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Peak Perspective: Mountain West 2023 Mid-Season Grades. The grades are in, what did each of the 12 teams receive?

We are right around the mid-point of the season, which is following week four this year, so even though it feels like the season just started, let’s hand out some midseason grades.

The grades are based on a system we started a few years ago and are continuing. For each team, we list two grades. The first is an objective grade, meaning a grade based on how each team is in relation to the rest of the teams in the country (a more traditional grade). The second is an adjusted grade, which is based on how the team is performing in relation to itself and its own expectations. This hopefully 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 but not be meeting their own expectations.

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

Check it out below, and don’t forget to comment on what you agree or disagree with (just state what you would do differently).

Note: Due to the down year in the Mountain West, no team will get an objective grade in the A range at this point. Adjusted grades will be another story.

Air Force

  • Objective Grade: A
  • Adjusted Grade: A

At the start of the season, the commonly held belief was that the Falcon defense would be exceptional and would serve as a buffer while the offense rounded into form. As it turns out, the Air Force offensive system is more than enough to keep their rushing attack going. They team began the year 4-0, and look every bit as strong as past seasons.

Boise State

  • Objective Grade: C-
  • Adjusted Grade: D

The Broncos were expected to have no issue securing a spot in the conference championship this season and kick the year off with a few nice non-conference wins to boot. However, that hasn’t been the case, and the team is not currently a front-runner to win the Mountain West. While Boise State’s play has been average, albeit inconsistent, the team has been a major disappointment this season compared to pre-season expectations.

Colorado State

  • Objective Grade: C
  • Adjusted Grade: B

The Rams were expected to take a big step forward this year, and through the first half of the season, it appears that they have accomplished that. However, the big step forward has only made Colorado State a middle-of-the-pack team that is fighting for a bowl berth. That assessment is not meant to take anything away from their improvements but more to explain the difference between their objective and adjustive grades.

Fresno State

  • Objective Grade: A
  • Adjusted Grade: A

The Bulldogs have been a revelation this season. They lost their best players on both sides of the ball and looked like they haven’t missed a beat. Their influx of transfers look great so far and though they lost a a game, their ranking, and a shot at the NY6 Bowl, it shouldn’t take away from how impressive their reload have been this year after losing so much talent after the 2022 season.


  • Objective Grade: D
  • Adjusted Grade: C-

Timmy Chang’s Rainbow Warriors are a young team, and it is showing. Though they compete and have flashes of strong play, the inexperience and, at times, lack of talent has shown this season. Considering it is Year 2 of a near-total rebuild, in many ways they are right on track with their play. On the other hand, there have still been more bleak moments compared to promising ones during the season thus far.


  • Objective Grade: F
  • Adjusted Grade: F+

This one is pretty straightforward. The Wolf Pack were expected to be bad and thus far, they are living up (down?) to those expectations. That is what saves them from a complete failure in their adjusted grade. But they can’t be higher than an F+ when they have yet to win a game this season. And unfortunately, the last win in the Ken Wilson era for Nevada was over a calendar year ago.

New Mexico

  • Objective Grade: D-
  • Adjusted Grade: C

New Mexico did everything it could this offseason to get better, and they have. The new version of the team is still hovering near the bottom of the conference. They have improved overall but it hasn’t been enough to this point to propel them into another tier of the conference. The Lobo’s adjusted grade accounts for them improvement, but their objective grade tells the rest of the story.

San Diego State

  • Objective Grade: C-
  • Adjusted Grade: D

The Aztecs have been a disappointment this season, although they weren’t expected to pose a serious threat to the top of the conference either. However, it is noteworthy to see them this year, playing like a shell of the team that went to the conference championship just two seasons ago. San Diego State is playing a bit below average, but considering how well they usually play, things have looked bleak.

San Jose State

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

The Spartans had high hopes for this season, hoping their offense could catapult them to another Mountain West championship appearance. Much of this hope was built on the offense being among the best in the conference. While that side of the ball has been good, San Jose State did not account for their defense struggling to this degree. Although they have played a challenging schedule to start the season, overall, the team has been a disappointment.


  • Objective Grade: A-
  • Adjusted Grade: A

The Rebels have been a revelation so far in the 2023 season. They are playing like a veteran team, not a program that turned over a large chunk of its roster after overhauling the coaching staff last offseason. Barry Odom has the team playing well on both sides of the ball. Even better, playmakers have emerged for the offense and defense, and for the first time in a while, the future is looking bright for UNLV.

Utah State

  • Objective Grade: C+
  • Adjusted Grade: C+

The Aggies are a mysterious team to be sure. At times they look completely lost and inconsistent, especially on offense. On the other hand, when everything is clicking, they put up points in a hurry and play aggressively on defense. Utah State might be one of the most talented teams in the Mountain West this year, but their lack of consistency drags their grade down.


  • Objective Grade: A-
  • Adjusted Grade: A

The Cowboys have been nothing short of excellent for this half of a season. They have slang quite a few giants already that have led to some huge victories. The Wyoming defense has been as good as advertised, and the offensive production has been a pleasant surprise. It will be worth keeping an eye on to see how the second half of the season goes for them.