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 11 Rankings
1) San Diego State
This defense is legit and overcomes a lot of other issues the Aztecs have. This week they pulled out the win over Nevada, even if it was just barely. Strong special teams play and a stable of running backs puts SDSU into the top spot and the rankings.
Nevada is good but apparently not good enough to win a big game like this. When their offense isn’t working, the team doesn’t go. However, they are still dangerous and have so many weapons that they will beat most teams. Hopefully they will get a favorable bowl matchup, even if they are no longer in the running to win the division.
3) Boise State
The Broncos appear to be figuring things out at the right time. They are more balanced on offense now that the running game is a threat again, and they have multiple weapons in the passing game. The BSU defense is quietly dominating opponents, especially in the second half, despite some lingering tackling issues. They are still a team with issues but not a team anyone wants to play right now.
4) Fresno State
The Bulldogs bounced back, as expected. So many great offensive weapons and the defense knows what it is doing. They are still in the hunt for a division title but have an uphill battle. Also, they probably deserve better than where they will end up in a bowl game.
5) Utah State
While the Aggies have had a favorable schedule and the advanced stats don’t back up their record, they keep winning. After last year, they deserve all the credit for how well they are playing. It may not make sense but they are winning and something is working.
6) Air Force
When the option attack works, it really works. In this weekend’s game, they executed very well and went straight at the strength of the Rams defense, their DL. Once again they will be bowl bounda and are still in the hunt for winning the Mountain division.
7) Colorado State
The Rams are competing, even if they aren’t the strongest team. But they are showing a lot of heart after early season struggles and are executing their blueprint every week. Not much to brag about but not much to complain about here.
8) San Jose State
The Spartans looked to be back to their old ways with Starkel back, but that was not the case going up against Utah State. They are missing their mojo from last year and it shows every week. Survive the rest of the year and regroup for next season.
The Cowboys continue to struggle without much of an offense. That, combined with an uncharacteristic pattern of penalities, are too much to overcome for the strong Wyoming defense. This team was clearly fool’s gold at the start of the season and the good times have all disappeared.
The team now has two wins and moves out of the cellar for the first time in seemingly forever. Things have clicked to some degree and it’s nice to see the Rebels get some wins after all the struggles and hard work they have been putting in.
Things have been going in the wrong direction for awhile now for the Rainbow Warriors and they aren’t winning the toss-up games. The players and scheme don’t mesh and that has been exposed more than last year. For many teams, waiting until recruiting comes along isn’t the worst thing, but they haven’t really been recruiting so who knows what will happen to this program.
12) New Mexico
The team has trying but it’s finally time to admit that the Lobos have taken a few steps back from last season. They are not playing competitively and development has been hard to see. Offense got off to a good start before disappearing and defense was consistent last year but mostly missing this year. Sometimes Year 2 is the hardest.