We are back at it. Now every Mountain West football team has played at least one game. Unfortunately, not all of those games went well for the conference. 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.
1A) Fresno State
Maybe it was first-game jitters, but Fresno State’s first game was closer than it should have been for the first half. It’s not yet worth drawing any big conclusions from this but it is worth mentioning. The Bulldogs still look like they are one of if not the most complete team in the conference, and they will have a much bigger test to pass next game.
1B) Air Force
The Falcons showed no signs of rust or early season struggles. They came in and executed the game plan with a little issue against a team they were expected to beat easily. While all of their games may not go as smoothly, Air Force is living up to the preseason hype through one game. Until proven otherwise, they are tied at the top of the conference.
3) San Diego State
After all the hype and excitement for playing in a new stadium, the Aztecs opened the year with a dud. Their normally stout defense gave up a lot of points and after all the talk about finally have a quarterback, the two they used were ineffective. The step back on special teams was expected but it didn’t help matters at all. They should have been the better team in this game and they weren’t.
4) Boise State
Through one game on the young season, none of the issues that plagued them last season look to be addressed. They failed to be able to run the ball, and outside of a few big scrambles on broken plays, there were not any explosive plays. The defense gave up some big plays and could not generate a pass rush. Hopefully, they can rebound against an easier opponent next week.
Don’t look now but the Wolf Pack is 2-0, which is huge after the offseason they had. Sure it’s the easy part of their schedule and they will likely fall back down to earth once the calendar turns to October (see 2021 Wyoming for reference). It’s likely to be fool’s gold, but it should still be seen as a positive development at this point.
6) Utah State
As was said last week, the Alabama game isn’t really an indication of anything. Although not scoring any points in the game was less than ideal. The Aggies need an opponent equal to their level to be able to judge them accurately, otherwise the UConn game is the best evaluation to be had. So for now they are in the middle of the conference.
7) Colorado State
The Rams had a really tough draw against Michigan to unveil their new offense. And it showed. Only scoring seven points in their first game isn't a good look, even if it was a tough opponent. Colorado State may just need an easier team to work out the kinks, or maybe there will be growing pains for a good chunk fo the season.
Didn’t play, no change.
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) San Jose State
The Spartans were a dark horse pick to win the West division entering the season. But their debut left a lot to be desired. They also lost to Portland State, needing to come from behind at the end of the game to pull out a victory. Hopefully, this isn’t an indication of what their entire season will be like.
Wyoming has an offensive explosion compared to last week, which was a good way for them to bounce back after being shut out in their first game. However, the defense still appears to be a concern, giving up a plethora of points once again. Plus, they needed double overtime in order to beat Tulsa. It’s nice to see improvement but the Cowboys still have a ways to go.
11) New Mexico
The Lobos looked like world-beaters against Maine, which is exactly what they should have looked like. It’s hard to accurately judge the offense even though they looked good. However, the defense pitching a shutout may be a good indication of what that unit will look like this year.
Things are looking bleak for the Rainbow Warriors after two games. Neither of them have been particularly close either. Their defense is still not putting up much of a fight on the field, but the offense had a bit of a better showing. It is still looking like it will be a long season for Hawaii.