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
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. SDSU has passed every test to date and is the best team in the conference.
2) Fresno State
The Bulldogs reclaimed the second spot in the rankings, jumping two spots, after their big win over Nevada. They are arguable the most balanced team in the conference and have displayed that trait in the majority of their games this season. If they can keep their turnovers in check, they are a force to be reckoned with.
Nevada lost a heartbreaker against the Bulldogs, coming up just short after a failed two-point conversion. Offens is not an issue for the Wolfpack, as they can score in bunches when things are clicking. Consistency can be a bit of an issue and that’s is usually when they get beat, but they are as tough of a matchup as anyone.
4) Air Force
Air Force lost a tough one, as their defense played a solid game but their offense was held in check against a formidable opponent in San Diego State. Also, the Falcons had a few key players out due to an injury. AFA should be fine going forward, but perhaps are a tier below the teams listed above them.
5) Boise State
Bye week, no change below.
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.
6) 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, and did so once again this past week. In many ways, they are a team of destiny, and right now are in good shape to win the Mountain Division.
7) Colorado State
CSU dropped a game they should have won thanks to a coaching and clock management blunder, but they have been as competitive as anyone as of late. Don’t count them out. While they are not to be confused with a great team, they are showing some glimpses when they aren’t shooting themselves in the foot.
Hawaii came away with a win. Sure it was against lowly New Mexico State but wins are definitely at a premium in 2021 and no game is a guarantee. The Rainbow Warriors are hanging around and are great at playing spoiler at this point in the season.
Wyoming is in a free fall, being exposed playing better teams after their soft non-conference schedule. While their defense is as good as anyone in the conference, their offense is arguable the worst in the Mountain West. They will need to learn how to score points if they want to make a bowl or be relevant.
10) San Jose State
Times are tough for the Spartans but they came away with a victory thanks to Colorado State’s end of the game mistake. It was a win they desperately needed to keep their season alive and they were able to catch a break. Will it be enough to get themselves back on track?
11) New Mexico
The Lobos were finally able to secure another win, pulling out a victory against the struggling Cowboys and their lifeless offense. New Mexico still has a ways to go in terms of being competitive once again, but perhaps this is the break they needed to get back on track.
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.