I’ve already given you predictions for teams in the Mountain Division. In this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly,” we are going to focus on the final outcome for each team in the West Division. I am going to analyze schedules and predict wins and losses for each team. Instead of good, bad, and ugly, we are going to focus on good (bowl teams) and bad (sub .500 teams). With that being said...
Jeff Tedford and the Bulldogs have proven that they are back. Tedford is building a program that can sustain long-term success. The Bulldogs have an interesting non-conference schedule with games against USC and Minnesota. I think they can hang with both teams, will come up with a victory over the Gophers, and head into conference play with a 3-1 record. I do think there will be a few bumps in conference play, but the Bulldogs will do just enough to slip into the conference championship game. Final Prediction: 9-3
San Diego State
The Aztecs are an intriguing team this year, they have a schedule that sets up perfectly, but will they be the Aztec squad of old? Or will they be the squad that looked defeated for a large part of the second half of the season? I tend to believe that Rocky Long will find a way to right the ship, so he can ride off into the sunset on a winning note. I think the Aztecs will win 3 of their 4 non-conference games and go 6-2 in conference play. Final Prediction: 9-3
The Rainbow Warriors are a trendy pick. They are fun to watch and will have an offense that is capable of lighting up the scoreboard. However, it appeared that teams were starting to figure them out as the season progressed. Hawaii has a tough, yet manageable non-conference slate. I think the Rainbow Warriors will go 2-3 in non-conference play and 5-3 in conference play. Final Prediction: 7-6
Nevada wasn’t what we expected last year. Their offense sputtered at times, and their defense was much better than anticipated. The Wolf Pack will have plenty of questions to answer this season, especially since Cristian Solano broke his hand in practice. I expect Nevada to be an up and down team this season. The Wolf Pack will drop both of their Power 5 games in non-conference play (Purdue and Oregon) and enter conference play 2-2. Nevada will finish the conference slate 3-5 and barely miss out on a bowl game. Final Prediction: 5-7
The Tony Sanchez era has been interesting. The Rebels are constantly considered a team on the brink, but they have not been able to break through. Armani Rogers has all of the team in the world, but can he avoid injuries and improve as a passer? I expect the Rebels to give their fans some hope by starting the season 2-0, but then the schedule starts to get tough. They will likely be underdogs in the next six games and will have a hard time making a bowl game. I only see UNLV winning two game in conference play. Final Prediction: 4-8
San Jose State
The Spartans may have only won one game last season, but they hung tough with San Diego State, Hawaii, and Nevada. I think the Spartans will continue to take steps in the right direction but will still be at the bottom of the division. It wouldn’t shock me if they started the season 2-0 with wins over Northern Colorado and Tulsa. I also think the Spartans will manage to win a few games in conference play and finish the season with a much better record than they did in 2018. Final Prediction: 4-8
We made it! The offseason is over, and week zero games take place this weekend. Next week “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly,” will feature the week zero match-up between Hawaii and Arizona.