We are back at it. The Mountain West was on full display this weekend with conference action, games against P5 teams, and games against G5/FCS teams. Not sure if things are clearing up or becoming more confusing a month into the season. Below is our attempt to make sense of it all. Take a look at this week’s MWCConnection Power Rankings, and let us know what you like and what you don’t. Feel free to drop your own rankings in the comments section.
Week 7 Rankings
This week, teams are sorted into three categories. Contenders, pretenders, and surrenders.
Some may have Air Force at #2 and maybe they are, but Nevada has faced better competition thus far.
1) San Diego State
The Aztecs keep rolling. Their passing offense leaves a lot to be desired but the rest of their team is so good, they are able to cover the gaps through the first six games. Will it last? Time will tell, but their defense and special teams are extraordinary to watch.
The Wolf Pack have improved over the course of the season and look like a complete team. They have cleaned up some of the hiccups from earlier in the season and although tougher games on their schedule remain, they look more than prepared to handle them. Not many can handle their offense, but it will be great to see them go up against some of the conference's best defenses.
3) Air Force
The Falcons just keep winning. If not for an overtime loss to Utah State, they would probably be ranked. Instead, they will have to beat SDSU to crack the top 25. It will be their toughest game to date, but that has been said the past few weeks and they passed those tests as well.
4) Fresno State
The Bulldogs are still a very good team but probably coming back down to earth. It’s a soft landing, and a very good team is probably closer to who they are. For a week, they solved their problems with giving up the ball by forcing five turnovers of their own. Fresno State is still high on potential with half the season to go.
Put in whatever order you want. Wyoming has a better record, CSU has a better conference record, BSU should beat Wyoming. The middle is muddled.
The Cowboys deserve credit for being 4-2 but they are looking vulnerable in the past two games, both losses. Their offense isn’t much of a threat, but their stout defense will keep them in almost any game. Unfortunately, there is a difference between staying in a game and winning a game. Unless they can make changes, Wyoming is heading in the wrong direction.
6) Boise State
Has anyone tried turning the Boise State program off and turning it back on again? Times are tough for the Broncos, as they aren’t talented enough to overcome mistakes, ineffectiveness, or injuries. There is still a path for them to get to a bowl game but there is no room for error.
7) Utah State
The Aggies are a team that only does a few things well, but they do those things extremely well! They can produce explosive plays seemingly out of nowhere and have the mindset to never give up, which is how they have come from behind in each of their wins. The future looks bright for the program, even if they are still working out some kinks in the meantime.
8) Colorado State
Don’t look now but the Rams are atop the Mountain division. They have been playing some pretty football the past few games, with the last one against New Mexico being the lasted demonstration of the game formula that works for them. While they shouldn’t be confused with the top teams in the conference (at least for now), Colorado State is playing competitive football which is great.
Two teams are going nowhere and the other two teams are trying to figure out how they got here.
Hawaii has been sputtering along and it’s challenging with an injury to their quarterback. still, they appear to be a team without an identity, which is a rough place to be in and is especially confusing considering Hawaii has had a specific identity in the past. Maybe they can win down the road as their schedule eases up in the second half.
10) San Jose State
The Spartans are in a free-fall without QB Nick Starkel. The defense is still there but the offense hasn’t come close to their 2020 showing, and that was apparent even before the injuries. It’s hard to repeat and it’s hard to win consistently, which SJSU is finding out this year.
11) New Mexico
The wheels have fully come off for the Lobos. In their latest game, they were totally embarrassed, giving up more points to CSU than they did to TAMU. It was also their second-lowest offensive output of the season. Things are looking bleak currently.
It’s lather, rinse, and repeat for the Rebels, although they looked really good coming out of the bye week, leading the Aggies until the end of the game. They had chances and couldn’t take advantage of them. Too many penalties and too many turnovers. Their defense does not seem to have taken any steps forward and while their offense has talent, it’s too inconsistent. It’s hard to see them getting a victory this season.