clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The MWCConnection 2023 Preseason Awards and Predictions

Who will be the best in the Mountain West this year?

NCAA Football: Frisco Bowl-North Texas at Boise State Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Kickoff Week here at MWCConnection! Coinciding with Mountain West Media Days week, it is the unofficial start to the football season. It’s a great time to get hyped about your team and start getting nuggets of football news. Yesterday was our all-conference team, which can be found here.

Today, we are releasing our preseason awards as well as our predictions for the order of finish and champion for the conference. Like yesterday’s post, our team members submitted their picks, and the players and teams with the most votes won out. Take a look at what we compiled below:


Offensive Player of the Year:

  • Taylen Green (Boise State)

Defensive Player of the Year:

  • Easton Gibbs (Wyoming)

Special Teams Player of the Year:

  • Jack Browning (San Diego State)

Offensive Breakout Player of the Year:

  • Dawaiian McNeely (Wyoming)

Defensive Breakout Player of the Year:

  • Andrew Simpson (Boise State)

Offensive Freshman of the Year:

  • Damian Henderson (Colorado State)

Defensive Freshman of the Year:

  • Jonah Lewis (Nevada)

Coach of the Year:

  • Troy Calhoun (Air Force)


The points for voting went as followed: 12 points for a first-place vote, 11 for second, 10 for third place, and so on.

Mountain West Predicted Order of Finish:

  1. Boise State
  2. Air Force
  3. Fresno State
  4. San Diego State
  5. Wyoming
  6. San Jose State
  7. Colorado State
  8. Utah State
  9. UNLV
  10. Hawaii
  11. Nevada
  12. New Mexico

Conference Champion:

  • Boise State


  • Damian Henderson was the lone unanimous selection in the voting this year.
  • In the other races, Easton Gibbs, Dawaiian McNeely, and Jonah Lewis all won their categories relatively easily.
  • On the other hand, STPOY, and Coach of the Year were all tight races.
  • Offensive Player of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year were our most diverse categories, with four different players receiving votes in each category.
  • With no divisions this year, Boise State was the overwhelming favorite to finish at the top of the conference/win the Mountain West championship, coming within one vote of being unanimous.
  • The Falcons had the other first-place vote.
  • Air Force and Fresno State were in a close race for second in the conference and they are teh the clear favorites for to round out the top three.
  • Unfortunately, New Mexico had the highest amounts of last-place votes. However, they did have one ninth-place vote.
  • San Jose State was the hardest team to place this year, with votes ranging from third to ninth.
  • Colorado State had the smallest range, with votes primarily at sixth and seventh and one eighth-place vote.

There it is. So let’s hear it. Who did we snub? Who did we put on here that shouldn’t be? Let’s hear your feedback in the comments section.

Coming tomorrow: Our Kickoff Week continues as tomorrow we will take a look at which teams have the best position units heading into 2023.