Continuing with the theme of the week, the Peak Perspective Column will detail which teams have the best position units in the Mountain West. Voted on by our team, the results can be seen below.
In case you missed the first two days, you can see the All-MWC team and Awards from Monday and Tuesday, respectively. If you want to look at the preseason votes, here you go.
The two-time Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year. Carson Strong was “strong” again this year, spreading the ball around to his arsenal of weapons at receiver, tight end, and even running back. He probably played at less than 100% for most of if not all of the season.
It is worth mentioning that Jake Haener matched Strong nearly stat for stat and may have won this spot most other years.
The Falcons should probably win this spot every year and for that, they often have to really impress to stand out giving they are such a run-heavy team. Well they did that this year. Brad Roberts led the way and he was sensational. He was complimented by Emmanuel Michel at fullback, who helped create a nice one-two punch.
Mr. Do-Everything (and do it better than anyone) Khalil Shakir. The breakout season of Steff Cobbs. The emergence of Octavius Evans as a reliable target. It is hard to find more talent and versatility in a wide receiver room than Boise State. Some other teams came close but the Broncos get the edge here.
Two words: Trey McBride. He’s the best tight end in the Mountain West and it isn’t even close. He arguably carried the Ram’s offense this year which is difficult for a TE to do. He has a bright NFL future and could be the top TE taken off the draft board come the spring.
Once again, the Falcons take this position. After losing two all-time greats from last season, the Air Force o-line didn’t seem to miss a beat at all. It was a reload in the best sense of the word and the unit executed without missing a beat.
San Diego State
It is definitely helpful to gain the edge over other teams when the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year plays on your defensive line. Cameron Thomas led the way with this unit and was flanked by Keshawn Banks and Jonah Tavai. Safe to say this unit was talented and tough.
The Cowboys have really become Linebacker-U in recent years under Craig and Aaron Bohl. They keep developing and producing NFL-caliber talent at the position and it is the position that really solidifies their defense, helping them maintain their level of high standard of play year after year.
It was the unit seen as the biggest question mark entering the year for the Broncos and soon after the season started, it was apparent that it was the best unit on the defense. Two new coaches plus some big jumps forward by players produced many big plays, big games, and a big year or two.
San Diego State
As if there was any doubt. Matt Arazia was phenomenal and one of the best players in the conference and arguably the best special teams player in all of college football. Arazia would have made sure the Aztecs won this award all by themselves, but when you factor in Jordan Byrd and their return game, it’s even more of a no-brainer.
- Air Force: 2
- Boise State: 2
- San Diego State: 2
- Colorado State: 1
- Nevada: 1
- Wyoming: 1
- The unanimous votes were Running Back, Tight End, O-line, linebacker, and special teams.
- The closest positions battles were quarterback, wide receiver, and defensive back.
- The team totals stayed almost exactly the same from last year, except Air Force gained one and San Jose State lost one.
Coming tomorrow: The 2021 All Coach Team.