With camp underway and the season rapidly approaching, members of our team (Zach, Mike, and Jeremy) took the time to rank the top offenses in the Mountain West. The top offense and the bottom offense were unanimous picks, while there was plenty of parity in between. Here are the results:
The Wolf Pack, led by quarterback Carson Strong, was our unanimous selection for the top offense in the Mountain West. Strong is getting a ton of buzz from NFL scouts and is even considered by some experts to be a potential number one pick. Strong has no shortage of weapons in wide receivers Romeo Doubs, Melqual Stovall, and Tory Horton and tight end Cole Turner. The biggest question for the Wolf Pack is in the backfield. They struggled to run the ball effectively this past season and will need to improve in that area if they are going to contend for a Mountain West title.
#2: San Jose State
The Spartans are coming off a Mountain West Championship and will have a chip on their shoulder, as they have flown under the radar this season. Nick Starkell is entering his final senior under center, and he will need to find some new weapons with the departures of Tre Walker and Billy Gaither. Starkell will rely heavily on Derek Deese, Jr. and the Spartan should have an effective running game led by Tyler Nevens.
#3: Boise State
There is plenty of uncertainty surrounding the Broncos’ offense, but they have as much talent as any school in the conference. The race for the starting quarterback position will come down to the final weeks of camp between Hank Bachmeier and Jack Sears. Boise State addressed concerns at running back by adding Oregon transfer Cyrus Habibi-Likio. The wide receiver room is deep, but will this new staff make more of an effort to spread the ball around?
#4: Fresno State
Fresno State might be the biggest wildcard in the Mountain West. Jake Haener continued to grow at quarterback as the season progressed and he has one of the most talented athletes in Jalen Cropper at his disposal. The Bulldogs are also loaded at running back with Ronnie Rivers and the addition of Utah transfer Jordan Wilmore. Their biggest question is the offensive line. Can they get it done in the trenches?
#5: Air Force
If there is one thing we know it is that the Falcons will run the ball well. They did lose some talented players along the offensive line, but Quarterback Haaziq Daniels will have a talented backfield at his disposal. The success of this team will likely come down to how they fill the holes on the offensive line, and they have proven they can do that time and again.
It feels a little weird to say this, but Hawaii’s defense might be ahead of its offense. However, Chevan Cordeiro is probably the most underrated quarterback in the conference and if he can find some new weapons at receiver, the Rainbow Warriors will be in contention for another division title. Calvin Turner, Jr. was one of the biggest surprises in the COVID shortened season and should have an all-conference season for Hawaii.
#7: Colorado State
The Rams have the best tight end in the league in Trey McBride and a talented athlete in Dante Wright. But there are major questions at quarterback and along the offensive line. Steve Addazio will want the Rams to feature the run game, but they need a more reliable group up front if they are going to be a bowl team.
#8: San Diego State
It all comes down to quarterback play. It has been the same scenario for many years now, but consistent quarterback play has kept a good team from being great. We know that Greg Bell will lead a deep group of running backs and the offensive line will do a phenomenal job opening up holes. But will the Aztecs have a quarterback that can keep teams from selling out against the run?
Xazavian Valladay, Trey Smith, and a reliable offensive line are the reasons the Cowboys aren’t ranked lower. If Sean Chambers can stay healthy and show that he has improved in the pocket, Wyoming should be an 8-9 win team at worst. But this offense needs to prove it; they need to develop some receiving weapons as well.
#10: Utah State
When the Aggies have been good, they have had a really good quarterback and talent at the skill positions. Those are areas where this offense has major questions. There is some uncertainty as to who will start at quarterback. Justin McGriff, Jordan Nathan, and Savon Scarver should be able to hold their own at receiver, but one of those guys will need to emerge as an All-Mountain West caliber receiver if Utah State is going to make any noise this year.
#11: New Mexico
The Lobos want to be a tough team that wins games in the trenches. It matches the personality of head coach Danny Gonzales. New Mexico should be an improved squad; they had four quarterbacks play and there should be a healthy competition there. But, this team has a long way to go before the offense instills fear into the hearts of their opponents.
The Rebels have some impressive young talent. But uncertainty at quarterback and a lack of game experience will leave the Rebels at the bottom of our list. Charles Williams is a talented running back, but he has a lot of miles on his legs for a college senior. The Rebels will need to find someone to spell Williams. Doug Brumfield is an intriguing talent at quarterback with size and mobility, but will he be the starter?
How would you rank the offenses in the Mountain West? What changes would you make? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.