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The short answer to this breakdown is: recent history, returning production, and recruiting.
That makes sense to see Boise State at the number one spot and Colorado State at two as the Rams have improved on the field and their recruiting as well. That also makes sense that Air Force is near the bottom since they are losing a lot of talent from defense and also star wide receiver Jalen Robinette.
Recruiting matters more toward success vs. conference than national ratings. Boise State, Colorado State and San Diego State vastly out-recruited the conference compared to its overall average of 99.6.
It's a good news/bad news situation for 2017. Back Stedman Mayberry is back, and while he didn't prove a lot carrying the ball, he did prove versatile, catching 42 passes and helping Jones to a 64 percent completion rate.
Meanwhile, returnees Tyler Watts and Thurman Morbley are back after catching 74 percent of their passes last year. There is a nice set of efficiency weapons, and if senior-to-be Elijah King can provide a more steady threat, the Bobcats might have a bona fide big-play guy.
Kayson Smith Bejgrowicz is expected to play either wide receiver or defensive back and he is a big-time athlete as he was Hawaii’s 2015 Gatorade athlete of the year in track and field after winning a pair of state championships.
Austin Ferreira he will also being competing for a defensive back or wide receiver position.
Makai Manuwai: His size, 6-foot-1 and 255 pounds, will allow him to compete for defensive end, H-back or tight end.