463 votes later...
We asked a simple question, "Which Mountain West football team is the best in history?" We put out the call for nominations, and you all answered! Thank you to everyone who voted, and if you're interested in the overall results, you'll find them at the bottom of this post. For everyone else, we present some fun facts from the overall process before the big reveal.
Most votes for a losing effort: 2012 wasn't particularly kind to the Hawaii Warriors, the team's first as a Mountain West Conference member, as they finished last with a 3-9 record and only a win over lowly UNLV to their ledger in conference play. However, that didn't stop fans from submitting sixteen votes for these Warriors.
Most blatant homerism: This depends somewhat on your interpretation of the votes. Fans of the BYU Cougars came strong to the balloting and cast the most overall votes, but when asked about the No. 1 team in MWC history, fans of the TCU Horned Frogs cast just one vote in 40 for another team.
Smallest share of the ballot: Among all 15 teams, the San Jose Spartans appeared on only 21 ballots. If you narrow the field to only the original members of the conference, the dubious honor falls to the UNLV Rebels, who only appeared on 27 ballots. :(
Best vote for a team that wasn't in the Mountain West: I think I actually have to call this a tie, if only because both selections were pretty good teams in their own right. In the section where fans were asked what they considered the best MWC team, one intrepid Spartans fan voted for their 2012 squad, who went 11-2 in their last season in the old WAC. Meanwhile, a Nevada fan also voted for the 2010 Wolf Pack, led by Colin Kaepernick to a 13-1 record and a share of their last WAC title.
Thankfully, the votes gave us a clear indication of the top 16 teams in conference history, all of which received at least seven percent of the total vote. The only limitation was to prevent too much of a monopolization of the bracket by BYU (Cougars fans, you should be very proud of your turnout, regardless!), which means no more than three editions of any one team were allowed into the bracket.
In the coming weeks, we plan to put together a tournament and utilize WhatIfSports in order to pit these teams against one another, with a best-of-nine to determine conclusive winners. Seedings were largely determined by total votes, though teams earned an additional "vote" for every instance in which they were named as the No. 1 team overall at the end of the survey. Without further ado, here are the 16 best MWC teams by your vote:
|Ranking||Team||# of Votes|
|16||2012 Boise State Broncos||32|
|15||2014 Utah State Aggies||37|
|14||2007 BYU Cougars||40|
|13||2014 Colorado State Rams||41|
|12||2013 Utah State Aggies||48|
|11||2000 Colorado State Rams||58|
|10||2013 Fresno State Bulldogs||63|
|9||2011 TCU Horned Frogs||95|
|8||2014 Boise State Broncos||102|
|7||2009 TCU Horned Frogs||108|
|6||2001 BYU Cougars||113|
|5||2011 Boise State Broncos||128|
|4||2010 TCU Horned Frogs||198|
|3||2008 Utah Utes||220|
|2||2004 Utah Utes||276|
|1||2006 BYU Cougars||277|
You can find the total results of the votes here, and here's a rundown of the first-round matchups. Stay tuned to Mountain West Connection for more!
|1||2006 BYU||16||2012 Boise State|
|8||2014 Boise State||9||2011 TCU|
|4||2010 TCU||13||2014 Colorado State|
|5||2011 Boise State||12||2013 Utah State|
|3||2008 Utah||14||2007 BYU|
|6||2001 BYU||11||2000 Colorado State|
|2||2004 Utah||15||2014 Utah State|
|7||2009 TCU||10||2013 Fresno State|