ESPN as released their annual Football Power Index (FPI) rankings as the preseason continues to move forward and the Mountain West is once again ranked very low.
Boise State is the highest ranked Mountain West team at 47 and is expected to finish the season 9-3 to 10-3. Fresno State is the next team after Boise State at 69, a 22 position difference, and is expected to finish the season 8-4. Air Force closely follows at 71 with a projected record of 8-4 as well. San Diego State is nine spots behind Air Force at 80 and is projected to finish at 7-5. Wyoming is at the 94th spot with a projected record of 6-6 and Nevada isn’t far behind at 101, also projected to finish 6-6. Hawaii, San Jose State, and Colorado State are all right next to each other. The Warriors are expected to finish 6-6, the Spartans 6-6, and the Rams 5-7. UNLV and New Mexico are at the bottom of the list and are projected to go 4-8.
Utah State stands at the 88th spot and is expected to finish at 6-6. This is a little interesting because Utah State does return key pieces such as quarterback Logan Bonner, running back Calvin Tyler Jr., and head coach Blake Anderson in addition to defensive talent. The Aggies, according to the FPI, have a 0% chance of winning out, a 76% chance of getting to six wins, a 10% chance of winning the division, a 4% chance of winning the conference, and a 0% chance of making the playoffs, the national title, and winning the national title.
The FPI rankings realistically only go so far and it is important to look specifically at the records of the Mountain West teams. Most teams are expected to finish six wins or above, which is actually pretty good. The Mountain West has been extremely competitive over the past years and has consistently seen more teams ranked. Mountain West teams have also faced off against more ranked teams recently too. There is still a ways to go in the off-season but there is little doubt that the Mountain West will continue to be competitive this season.