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.

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Smith named to Manning Award watch list

Wyoming sophomore quarterback Brett Smith was named to the Manning Award watch list Monday as one of the nation’s top quarterbacks.

Here’s the story on our new WyoSports website we launched over the weekend.

http://www.wyosports.net/university_of_wyoming/football/wyoming-qb-brett-smith-named-to-manning-award-watch-list/article_279a5688-d4d9-11e1-8b6c-001a4bcf887a.html

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UW-SDSU women’s postgame thoughts

For about 25 minutes the fifth-seeded Wyoming Cowgirls played well, despite foul trouble, with top-seeded San Diego State in their semifinals game in the Mountain West Tournament here Friday afternoon.

But as coach Joe Legerski described it, San Diego State is a fast car and it found another gear UW didn’t have en route to a 73-55 victory.

UW had no answer for junior guard Courtney Clements (22 points, six rebounds) and Chelsea Hopkins (16 points, 10 assists, three steals).

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MW men’s power rankings

I have really enjoyed the comments and feedback on my weekly MW men’s basketball power rankings. Here’s what I got heading into this week’s MW Tournament.

1. No. 21 San Diego State (24-6, 10-4): The Aztecs won back-to-back road games at Boise State and TCU to capture the first seed in the conference tournament. Impressive late-season run by the Aztecs with only seven scholarship players that see playing time.

2. New Mexico (24-6, 10-4): The Lobos should have and did easily defeat Air Force and Boise State last week. This team isn’t far back from San Diego State, and this is the week their depth should help by having to win three games in three days to win the MW Tournament. I still think this is the team to beat in the tournament.

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MW men’s power ratings

Three teams tied for first, two teams tied for seventh and a mess in between.

That’s how the Mountain West men’s basketball standings look heading into the final week of the regular season.

“This conference is crazy. You have three teams tied for first when at the start of last week you didn’t think that was feasible,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said during Monday’s MW coach’s teleconference.

Here is my power rankings this week, and as always, would love to hear your feedback:

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UW-San Diego State key to the game

For the Wyoming men’s basketball team to have a chance to win at San Diego State tonight, the No. 1 key is rather simple:

No scoring droughts: Wyoming can’t afford extended periods of time where it doesn’t score. During its three-game losing streak those times have come mostly in the second half. But whether its early or late, UW needs to be more consistent and efficient offensively.

Any thoughts, opinions?

Be sure to join me at 3 p.m. Thursday for our weekly live chat on UW sports. An update will be posted soon on the blog.

UW-San Diego State Q&A

I am still in Orlando, Fla., for the Associated Press Sports Editors winter conference and contest judging event. Not trying to rub it in to those of you back in Wyoming, but the weather is a lot better here. … Windy, but in the 70s.

Anyway, I caught up with Mark Zeigler who covers San Diego State men’s basketball for the San Diego Union-Tribune and I asked him five questions on Wednesday’s Wyoming-SDSU game.

With San Diego State’s recent struggles, is the team wearing down because of a lack of depth with only nine scholarship players? I don’t think anyone knows for sure, but it certainly looks that way. Two things I have noticed that would indicate accumulated fatigue are players getting stuck in screens far more often than earlier in the season, and flatter jump shots. Both point to tired or heavy legs. And the nine scholarship players is deceiving. One rarely plays. Another plays but only because a guard has to come off the bench and there’s no one else. Another is DeShawn Stephens, who was cut from his high school team and, while an incredibly inspirational story, is in just his third year of organized basketball (and first at the Division I level). So when Jamaal Franklin sat out the Air Force game with a sprained ankle and Garrett Green, his replacement in the starting lineup, sprained an ankle midway through the second half, they in reality were down to four experienced players who get meaningful minutes.

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Shyatt has high priase for Martinez

Wyoming junior guard Luke Martinez leads the Mountain West with 64 3-pointers, and is the Cowboys’ leading scorer at 13 points per game.

Coach Larry Shyatt likes that, but likes something even more about the 6-foot-4 Martinez.

His defense.

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