Ok, so now we can all agree, college football is back, and it is as good as it ever has been. Week Zero was a great appetizer, and selfishly it gave me a dry run at these Power Rankings, but now that the first full week is over it’s really time to dive in.
I wanted to give these rankings a special little twist - so not only will I be giving you the rankings 1-12, but I will also be comparing each Mountain West team with a stereotypical personality found inside a pick-up basketball game.
If you have ever played pick-up basketball these comparisons will make sense to you very quickly - if you have not - find someone who has so they can explain to you the cleverness I am about to bestow upon you.
- Boise State - Poor Troy. First off - they have to live in Alabama, where it’s hot, humid, and in somewhat close proximity to Nick Saban (who I am sure can suck the fun out of an entire state), and secondly they had to play BSU in the opener. Boise State is ex D1 hooper that shows up to the pick-up game with his old college gear bag, two pairs of LeBron’s, and arm sleeve already on. You’d think he would be humble knowing he is the only player worth his weight in salt on the floor - you’d be wrong. He quickly asserts his dominance by clearing out one side of the floor, playing bully-ball, and screaming AND ONE anytime he makes a layup while anyone so much as breathes on him. This is of course after he gives the entire game a lecture about “protecting the integrity of the game” by calling your own fouls. (Side note: If you are this guy at your local pick-up game … stop it.)
- Hawaii - Freaking Rainbow Warriors … They have been a combined 35 point underdogs in their first two games, but here Rolo and company are 2-0 and now favored by 17 over Rice. The run and shoot is back, which is the perfect description of who they’d be in your basketball game. Hawaii is the guy who has absolutely no conscience when it comes to jacking up threes. He is letting it fly. Doesn’t matter what is happening, what the situation is, or how he has been shooting. He’s just going to send it. Unfortunately, they are usually more cold than hot, turn the ball over all the time, and are frustrating to watch. But, they are funny dang it, and everyone likes having them around so you keep inviting them back.
- Fresno State - I think Fresno just scored again. Talk about a “get right” game. Idaho did know they could fight back right? Fresno beating Idaho like they did only plays into their on court persona of course... The Bulldogs are the guy who yells “KOBE” about six times a game (bricking most), but who hit the game-winner last week and won’t let you forget about it. He is a good player, but you are never REALLY worried about facing him. The talent is there - but something is missing.
- Utah State - Uh, the Aggies almost beat Michigan State. Not like … “oh yeah, they kind of had a chance” but like really almost beat Sparty. Did someone get Chuckie Keaton a 16th year of eligibility or what? Like their alter-basketball ego, Utah State is annoyingly effective at times. They never stop playing defense, they foul you hard if you have an open lay-up, and they use proper fundamentals. We all know this guy (if you don't … it’s you). Every once in a while - they inexplicably beat you, sending you home contemplating your life and where you have gone wrong, because there is “no way” that should ever happen. When in reality - they’re probably just better than you always think they are.
- SDSU - Well, it wasn’t a repeat performance for SDSU, they couldn’t take down Stanford and their 1600 SAT score athletes this year. A positive for SDSU though, is they looked like they always do. They showed up, played hard, and ran the rock effectively. Just like in basketball where they rebound like Dennis Rodman, play defense like Joe Dumars, but shoot jumpers like Shaq. Anything further than five feet is outside their range. They are specialist at making the game “dirty” but goodness are they boring to watch. Also - they don’t believe in mystiques … at all.
- Wyoming - Wyoming was the seventh best player on their high school varsity team. He makes sure that most of his games are played against lower competition (NM State) and then he looks like a superstar. Plays tough defense, gets to the rack, rebounds … the whole nine yards. But when they square off against legit competitions (WSU) they get exposed for what they are. An extremely flawed, lacking dynamic playmaking ability, so-so player.
Ok - so that is 1-6 obviously, 7-12 is much harder to determine at this point. Honestly, the Mountain West didn’t look great overall this past weekend. No one, other than Boise and Hawaii, did anything to make you want to write home about.
That being said I am going to lump the rest of the MW together in 7-12 because no one really deserves to be ranked ahead of anyone else. Dang it, I tried to get through this section without being mean, but I can’t do it. Fine.
12. SJSU - My goodness. Get it together down there. The only positive I can spin from that disaster is … at least you aren’t Kansas.
Everyone else is effectively tied from 7-11. Hopefully week two will give more clarity to the bottom half of the conference. But as for now - there is your week one Mountain West Power Rankings. Let us know what you think in the comments below.