After the amazing week 1, which featured the MWC Upset of the Year, week 2 was a bit of a letdown. Or maybe even more so. There was no real "upset"... TCU over Virginia was expected by most, and the closest upset almost went against the MWC (Colorado State v. Weber State). Wyoming hung close for a half but eventually fell apart, and UNLV kept things close but lost in the final seconds. And Air Force fell just a bit short in what we voted as the MWC Game of the Week.
And with Week 2 over, it's time for a Power Ranking...
Note #1: I'm a big fan of "resume ranking"... aka, you get ranked based on what you've done, not what you might do in the future.)
Note #2: This is not a "who's the best team" ranking. It's a "who'd you beat and how'd you beat them" ranking.
- BYU- The Oklahoma win still looks good (the Sooners dismantled D-II Idaho State just like you'd expect), and the Cougars totally dominated Tulane. The first half was slow/sluggish, with the Cougars only up 6-3 with 3:28 left in the half. But then they started scoring, and reeled off 48 unanswered points to destroy the Green Wave, 54-3. The defense held Tulane to 37 rushing yards, and gave up just 4.5 ypc through the air. And there were the 2 interceptions & 2 fumble recoveries. Meanwhile, once it got going, the offense was unstoppable. They had 35 first down, 300+ yards through the air, 200+ yards on the ground, and 0 punts. And that was WITH Unga only getting 3 carries & 1 reception before re-aggravating his injury. Up next: Florida State (1-1)
- TCU- Yeah, Virginia has shown nothing so far this season (the loss to William & Mary, and then this game). And yeah, TCU took week 1 off. Still. They absolutely dominated the Cavaliers in Virginia... well, at least until the final 5 minutes, when Al Groh and company finally woke up and started playing. The Horned Frogs allowed just 177 yards (as many yards as the Horned Frogs had through the air), and Virginia did not snap the ball from inside the red zone once. The Horned Frogs D also racked up 8 sacks, dominating the Cavaliers offensive line. Offensively, there was a bit of a scare when Andy Dalton came up limping after a sack... but he was out there again a bit later, and also was into for the final series of hand-offs and all. Up next: Texas State (1-0)
- Utah- The Utes struggled in the first half against Utah State. They struggled a lot longer this weekend, as San Jose State matched Utah's turnover prone offense (okay, just 2 fumbles, but it seemed a lot worse at the time) for 3+ quarters in a game the Utes struggled to win. Of course, the 3 missed FGs by Ben Vroman didn't help things. The Utes drove down the field early for a score, but struggled offensively after that. It took a late TD bomb and a couple of nice runs by the back-ups after Asiata went down with a shoulder injury for the Utes to finally pull ahead, and a late FG by Joe Phillips to put the lead at 10. The defense was solid against the run (1.0 ypc), but the Spartans abused them through the air, with 146 of the 269 yards going to one guy. But the lack of offensive help really hurt, and showed the coaches (hopefully) many things that need to be fixed in the next week. And let's be honest... if either AFU or UNLV wins their game this past weekend, they're up at #3. Utah's performance thus far this season has been highly disappointing. Up next: @ Oregon (1-1)
Air Force- Yeah, they're 1-1 and their 1 win came against a D-II team. Air Force played Minnesota really tough on the road, but ended up falling a bit short, suffering big time when a fumble was returned 50 yards by the Golden Gophers. The Falcons picked up 261 yards on the ground, and even managed 125 yards and 1 TD through the air. But the inability to stop Minnesota (219 yards passing on 7.6 ypc, 108 yards rushing on 4.5 ypc) and the fumble ended up doing them in. They hung tough though, and were in a winnable game. Up next: @ New Mexico (0-2)
- UNLV- Yep another 1-1 team. The reason they're this high comes due to how tough they plaed Pac-10 school Oregon State. Sure, they were at home. But still, to see them come back from down 20-7 and actually take the lead before a very late OSU FG in a heartbreaking loss. The Rebels did give up 184 yards on the ground, and didn't mount a comeback until an unfortunate injury to QB Omar Clayton led to the insertion of back-up Mike Clausen. The defense also allowed a 80.6% completion rate for Beavers QB Sean Canfield, which is never good. Up next: Hawaii (2-0)
- Colorado State- They're 2-0, but their ranking took a double-whammy this weekend. First, Colorado... the team CSU beat on the road last weekend... was destroyed by Toledo. And then CSU got involved in a tight game with D-II Weber State, only hanging on when Weber State was unfortunate enough to fumble away the ball on a snap. The Wildcats were, at that time, at the CSU 11, down by 1 with 42 seconds left. I know they play the games for a reason, but CSU had no business letting WSU... even if they end up being one of the best D-II teams as expected... hang around for that long. Up next: Nevada (0-1)
- San Diego State- The Aztecs quickly rebounded from the disappointing final 3 quarters against UCLA, beating Southern Utah 35-19 after jumping ahead 35-9 after 3 quarters. Ryan Lindley had 287 passing yards, and the Aztecs added 149 yards on the ground. There's not much to pick up from a dominating win over a D-II team, but the Aztecs have their first win under HC Brady Hoke and can now move on, hopefully more confident than they might've been after the UCLA game. Up next: @ Idaho (1-1)
- Wyoming- After struggling against Weber State (maybe it's a MWC thing?), the Cowboys were absolutely slaughtered at home by Texas, 41-10. It wasn't all bad though... the Cowboys were up 10-6 late in the 1st half (before allowing a late TD drive) and went into the locker-room down 13-10. It was all downhill from there though, as the Longhorns woke up and destroyed the Cowboys as many (most?) expected them to do. The Cowboys QB rotation looked unimpressive (23-50, 188 yards) and they only picked up 85 yards on the ground. While the first half caused some excitement, the team still has a way to go. Up next: @ Colorado (0-2)
- New Mexico- After not scoring a single TD against Texas A&M, the Lobos improved on that against Tulsa. Unfortunately, the one small step forward didn't make up for the 2nd straight bad outing. GJ Kinne threw for 310 yards and ran for 53 more (over one-third of Tulsa's 151 rushing yards) to lead Tulsa in a 44-10 thrashing. The 3 lost fumbles and 1 interception really didn't help the Lobos, and the offense is still looking for anything positive. The only TD came in the 4th, on a 93 yard fumble return. The Lobos have now been outscored 85-16 on the season, and start conference play on a low note. Up next: Air Force (1-1)
The MWC was 1-3 against the "Big 6" this past weekend, putting them at 3-5 on the season. There's 3 more games on tap, with BYU (Florida State), Utah (Oregon) and Wyoming (Colorado) all getting shots... 2nd shots for BYU & Wyoming. The Utes are now 2-0 against the WAC, and 3 more games against the WAC are up for the MWC (San Diego State, Colorado State & UNLV). There's 1 game against a D-II team (TCU), and the start of conference play with Air Force traveling to New Mexico.
The MWC went a combined 5-4 this weekend, taking a hit from the 6-2 we saw in week 1. Week 3 sees 1 loss already guaranteed (the conference match-up), and a couple other tough games as well. The 'Big 6' games are all worth keeping an eye on... Florida State (first Miami, and then Jacksonville State !?!) and Colorado (CSU and then Toledo) have struggled early this season, and Oregon is coming off of a win against Purdue after losing their star RB for the season after the Boise State game.