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 9 Rankings
1) Fresno State
The Bulldogs came out hot against San Diego State and showed no fear when knocking off the former #1 team in the conference. They are arguable the most balanced team in the conference and showed just that in their win this weekend. If they can keep their turnovers in check, they are a force to be reckoned with.
The Wolf Pack keeps doing what they have been doing for most of the year. Scoring a lot of points thanks to big plays, and playing great defense when they need to. Even though it wasn’t a tough game, Nevada hasn’t always done well in these rivalry games, so kudos to them for taking care of business.
3) San Diego State
The Aztecs finally met their match and were exposed by the Bulldogs. Their defense and special teams are still extraordinary to watch, but their offense isn’t built to come behind and they showed exactly that this past week. Still, SDSU is very good and one of the best teams in the conference.
4) Air Force
Bye week, no change below.
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
Boise State has to be one of the most confusing teams in the country. Some weeks they look lifeless and clueless. Other weeks they have the potential to beat anyone, It was the latter this week, as they rallied from behind to be an improving Colorado State team.
6) Utah State
The Aggies are at it again. They came in against Hawaii and scored in bunches. While their defense left something to be desired, it may have been their best offensive showing of the season, which is saying something.
7) Colorado State
The Rams deployed their 2021 game plan this week as they have been, but they weren’t able to turn it into a win this week. Special teams remain a huge weapon and the passing game is steady for a difference-maker at tight end. However, this week they blew a lead and were neutralized in the second half. They are able to stay in every game and be competitive.
Hawaii looked to have a pretty good chance to win coming into the game, and then they laid an egg. The Rainbow Warrior defense had one of their worst performances of the season, which is saying something. While their offense wasn’t bad, it was too little too late against the high-powered Aggies.
9) San Jose State
The Spartans figured out how to win and look pretty good doing it, which hasn’t been the case in the past month or so. Still missing their main QB Nick Starkel, they featured a heavy running attack, picking up over 200 yards on the ground, and did so against one of the better defenses in the conference.
10) New Mexico
Bye week, no change below.
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.
Times are tough for the Cowboys. After not scoring a touchdown for about two and a half games, they finally ended that streak. However, that was about all their offense could do against San Jose State.
It’s lather, rinse, and repeat for the Rebels, who went from bad to worse in their rivalry game against Nevada. 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.