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2020 Football Look Ahead: Power 5 Teams

How will the MWC fare against the Power 5 this fall?

NCAA Football: Missouri at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

In 2019, the Mountain West acquitted themselves pretty well against the Power 5 teams. In fact, the MWC had a winning record against the SEC, going 3-2 last season. The 3 wins included Wyoming beating Missouri, San Jose State beating Arkansas & UNLV beating Vanderbilt. The winning record for the conference against the SEC looks even better after the draft last month. The SEC set a 1st round record with 15 of their players picked. The 2nd round saw 10 more SEC players selected. The 2-round total of 25 was a conference record for the NFL draft.

Outside of the 3 wins against the SEC, the MWC had: 5 wins against the PAC 12 (Hawaii twice over Arizona/Oregon State, Air Force twice over Colorado/Washington State & SDSU over UCLA), 1 win against the ACC (Boise State over Florida State) & 1 win against the Big Ten (Nevada over Purdue).

Overall, the Mountain West went 10-11 against Power 5 teams in 2019. For a Group of 5 team, that is more than respectable. Further, other Group of 5 teams did not fare nearly as well. The American went 8-15. The Sun Bent went 4-8. Conference USA went 3-19. The MAC went 1-22.

After such a strong year in 2019, let’s look ahead to the 2020 Power 5 schedule:

  • Air Force - @Purdue on 9/19
  • Boise State - Florida State on 9/19
  • Colorado State - Colorado on 9/5, @Oregon State on 9/12 & @Vanderbilt on 9/26
  • New Mexico - @Mississippi State on 9/5 & @USC on 9/12
  • Utah State - Washington State on 9/3 & @Washington on 9/19
  • Wyoming - Utah on 9/19
  • Fresno State - @Colorado on 9/12 & @Texas A&M on 10/10
  • Hawaii - @Arizona on 8/29, UCLA on 9/5 & @Oregon on 9/19
  • Nevada - @Arkansas on 9/5
  • San Diego State - UCLA on 9/19
  • San Jose State - @Penn State on 9/19
  • UNLV - California on 8/29, Arizona State on 9/12 & @Iowa State on 9/19

That would be 21 games by my count. As I look at that schedule, I don’t feel overly bullish about the MWC repeating the 10-11 from last season. I’d say the MWC would be more realistically shooting for 7 wins to finish 7-14 against that Power 5 schedule this fall.

Breaking down the Power 5 games by conference opponent, the MWC will play: 13 games against the PAC 12, 4 games against the SEC, 2 games against the Big Ten, 1 game against the ACC & 1 game against the Big 12. Obviously, the conference plays the PAC 12 the most. The MWC held their own against the PAC 12 in 2019, going 5-5.

With that said, what do you think will happen this fall versus the Power 5?

Poll

Over/Under 7 Wins Against the Power 5 this Fall?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    Over
    (26 votes)
  • 36%
    Under
    (21 votes)
  • 18%
    Agree with 7 Wins
    (11 votes)
58 votes total Vote Now

Poll

With 13 games against the PAC 12 & 4 games against the SEC, does the MWC finish with a winning record against either conference?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Nope
    (24 votes)
  • 27%
    Yes, the PAC 12
    (12 votes)
  • 4%
    Yes, the SEC
    (2 votes)
  • 13%
    Yes, both conferences
    (6 votes)
44 votes total Vote Now

Also, please leave your thoughts in the comments below about what you think will happen between the MWC and the Power 5.