College football starts this weekend with a handful of games, including three Mountain West teams in action. Hawaii, San Jose State, and San Diego State will open up the season for the conference. Each team has an intriguing opponent and should give us an early idea of how these teams will fare this fall. With that being said, let’s take a look at what to expect and who you should be pulling for this weekend.
Ohio @ San Diego State
The first game of the Mountain West season is probably the most winnable of the three. We are going to learn a lot about this Aztecs team in this contest. While their defense was decent last year, it wasn’t quite to the standard the Aztecs have set in previous seasons. This team has a lot of questions on both sides of the ball. As far as non-conference games go, this one feels like a must-win for the Aztecs.
Who should you root for? I’m a big proponent of rooting for teams within the conference during non-conference play. With the landscape of college football changing rapidly, the conference needs a strong showing in non-conference play this season.
Hawaii @ Vanderbilt
The Rainbow Warriors desperately need to build some momentum for this program. Not only has the school been through a lot, but the state of Hawaii has been through a lot recently. I think Timmy Chang and the Hawaii staff are going to have a more exciting product this season, but there is still a long way to go. This game is going to show us what kind of progress has been made this offseason and what kind of expectations fans should have for this team.
Who you should root for? Hawaii should have a special place in all of our hearts right now. I really want to see this team have a special season.
San Jose State @ USC
The Spartans have a tall task as they travel to Los Angeles to take on the sixth ranked team in the country. Caleb Williams and the Trojans will be playing with a chip on their shoulder after a rough ending to the 2022 season. San Jose State quarterback, Chevan Cordeiro, will face a tough task against an athletic USC defense. The Spartans are heavy underdogs in this one.
Who you should root for? As I said above, it is good for the conference when they have a strong out-of-conference showing. If the Spartans can put up a good fight, they might be able to cement themselves as a realistic contender for the conference championship.
What are your expectations for the Mountain West this weekend? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.