We are back at it. Now that the college football season is a month old, the rankings have a large enough sample size to begin to solidify week to week. This week, not much has changed even though the conference had a great week overall. 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.
Here are last week’s rankings for reference.
1) Air Force
7-0? Check. Undefeated in conference play? Check. Won the big matchup against Wyoming while coming from behind? Check. Beat rival Navy in dominating fashion? Check.
Air Force has passed every single test thus far. They are full steam ahead towards the Mountain West championship and are in the driver’s seat for the New Year’s Six Bowl. They are a forced to be reckoned with on both sides of the ball.
Bye week, no change below.
The Cowboys lost a close contest, but they should still be mentioned in the same sentence as Air Force when it comes to the strength of the Mountain West. Their defense is great as usual and while their offense is still keeping them from being an elite team, it is no longer keeping from being a great team.
3) Fresno State
Bye week, no change below.
The Bulldogs were able to bounce back this weekend and return to the win column. It was a close, back-and-forth game, but they found a way to get the victory. Even more impressive with that Fresno State won without their starting quarterback and cornerback, which is something they didn’t do much of last season. They are still a very good team and are in the hunt for the conference championship. But at this point, they are just a bit behind the top two teams in the Mountain West.
The Rebels continue their strong season and get rewarded by becoming bowl-eligible for the first time in a decade. While they didn’t have their best showing of the season, they found a way to win a tough, close game, which is what good teams do. UNLV’s schedule gets tougher going forward, and it will be a good measuring stick to see how they play against the three toughest teams in the conference over their remaining five games.
5) Utah State
The Aggies did not have their best showing this past week, but still seem to be the best of the rest in the Mountain West. Their offense is lethal when it’s going right and while they are inconsistent, usually Utah State is able to put it together for at least a half. They are not a team that any other conference mate wants to play at this point in the season.
6) Colorado State
The Rams couldn’t quite deliver an encore after their magical comeback win last week. However, they played UNLV perhaps as well as anyone has all year. They slowed down their offense and held them to one lone touchdown on the night, but ultimately lost after surrendering so many field goals. While things didn’t go their way in the box score, this game shows a lot of improvement for Colorado State.
7) Boise State
Bye week, no change below.
Last week, there was some hope that the Broncos may have turned a corner with their big come back win. However, that energy and strong play only lasted for two more quarters, as things unravled once again in spectacular fashion. The offense was rolling but suddenly forgot how to move the ball and the quarterback situation is a mess. The defense still can’t defend the pass well. Things are as bleak in Boise as they have ever been.
8) San Jose State
The Spartans were able to get back on track this week with a great showing against Utah State. They took care of business on both sides of the ball, and looked more like the team they were supposed to be this season. Slowing down the Aggies is quite an accomplishment, and hopefully a positive step for the San Jose State defense this season. Time will tell how they respond.
9) New Mexico
The Lobos showed some life last week and built on that week, putting together their best offensive performance of the season. This was what they envisioned when they made the change at offensive coordinator, quarterback, and many other positions this offseason. It probably won’t result in a complete 180 for New Mexico this season, but it is a positive moment and perhaps it can happen again at some point on their schedule.
10) San Diego State
It has been an awful year for the Aztecs and this past weekend was the low point (hopefully). Not only did they lose, they lost to Nevada, who was winless coming into the game. Not only did they lose to Nevada, but they got shut out, barely getting over 200 yards during the game and going 1 for 13 on third and fourth downs. No one is having a good time in San Diego at this point.
The Wolf Pack got their first win in over a year in the ugliest way possible, scoring six points. Although the defense did post a shutout, which is impressive no matter who they are playing. There have not been many reasons to be excited during this trying seeing, but this is certainly one of them. They are out of the cellar this week, and maybe for longer if they can build on this victory.
For at least one week, the Rainbow Warriors take the bottom spot. They started the season off competitive, but that is longer enough for this struggling team. They are getting overmatched in nearly every phase of the game and though they have a few wins on their schedule, it’s been tough sledding for Hawaii the past few weeks. It will be interesting to see if they can bounce back next game from getting blown out by a not-very-good New Mexico team.