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.

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UW sports live chat replay

Here’s the replay of my weekly live chat on University of Wyoming sports Thursday.

Plenty of UW football talk as the Cowboys lost their season-opener 24-3 at Iowa last Saturday, and play their home-opener at 2 p.m. Saturday against Gardner-Webb.

For more UW sports coverage, see the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.

Live Blog University of Wyoming sports live chat

Wyoming at Iowa pregame primer

Finally, a game to talk about.

Wyoming plays at Iowa at 10 a.m. MT Saturday in the season-opener for both squads. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.

To follow with tradition, here is my No. 1 key for UW in the game:

Josh Allen

Balancing act: Despite the skills and abilities of junior quarterback Josh Allen, UW can’t be one-dimensional offensively. It has to run the ball, or at least run it well at critical times. That will be a tall task against a big and experienced Iowa front seven. Still, the Cowboys can’t make it easy for Iowa’s defense to come after Allen so some semblance of a running game is a must.

Agree, disagree?

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UW football fall camp – Practice No. 21

Wednesday was a day for mental and fundamental work as the Cowboys practiced outside on the practice fields south of War Memorial Stadium in spiders (lighter shoulder pads), helmets and shorts.

The best news was there were no new injuries to report.

Here’s what fourth-year UW coach Craig Bohl said after practice.

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How I voted in the preseason All-MW football team

The annual Mountain West “Media Summit” kicked off Tuesday at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Simply put, it’s MW football media days. The league just gave it a fancy new name.

The preseason All-MW team and predicted order of finish was announced Tuesday morning. Both were voted by selected media, including myself.

Here’s how the voting turned out:

2017 Preseason All-MW Football Team

Offense

QB: Josh Allen**, jr., Wyoming

WR: Michael Gallup*, sr., Colorado State; Devonte Boyd, sr., UNLV

RB: Rashaad Penny, sr., San Diego State*; Tyrone Owens, jr., New Mexico

OL: Jake Bennett**, sr., Colorado State; Austin Corbett**, sr., Nevada, Dejon Allen**, sr., Hawaii, Aaron Jenkins, jr., New Mexico; Mason Hampton, sr., Boise State.

TE: David Wells**, sr., San Diego State

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Hill takes pride in how opponents try to defend him

Last season, teams knew Wyoming was going to run the football with running back Brian Hill.

Brian Hill

Brian Hill

As a result, opponents stacked with box with eight or nine guys more often than not. Still, Hill ran for a single-season school record of 1,631 yards in 2015.

“I enjoy the attention, and I like the challenge when teams put eight or nine guys in the box,” Hill said. “I would enjoy to see just seven, but to see teams give me that repsct gives me some pride.

“This year, I’m praying for an eight-man box because we have a quarterback that can sling it, and Im excited to see wht he’s going to do.”

Hill is referring to redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Allen, the clear-cut starter when fall camp begin Monday, Aug. 8.

But until Allen and the rest of the offense proves otherwise, teams will continue to stack the box against the Cowboys.

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How I voted for preseason All-MW football team

The Mountain West started its two-day football media day activities Tuesday in Las Vegas, and the first thing that was released was the preseason all-conference team and predicted order of finish.

Here is the link to the all-conference team: http://www.themw.com/news/2016-preseason-all-mwfb

And the link to the predicted order of finish: http://www.themw.com/news/mwfb-16-predicted-order

I voted this year, and have every year since the MW was formed in 1999. My ballots were not that much different than the official ones, which were voted on by selected media members around the league.

Here is my 2016 Preseason All-MW Football Team and predicted order of finish:

QB: Brett Rypien, Boise St.

RB: Brian Hill, Wyoming; Donnel Humphrey, San Diego St.

WR: Devonte Boyd, UNLV; Thomas Sperbeck, Boise St.

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