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Peak Perspective: MWC 2022 Football Final Grades

The grades are in. What did your team get?

With the National Championship game in the books, that means that the college football season is officially over. Like every year, it all went by too quickly. Now, bowl games are over, and every team has finished their season until next August. With things finalized, let’s review the year with final season grades.

The grades are based on a system we have had for a few years. Treat them as a big-picture snapshot rather than an all-inclusive rating. For each team, we have at least two grades:

  1. An objective grade is a grade based on how each team is in relation to the rest of the teams in the country (a more traditional grade).
  2. An adjusted grade is based on how the team is performing in relation to itself and its own expectations. This will provide a more well-rounded depiction of each team, as some teams can be doing well compared to expectations but not well overall. Similarly, a team can have a good record without meeting their own expectations.
  3. A bowl-specific grade was also included for each bowl team, which is basically a pass/fail type of scenario.

As far as grades go, the A range is exceptional, Bs are very good, a C grade means average, the D range is disappointing/not doing well, and Fs are awful.

Air Force:

  • Objective Grade: A-
  • Adjusted Grade: B+

Air Force had their sights set on the conference title game going into the season with their strong team in recent memory. However, once again, they fell short of that goal. But that should not be confused with a disappointing season for the Falcons. They won the Commander In Cheif Trophy by beating both Navy and Army. They also became the “Kings of Colorado” with wins over Colorado and Colorado State. And with the bowl victory, AFA managed to secure their third straight ten-win season (2020 not counted). They had a lot of success in 2022.

  • Bowl-specific grade: A

They came into the bowl, executed their game plan nearly exactly how they wanted to, and beat a Power 5 team by being in control basically from start to finish. It was an impressive display of football.

Boise State:

  • Objective Grade: A-
  • Adjusted Grade: B+

Boise State’s standard is always high; win the MWC championship and finish the season at or near undefeated. Neither of those things happened this year. The offense was bad but got better as the year went on, and though the defense was terrific but their impact diminished as the injuries mounted. Still, they played in the conference championship and won ten games. For most teams, that is enough, but not for this program. This year did reveal a talented young core with the hope that even better days are ahead, but they will need to keep improving.

  • Bowl-specific grade: B

This one was a bit tough. The Broncos won, which means they should score well, especially when some of their conference mates could not accomplish the same feat. On the other hand, the team looked pretty flat in the first half and then had to endure a shoot-out to get the narrow victory.

Colorado State:

  • Objective Grade: D+
  • Adjusted Grade: F

The Rams looked dismal to open the season, which lasted most of the year. The highly-anticipated offense never got going, failing to score 20 points all season. Surprisingly, it was the defense that led them to three victories on the season, which hopefully is a good sign for the years to come. Coach Norvell has a good track record, and that record indicates the Air Raid is better after the first season in the new system. However, the pessimists would point to most of the key players having already spent time in the system. After a tough first year, now Colorado State can regroup.

Fresno State:

  • Objective Grade: A-
  • Adjusted Grade: B+

Fresno State was a very good team this year, and it’s a shame that injuries prevented everyone from seeing how great they could have been. When healthy, the offense was balanced and usually able to score with ease. On defense, the Bulldogs were tough and had a great knack for figuring out how to nullify the strengths of other teams. It was a great ride for Fresno State, and they were able to hit the ten-win mark even despite the early season losses.

  • Bowl-specific grade: A

Fresno State was in control of this one from start to finish, and it was evident by the final score as well. Overall, the Bulldogs were a great team, and although they deserved a better bowl opponent, they ended their season the right way with a win to reach the ten-win mark on the year.


  • Objective Grade: F
  • Adjusted Grade: D

It was hard to find much good for the Rainbow Warriors in the 2022 season. They were not expected to be competitive, and they weren’t for much of the season. However, one thing Hawaii can point to is that they got better from the start of the year to the finish. They made some changes during the bye week, and it translated to the field. They won a few games and had more close losses, and it’s okay to count moral victories for this year anyway. There are things to build on here despite the tough times.


  • Objective Grade: F
  • Adjusted Grade: D

The Wolf Pack suffered tons of losses in the offseason, and things were bleak entering the year. Two wins to start the year had the team feeling pretty good, but the bottom dropped out as soon as the competition got better, and Nevada spent the rest of the season losing ten straight games. There weren’t many bright spots from the season, and those that were are mostly moving on from the team. This is the life of a rebuilding team in college football.

New Mexico:

  • Objective Grade: F
  • Adjusted Grade: F

The Lobos were expected to be more competitive this season, but for the second year in a row, they seemed to run out of steam and regression over the course of the season. While their defense wasn’t bad, they were exposed to lots of time on the field, thanks to an abysmal offense. In a year where they needed to show something different, it was more of the same for New Mexico. Staff changes are being made, but it remains to be seen whether it will result in positive changes on the field.

San Diego State:

  • Objective Grade: B
  • Adjusted Grade: C+

The Aztecs had big expectations going into the season, but conventional wisdom had them as the second-best team in their division, and that’s what they turned out to be. Without game-changing special teams, their defense took a step back when they were forced into tougher spots. The San Diego State offense figured out their quarterback situation, but it didn’t prove to be a difference-maker for the offense. They teetered a bit too close to .500 and will have to regroup next year.

  • Bowl-specific grade: D

San Diego State competed in a back-and-forth bowl game and ultimately suffered the loss. Honestly, it was a game they probably should have won. It was close, but they came up short, which sums up their season pretty well.

San Jose State:

  • Objective Grade: B-
  • Adjusted Grade: B

The Spartans geared up for another run this season, and thanks to some early wins and an easy back half of the schedule, it appeared as if they would have no problem winning the division. However, San Jose State was the conference’s most inconsistent team this year, and their uneven play resulted in more losses than wins in the second half of the year. Unfortunately for them, they were not able to capitalize on their talented offense and strong pass rush on defense.

  • Bowl-specific grade: D

San Jose State started off the bowl game pretty well and even held the lead at the end of the first quarter. But then, the bottom fell out, and they weren’t able to recover from being outscored 21-0 in the second quarter. It was not a good showing.


  • Objective Grade: C+
  • Adjusted Grade: B-

The Rebels looked greatly improved to start this season, and it seemed like they were on track to hit the six-win mark and qualify for that elusive bowl game. Unfortunately, many of their key offensive skill players battled injuries, and the UNLV offense did not have the depth to keep up without them. They hit a big losing streak in the second half of the season, which resulted in the firing of their coach. The hope is that the new staff can right the ship and better use the talent on this team, but time will tell.

Utah State:

  • Objective Grade: C
  • Adjusted Grade: C+

The Aggies were due for some regression after their remarkable 2021 season, and that’s exactly what happened. The quick touchdowns and well-timed turnovers happened much less frequently this time around, and due to that, the wins didn’t occur as often either. They were also hurt by their lack of playmakers on offense. However, Utah State played very well in the second half of the season and rebounded to make a bowl game.

  • Bowl-specific grade: D

As good as Utah State was in their bowl game last year, they were horrid this time around. They misfired from the get-go and then never recovered. The only thing keeping them from an F is that they weren’t expected to win the game.


  • Objective Grade: B+
  • Adjusted Grade: A-

Not many thought Wyoming’s would amount to much since they were one of the youngest teams in the country entering the year. However, they ended up exceeding expectations and having a very strong season. While the defense was a step below their usual standard, the Cowboy’s offense was pretty balanced and, for once, had some semblance of an effective passing attack. It was a solid year for the team, and there is potential to build on it going forward.

  • Bowl-specific grade: C+

The Cowboy’s offense had a good showing in this game, but Ohio came to play as well. It’s hard to fault Wyoming too much for losing in double overtime. Their defense wasn’t up to its usual standard, and the passing game could have been better. But the offense showed up, and players who hadn’t seen snaps all year were put into big moments and didn’t back down.

Alright, let’s hear it. Which grades did you agree with? Which ones would you change, and to what? Talk about it in the comments section.