Media days are behind us. With that, we have watch lists, preseason all-conference teams, players of the year, and plenty of quotes from opposing coaches and players that are likely to rile up the opposition. We also have fan bases complaining about their teams not getting the recognition that they deserve. Let’s take a look at Mountain West media days and some of the watch lists that impact Mountain West teams.
Balance on the all-conference teams
One thing is clear entering this season, there isn’t one team that is drastically ahead of the pack and expected to run away from the opposition. That was reflected in the preseason all-conference teams. Boise State may have led the way with five players being recognized, but San Diego State and Utah State were right behind them with four. This could be an interesting season for the Mountain West. Will parity be a theme? Or will one team emerge as a powerhouse?
Rolo has been the life of the party at past Mountain West media days, and this year was no different. Rolo has brought Elvis and Brittney Spears impersonators in the past, but this year he took a different approach with a Tarot card reader. The media certainly got a kick out of it. Not sure I can say the same for the coaches who would rather spend their time watching film. Never change Rolo, never change.
TV deal coming sooner rather than later
There has been a lot of concern over the upcoming TV deal. Craig Thompson made it clear that the new television deal will produce more revenue for each team, and Boise State will continue to negotiate their home games separately. The Broncos have some great opponents coming into Bronco Stadium in coming years and should be able to negotiate a sweet deal. It also appears that this television deal will be for a shorter period of time, which seems like a smart plan considering how quickly television and streaming is changing.
It certainly isn’t perfect, but the conference took a step in the right direction with their bowl games. Yearly games in Los Angeles and the Dallas area are great for recruiting and exposure. Both games will also carry decent opponents.
The Boise State quarterback situation
Chase Cord hasn’t been medically cleared and seems unlikely for the opener. What does this mean for the quarterback position? I guess we will find out as Fall camp begins.
Juwan Washington, where are you?
Washington is the best running back in the conference and deserves to be recognized. I think Washington will have an excellent chance to be the offensive player of the year if the Aztecs can find a capable quarterback. The fact that he was not on the Doak Walker watch list was a bit of a head scratcher. Maybe someone in the Aztec athletic department dropped the ball.
Pierce deserved better
DeAndre Pierce missed the bulk of the 2018 season with an injury. His absence was evident in the Boise State secondary. He has not been recognized on any preseason watch lists and did not make the preseason all-conference teams. Many Bronco fans felt like Kekoa Nawahine was the biggest omission, but Pierce is the heart and soul of the Bronco secondary.
A neutral site championship game
I get it, the weather was bad last year, but let’s not overreact. Schools have had a hard enough time selling tickets in one week. You can’t expect fans to travel such a significant distance with short notice. If you look at other conferences and their attendance for neutral site games, they have all been awful. Give the team with a better record/ranking the advantage of hosting.
Jordan Love for Heisman?
I mean, come on...I get that is the cool thing to do, but anybody that thinks Love is truly a Heisman candidate is fooling themselves. Love is clearly the top quarterback in the Mountain West heading to the season and is a potential NFL draft pick, but it would take an undefeated season and video game numbers for Love to even make it to New York. It’s just not happening.
Media days have become kind of a bore. The only real entertainment comes in arguing about who got nominated for awards. Players and coaches say the “right thing” 99% of the time, and it makes for a lackluster couple of days. Conferences need to find a way to tweak media days and make them more fan friendly. Outside of some news on the quarterback situation at Boise State, there wasn’t really any earth-shattering news.
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Stay tuned next week, where I will dive into what to watch during fall camp.