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) Air Force
Wyoming fans may disagree with this, and they have a good argument. But Air Force is the favorite to win the conference, so the top spot is theirs. The Falcons bounced back in a big way over Nevada. Both sides of the ball were on point, dominating time of possession and making quick work of the Nevada offense, limiting their time on the field. While the conference may be bad this year and there may not be a truly elite team, Air Force may be the toughest team to beat (unless you are Wyoming), so they get the top spot.
2) Fresno State
Bye week. No change to the paragraph below.
The Bulldogs have had a challenging schedule to start the year and their record reflects that. Still, it is easy to see their offense and defense can compete with anyone in the conference. That is, as long as Jake Haener and Evan Williams are on the field, so things could change in a hurry. It’s going to be extremely difficult for them to stay this high in the rankings while Haener is out.
The Rebels keep claiming up the rankings, and for good reason. They have looked good in every game this season and even in their loss, they had an opportunity to win. Their offense is legit and this week, the defense forced/benefitted from five turnovers. UNLV is looking more and more like a top team every week. They will still face some challenges now that conference play is here but they look like a given for a bowl game at this point.
4) San Jose State
After a poor start to the season, the Spartans have looked very good. Maybe in other years they wouldn’t be as high as fourth, but this year they are and that’s what counts. The offense is finding ways to score consistently. The SJSU defense isn’t bad and seems to be gaining steam each week. They were a dark horse pick to come out of the West, and with the Bulldogs more of an unknown and the Aztecs struggling, they could make a run. Time will tell.
Cowboy fans probably won’t like this ranking, but I’m admittedly not as sold on the team as others (I’m open to being wrong though). Their defense has been uncharacteristically inconsistent, but their offense has gotten better over the course of the season. The win over Air Force was impressive, but they have the blueprint for neutralizing the option. Wyoming could very well be a strong team, but next week will demonstrate that better.
6) San Diego State
Imagine if San Diego State had an efficient offense. Their defense was as good as ever last week, but they struggled to sustain any momentum on offense. Somehow, their low scoring was just enough and they found the endzone when it mattered. But the Aztecs aren’t looking like a top team this year and the lack of scoring is a big reason why.
7) Boise State
The Broncos are stumbling at this point in the season. Their offense is nearly nonexistent, managing only 10 points to one of the worst teams in FBS football statistically. The defense should keep them in games, but it can’t win them games. Firing their offensive coordinator is a change, but how big of a change will it be? They will need to find a way to score to make a bowl this year.
8) New Mexico
Not much can be taken from the Lobos game from this past week, as they were never going to win the LSU game. Still, being shut out isn’t great. Anyway, the defense continues to play well overall and their offense should get better as the season progresses, as it is a scheme that requires a lot of reps in order to completely master. They are beating up on the bad teams, now the next step is finding ways to stay in the game and even win against better competition. This will be especially important during conference play. For now, the execution is lacking at this point in their development.
Another week, another tough loss for the Wolf Pack. The good vibes from the first two weeks of the season are long gone and the growing pains of the rebuild are settling in. This is where most thought they would be, so while it is not a surprise by any means, it is still frustrating to watch and even more to endure. The good news is there is still time to turn things around.
10) Utah State
Things continue to be bleak for the Aggies. Unfortunately, everything that came easy for them last year is a struggle this year. The offense isn’t scoring as they are accustomed to and quarterback play is a big reason why. Everyone, including the team, expected better coming out of the bye week. But Utah State has been consistently inconsistent thus far this season.
It was back to reality this week for the Rainbow Warriors and it is a harsh reality indeed. New Mexico State is not a good football team and they handled Hawaii with little issue. There are some bright spots for the team, but they are not enough to change the win total this season. Things are building, but it likely won’t be enough for 2022.
12) Colorado State
Getting blown out be an FCS team has to be rock bottom right? Right? Rebuilding jobs with a new coaching staff don’t often see success right away. That isn’t the surprising part. The surprising part is that the offense isn’t struggling to put up points despite the majority of the skill players having been in the system for at least a year. Things are bad, but this seems to be a case where they have to get worse before they get better.