Countdown to Opening Day: Remembering 10 Great MW Football Moments - 10. MWC Inaugural Season

There are now 10 days left until the beginning of college football. To celebrate this auspicious and great sport I have compiled 10 great moments in MW football history. The rankings aren't necessarily top to bottom, and there are always room for opinions.

When starting an epic story, one must always start with the beginning. After all, Homer began his epics with lots of background, Shakespeare wrote his plays from the start of the story, not the middle. Even The Godfather ran chronologically, only in Part II did it use flashbacks. To start our countdown of a great conference, we must begin at the very beginning, and for us, the beginning is the inaugural season of the Mountain West Conference.

Story continues after the jump:

In the late 90's, the Western Athletic Conference had expanded to 16 teams (where have we heard that idea?). By 1998 the older schools had gotten tired of shared costs and over 3900 miles of travel, so they decided to form their own conference: the Mountain West Conference.

The original lineup is fairly different than what it is now: Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, SDSU, UNLV, Utah and Wyoming.

In 1999, the conference played its first football season and finished up with 50% of the teams finishing above .500. At that time, there were less bowl games so Wyoming got left out of bowl season with a 7-4 record. The top three teams: Utah, BYU and Colorado State all shared the conference title because they all finished up 5-2 conference record (the overall records were 9-3, 8-4 and 8-4 respectively). While the bowl season started strong with a Utah win over Fresno State, the conference finished 1-2 overall in bowl play.

Individual awards included Sonny Lubick of CSU was the Conference COY, RB Kevin McDougal (another Ram) was the Offensive POY, Lobos' Brian Urlacher was Defensive POY and BYU's Luke Staley was the Freshmen of the Year.

The inaugural Mountain West season overall can be considered a success, and a reason to see why the future looks bright.

Up next: This moment featured one current NFL Quarterback, one current NFL safety, two current BCS head coaches and a total dominating performance.

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