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 4 Rankings
1) San Diego State
Bye Week, no change.
A change was made at the top of the rankings this week, despite both teams winning. The Aztecs simply looked better this weekend, and are rounding into shape in all facets of the game. Their special teams units give them a real edge in games, and their passing game hasn’t looked like a liability lately. For this week anyway, they are the top team in the conference.
The Wolf Pack came out of their bye-week looking pretty well. Their scheme is still straightforward on offense but it’s effective and hard to stop consistently. The defense didn’t look that bad. They are not to be confused with a top G5 team, but they are good and should keep playing that way in the conference.
3) Fresno State
The Bulldogs played with fire the past two weeks and got burned this week. Their biggest issue is turnovers. It cost them the Oregon upset and now it cost them the Hawaii game and their #18 ranking. They are still a very talented team but need to clean up the finer details of the game. If they can, they may be able to beat San Diego State.
Bye Week, no change.
The Cowboys keep winning, so there is something there. However, they have only put together one complete game in four tries, so an argument could be made they are playing with house money. They will need to figure things out during the bye before starting conference play.
5) Boise State
Boise State is broken. The lack of talent in the trenches on both sides of the ball prohibits the talent at the skill positions from reaching its full potential. This prohibits them from winning games against above-average teams. The Broncos may be in danger of missing a bowl game this year.
6) San Jose State
It wasn’t already pretty but the Spartans found a way to win. Backup QB Nick Nash played well as a starter, using his legs and arm effectively. The competition wasn’t great, but beating the teams you play is always a good idea. It’s still hard to know what SJSU will look like going forward, but all was well for this week.
7) Air Force
The Falcons are doing their thing and took care of business this week against New Mexico. Their offense is rounding into form and the defense is becoming more consistent as well. Their tougher games are still to come but they are passing most of their tests so far this season.
8) Utah State
The Aggies put up a good fight against a top-10 team but were overmatched. Their level of talent is becoming a bit more clear against better competition, but on the other hand, the talent and style of play are still there. Utah State is a bit hard to place, but for now, at least, they are going in the wrong direction.
The Rainbow Warriors appeared to be left for dead with the way their season started. Then Fresno State came to the Islands and they woke up. The offense moved the ball well with a true freshman quarterback and the defense was tough, forcing six turnovers. Was it a one-time showing or the start of something good?
10) Colorado State
Bye Week, no change.
The Rams lose a game and move up, because it was probably their best game of the season and that includes their win last week. They executed a nice game-plan on defense and their offense did enough to keep them in the game before the better team pulled away late. They still made a lot of issues to clean up but perhaps they have found a winning blueprint.
11) New Mexico
The Lobos really got off track following the TAMU game. The option is hard to defend but one would think Rocky Long has the blueprint of how to stop it saved on a floppy disk somewhere. They lost all their opening-season momentum and it is difficult to find bright spots at the moment.
It’s lather, rinse, and repeat for the Rebels. 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 seem them getting a victory this season.