We may still be in the early stages of the offseason, but Spring ball is getting closer, and there has been plenty of news going on around the Mountain West to keep us entertained. With so much uncertainty this offseason, I though it would be fruitful to discuss some storylines to keep an eye on this Spring.
The New Television Deal
I might be in the minority here, but I am kind of excited to see what this new television deal brings to the table. One thing that really has helped the AAC is that they have been able to get some primetime games on ABC. That hasn’t been the case for the Mountain West. I think this new deal will bring more nationally televised games to the conference. There will be a few Boise State games that will air on Fox (I’d guess Florida State and BYU for sure). I also think we will see a few Air Force games air on CBS (Navy, Boise State). These are all speculative at this point. What the Mountain West really needs to do is force the hand of the television networks; if a few teams get off to a hot start, it could result in better television coverage.
Transfers are always a wildcard, but there are a number of Mountain West teams that could have key contributors that were at different schools last year. San Jose State, Fresno State, and UNLV all got marquee quarterback transfers and we know San Diego State is in the market for one. I also think Boise State will be active on the Spring grad transfer market, they have some holes to fill on the offensive line and could be looking for a quarterback to backup Hank Bachmeier.
Quarterback Star Power
Josh Love and Jordan Love are gone, and quarterback play was less than stellar in the Mountain West last year. One major concern entering the 2020 season will be the quarterback position at nearly every school in the Mountain West. Outside of Boise State and Air Force, there aren’t many sure things. Wyoming has a good problem, as they have two quarterbacks (Sean Chambers and Levi Williams) fighting for one spot. With that being said, Hammond and Bachmeier will be the preseason favorites for first team quarterback. But, both of those teams have major questions on the offensive line.
A couple weeks ago, I made it very clear that I was not a big fan of many of the coaching hires in the Mountain West. Surprisingly, I think New Mexico made the best hire in Gonzales. I feel like Colorado State, San Diego State, and Hawaii made lateral movements at best. It will be interesting to see how these teams look in Spring ball. Will Hawaii’s offense look different under Graham? Will San Diego State change their scheme on defense? There are plenty of intriguing things to watch at these schools with new coaches.
Is the Mountain West falling further behind?
This is something that we will discuss on our site over the next few months, but boy, did it sure look like the AAC was getting the benefit of the doubt when it came to the rankings and the amount of television time they were receiving. Hopefully, the Mountain West discussed ways to better promote their teams this offseason. That was a major discussion when Boise State was fighting with Memphis and Cincinnati for the Group of Five spot in a New Year’s Six bowl game.
That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” Be sure to tune in next week when I revisit the 2019 Mountain West quarterbacks.