at SMU in its final nonconference game, but also racked up some nice wins. Senior Chandler Hutchison is playing like the preseason MW Player of the Year, and the supporting cast around him also has played well. Perhaps the most important statistic is Boise State leads the league in scoring defense at 64.5 points per game. Games this week: vs. Colorado State, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday (CBS SportsNetwork); at UNLV, 9 p.m. Saturday (AT&T SportsNet).

3. San Diego State (8-3, 55 RPI): A two-point win at home over then No. 12 Gonzaga Dec. 21 was by far the conference’s best nonconference win. When this team is healthy, it may be the best team in the league. In coach Brian Dutcher’s first season, the Aztecs remain one of the better defensive teams in the country, but are pushing the tempo more offensively and average 78.3 points per game. Games this week: at Wyoming, 7 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN3); vs. Utah State, 8 p.m. Saturday (ESPN3).

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