Last week we revisited my preseason pick for the Mountain conference. Most of my picks were reasonably close. Unfortunately, that was not the case for the West Division. Things went south for a former conference heavyweight, while a surprise team came away with the division title. Let’s revisit which of my picks were good, bad, and ugly.
I nailed this prediction. I thought the Aztecs would finish the season 9-3, and they did just that. However, they didn’t get to that point exactly how I thought they would. San Diego State did better than I thought they would in non-conference play. Nevada continued to be a thorn in their side. I would have never predicted losses to both Hawaii and Utah State before the season started. The lack of a consistent offense continued to plague SDSU. Will a coaching change and grad transfer, quarterback Jack Sears spark the Aztecs?
This was one of the easier predictions to make, in my opinion. The writing was on the wall for this team. They didn’t have the talent to keep up with other teams in the conference, and it was clear that Tony Sanchez was in over his head from his opening season as head coach. I like the Arroyo hire and think he will recruit much better than Sanchez. My biggest concern is whether or not his staff will be able to pull a solid defense together.
San Jose State
I predicted a 4-8 finish for the Spartans and felt that they would take steps in the right direction. They improved even more than I projected. Unfortunately, the Spartans lose quite a bit of talent and will probably take a step back in 2020. I hope the Spartan administration is patient with Brennan and his staff. I think he has what it takes to make San Jose State a perennial bowl team, but they are still a few years away.
I’m still not exactly sure how the Wolf Pack managed to be a bowl team and beat teams like San Diego State and Purdue. They were far and away the most inconsistent team in the conference. However, I think it is fair to say that I missed the boat with my 5-7 prediction. Nevada exceeded expectations this season and could have a chance to contend for the division title in 2020.
Wow...I don’t even know what to say here. I really thought that Fresno State was on the verge of becoming the powerhouse of the West Division. I thought they would battle San Diego State for the division title. I thought the Bulldogs were in position to reload, but it turns out they needed to rebuild. With that being said, I think the Bulldogs will be improved in 2020 and should be a bowl team.
I’m going to be honest, I thought Nick Rolovich and the Rainbow Warriors were a bit of a flash in the pan. I didn’t think that Hawaii had the defense to hang with teams like the Aztecs. Early season wins over Oregon State and Arizona were a catalyst of things to come. Hawaii was clearly better at home. With that being said, I hope Hawaii fans have enjoyed the past few seasons, because I think they are on the verge of returning to mediocrity.
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Please leave your thoughts in the comments below, and stay tuned for next week’s edition where I review my crystal ball predictions.