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Power Rankings: Week 0. Rebels rise, Cowboys & Rainbow Warriors fall. Most teams stay the same.

Idaho State v UNLV Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

We are back at it. Five Mountain West football games are now in the books. And we will tweak our preseason rankings a bit for those teams based on those five games. Take a look at this week’s MWCConnection Power Rankings, and let us know what you like and what you don’t. Feel free to drop your own rankings in the comments section.

1) Fresno State

Didn’t play, no change.

The Bulldogs enter the season as the top team in the Mountain West and one with an outside shot at a NY6 bowl. They should have a dynamic offense with the conference’s top quarterback and wide receiver. Their defense should be up to the task as well.

2) Air Force

Didn’t play, no change.

Expectations are flying high for the Falcons. They return tons of talent on both sides of the ball. Some key players will need to recover from injuries on offense, but there is no reason to think they won’t be right in the thick of winning the Mountain West by season’s end. At least as this point.

3) San Diego State

Didn’t play, no change.

The Aztecs lost many core players from last year, but they are able to reload with the best of them. Expect them to be very good as usual, but heading into the year, they don’t look as strong as the teams in front of them.

4) Boise State

Didn’t play, no change.

The last of the contenders, at least on paper, the Broncos should be good. However, unless they can solve the issues that plagued them last season (a lack of explosive plays, not being able to run the ball, some tackling issues), this is their ceiling. If they improved in these areas, they could compete for another conference title.

5) San Jose State

Didn’t play, no change.

The Spartans are a popular dark-horse pick to win the West after bringing in some key transfers during the off-season. They are a pretty good bet to shoot up these rankings if things come together quickly. But for now, they start the year at the bottom of the top of the conference.

6) Utah State

The Aggies will drop a spot in accordance to their less than stellar play against UConn. While there are several good reasons why they looked flat for much of the game, Still, there were a lot of individual performances to like and lots of evidence Utah State will be able to put things together before heading into conference play. Next week against Alabama won’t really prove anything either way.

7) Colorado State

Didn’t play, no change.

The Rams received a major boost in both coaching and personnel, thanks to Coach Norvell and Nevada. They should compete for a bowl, either making one or coming close. Conventional wisdom says they are still a year away, but in the transfer age, anything is possible as teams can rebuild on the fly. If nothing else, they should be fun to watch.


The Rebels looked great against FCS Idaho State, which is exactly how they should look. Still, the offense showed more life than they have at any other time under Coach Arroyo and the defense was opportunistic as well. There was a nice pass/run balance, with playmakers in both facets. UNLV got away with some mistakes, but they outweighed them with explosive plays. This could be a much-improved football team.

9) Nevada

The Wolf Pack did what was expected of them, no more and no less. They beat New Mexico State, who isn’t a bad team. They leaned on their two best offensive players, both of which happened to be running backs, and kept the ball mostly on the ground. While it may not be a formula for many wins this year, it worked this week and that’s better than some other teams. So props to Nevada.

10) Wyoming

Wyoming went 10 straight quarters without scoring a touchdown at one point last year and went 4 straight to start this year. It’s the same old same old for their offense, which can never seem to have a passing game, and only completed 20% of their passes against Illinois. However, the more concerning part is the defense giving up 38 points to the Illini. If the defense is going to struggle, things will be bleak for the Cowboys.

11) New Mexico

Didn’t play, no change.

Times were tough for the Lobos last season, and they don’t look great heading into this year. Hopefully, they have made improvements, but on paper, some of their best players transferred out. Things could be bleak again for New Mexico.

12) Hawaii

The Rainbow Warriors have over 50 players who are new to the team this season. And it showed in their opening game. Players and coaches alike looked overmatched. There is a lot to work on going forward and hopefully the team can improve over the course of the year. But if the Vanderbilt game is any indication, it will be a long season.