clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mountain West Football: A Countdown Comparison

The day-by-day power rankings of college football teams are ongoing at USA Today and the Orlando Sentinel, but for our intents and purposes, they may as well be finished. How do they stack up?

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Myerberg of USA Today and Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel have put in a tremendous amount of hours toward the publication of their respective power rankings, seemingly begun after the Florida State Seminoles were crowned the last BCS champions in February.  Within the last week, however, the last of the Mountain West's top teams were revealed, which means now is a good time for a "compare and contrast" exercise.  How did the MWC shake out?

Myerberg rank behind/ahead of Murschel rank behind/ahead of
Air Force 102 Colorado, Wyoming 94 Colorado, Connecticut
Boise State 25 Duke, Arizona 27 Washington, Nebraska
Colorado State 73 South Alabama, Vanderbilt 70 Troy, Western Kentucky
Fresno State 51 Oklahoma State, Oregon State 40 Florida, Virginia Tech
Hawaii 123 Miami (Ohio), Georgia Southern 125 Georgia Southern, Appalachian State
Nevada 82 Boston College, Tulsa 82 Washington State, Old Dominion
UNLV 111 New Mexico, Kansas 77 Louisiana-Monroe, Texas State
New Mexico 110 Tulane, UNLV 105 UTEP, Iowa State
San Diego State 58 Ball State, Pittsburgh 72 Western Kentucky, Syracuse
San Jose State 76 Syracuse, Troy 80 Akron, Washington State
Utah State 46 Texas, Arizona State 42 Virginia Tech, Iowa
Wyoming 103 Air Force, Kentucky 103 Louisiana Tech, UTEP

So what can we learn? All things considered, it's surprising how relatively similar the two lists are to one another.  Two teams, Nevada and Wyoming, are in the exact same spot, while four others are less than five places apart.  Poor, poor Hawaii is dwelling near the FBS basement, while Boise is rightfully considered a Top-25 caliber squad.

The greatest disparities come out of the West division, where Myerberg and Murschel have more than ten spots separating Fresno State and San Diego State.  It's somewhat surprising to see the Aztecs firmly in the middle of the pack, more so when considering the healthy buzz around their conference title hopes.  The Bulldogs, on the other hand, seem to receive at least a little benefit of the doubt in having to replace their big offensive stars.

And then there's UNLV, for whom arguments can be made in favor of both regression and the proverbial step forward.  Both previews account for the overturned postseason ban, though Myerberg admits some hesitancy toward throwing support behind the program's limited success:

Let's think what the Rebels do well. The receiver corps is headlined by one of the top receivers on the non-major level. The offensive line is as experienced as it gets; when it comes to left tackle, the Rebels are as good as you'll see in the Mountain West. The backfield might be unsettled, but you have to admire [Shaquil] Murray-Lawrence's production in a smaller sample size.  And the secondary, with two veterans in the fold and a nice freshman in the mix, is an unquestioned strength. The issues? Quarterback, defensive line, linebacker, kicking game, coverage teams, pass rush and run defense. So it's not a perfect team by any stretch.

With the benefit of hindsight, how do these two rankings look to you?  Is there any team that's too high or too low?  Let us know in the comments.