We are back at it. Another week of games, another week of Mountain West teams disappointing, and now another week of rankings. Teams are distancing themselves from one another with each passing week. Through it all, the MWCConnection Power Rankings are back for another week. Let us know what you like and what you don’t. Feel free to drop your own rankings in the comments section.
1) Boise State
Boise State got the bounce-back win they needed this week. Sure it was against lowly Nevada, but they dominated as they should when playing a lesser opponent. Their offense was explosive and multiple, even attacking through the air effectively despite the weather conditions. The defense limited was suffocating and shut down the rushing attack. They remain the only undefeated team in conference play and their offense continues to look better each week. On the other hand, the injuries are starting to pile up on defense.
2) Fresno State
The Bulldogs continue to look like a top team now that they are healthy. While it was a back-and-forth affair with UNLV, they found a way to win. Their defense has some things to clean up, but they also played a very explosive offense. The Fresno State offense is impressive with so many weapons and ways to beat a team. Once again, they showed why they should be considered the favorites to win the west division.
Slow and steady is winning the race for the Cowboys. They just continue to win, even if it isn’t always pretty. Each week they find new ways to win, which makes them difficult to plan against but also makes it difficult for them to play consistently. This week, their offense eluded them but their defense got big stops, especially in the redzone. They are taking care of business in their division and will not be an easy game, no matter who they are playing.
4) San Diego State
The Aztecs haven’t had a great season, but they keep plugging along and keep rising up the rankings list. Their loss to Fresno State likely still haunts them, but they took some frustration out on San Jose State this past weekend. Many thought it would be a close game, but SDSU had an eruption of points and won in convincing fashion. The division title is probably out of the question at this point, but they are bowl eligible, and that is a nice consultation prize.
5) Air Force
The Falcons looked great against the Lobos, dominating from start to finish as they should. Things were working extremely well on both offense and defense. When Air Force has their schemes working, they look like one of the best teams in the conference. However, they haven’t been able to harness that every week this season, which is why they are ranked here, below the top four teams. This spot seems right for them.
6) San Jose State
The Spartans slide down a few spots after their recent play the past few weeks. Losing this past week to the Aztecs pretty much cements them at the bottom of the good teams, or the middle of the conference rankings. They still have a lot of talent and are just as likely to put it all together and play tough as they are to disappear for long periods and drop games, like this past one. In many ways, SJSU epitomizes the conference as a whole.
7) Utah State
The Aggies have put together a few wins and seem like a better team than they were at the start of the season. They continue to beat up on the bottom of the conference, but at least they are beating the teams they should beat. It’s still been a disappointing season for Utah State, but to their credit, they have not given up and could play spoiler in their last two games.
UNLV is a good team when Doug Brumfield is at the helm of the offense. Unfortunately, he missed a chunk of the season. Also, just because he’s playing doesn’t mean the team is unbeatable. Still, they are a tough game with their offense, and it’s disappointing they won’t make a bowl game after their hot start. Still, there is something to build off of, but they need to figure out a way to start winning close games.
9) Colorado State
The Rams continue to plod along and at this point, their primary goal should be to get to the end of the season and regroup. They had chances to win each of the past two weeks but struggled to move the ball once they got into the redzone. It’s been a season of ups and downs and every step forward seems to be met with another step (or two) back. On the other hand, Colorado State is playing more competitively, and it has shown growth from the start of the season.
The Rainbow Warriors have had a trying season but they aren’t going down with a fight. They battled against Utah State, but couldn’t come away with a victory. It’s clear that Hawaii has a lot of holes to fill on its roster, but there are some pieces there, which is probably one of the biggest goals for the first year of a rebuild, find players to build forward with. The end is in sight.
11) New Mexico
The defense looked like it showed up in the first half of the Air Force game, but things took a turn for the worse in the second half. The offense had its usual showing, meaning they didn’t show up at all. Like the team below them, they only mustered a field goal for their troubles, which is better than being shut out.
The Wolf Pack continue to flounder, losing in spectacular fashion while only managing a field goal for their efforts. That is usually how it goes when the worst team in the conference goes up against the best team in the conference. With only two games left, they may not win another game this season. It’s been a grueling year, but the end is in sight.