Last year, the Mountain West showed its depth by having four teams win ten or more games during the 2021 season. This was something the conference also accomplished in 2019 and 2014. Looking at 2022, how many teams will reach the ten-win mark for the season?
Graham_Gibson: The question from last week dealt with how many bowl eligible teams that the Mountain West could potentially have this year. The Mountain West has surprised in recent years and the bowl eligible teams from the conference have consistently done well. This weeks question asks which teams will win 10 or more games for the Mountain West during the 2021 season. The Mountain West had four bowl eligible teams last season in Utah State (11-3), Air Force (10-3), San Diego State (12-2), and Fresno State (10-3). All four teams won their respective bowl games as well.
This is going to be an interesting year for the Mountain West with several teams expected to get between 7 to 8 wins. Boise State is one of those teams that could make the jump to double digit wins this season after a disappointing 7-5 season. Utah State under second year coach Blake Anderson is also a potential candidate to reach double digit wins after an impressive first season. The surprise here might be Fresno State with the return of Jeff Tefford and quarterback Jake Haener. Air Force is also a very underrated team with a manageable schedule that could also get to double digit wins.
Overall, it is very difficult to tell which Mountain West teams could get to double digit wins with several expected to get seven to eight. I do think that it is plausible that the conference could put up three 10 plus win teams this year so that’s the answer I’m sticking with: three double digit win teams.
Zach: Depth can be a good thing and I think there will be a number of really good football teams this year as well. I think Boise State will take a step forward as will San Jose State. An improved San Jose State team will make it harder for teams in the West to get to that 10 win mark. If we are counting the championship game and bowl games, I think the Mountain West finishes with two teams with double-digit wins. I think as many as six teams could finish with eight wins.
Mike: Put me down for three teams this year, with an outside chance at four. The Mountain West was a very deep conference last season and even though I don’t think they will be quite as deep, I think they will still have a number of top teams. For me, Fresno State and Air Force appear to have the best chance at reaching double-digit wins, as both are coming off of strong 2021 campaigns and figure to be just as good or better in 2022. I think San Diego State and Boise State are the next most likely, although both come with bigger question marks. The Aztecs lost a number of key players, which will make it hard to repeat. And Boise State had a disappointing season and has a lot to prove, but their talent and schedule could propel them to a stronger year this time around. However, I don’t think both teams will be able to reach 10 wins, but unsure which one it will be.
Alex: It’s been easy the past few years to figure out who the teams would be that could get 10 wins. But I’m having a hard time trying to figure that out this season. I think Air Force and Fresno State could regress this season, still be good but not 10 wins good. I still have questions about Boise State, could San Jose State step up again, and the rest of the conference is as wide open as it could be. I believe two teams will get to 10 wins, and they will be both the division winners. One will be San Diego State, but I’m not sure who will win the Mountain. I would have to lean with Utah State, but it’s as good as anyone else’s guess.
NittanyFalcon: The other writers have named the candidates; Boise, Utah State, Air Force, San Diego State, Fresno State, and San Jose State. The Spartans should rebound some from last year, but they will likely fall short of 10 wins. Utah State again has the easiest schedule, but has a certain loss to Alabama on the slate, and loses too many major contributors from last year to repeat the 10 win season. Of the other four, I think three will make it to 10 wins. My guess would be Boise, Fresno State, and Air Force.
Adam: I’m going only one for this season. I think many could reach the eight and nine win plateaus, but I feel like only Air Force will be hitting the 10-win mark this season.
Right now they could even go 11-1 and potentially 12-0. Colorado, Boise State and Utah State will be tough games, but the Falcons will have a shot in all of those contests and could come out on top of at least one, giving them their 10 wins. I expect big things in the Springs this fall.