We are now down to the last week of the regular season for the Mountain West Conference. Some teams played outstanding games this weekend. Wyoming game back from 13 points down and scored three touchdowns in the last six minutes of the game to beat Air Force. Colorado State pushed Utah State to the brink of seeing their chance of a New Years Day game go away. Hawaii came back from being down 21-6 at the half to beat UNLV. Just another crazy week in the Mountain West.
Wyoming hosted Air Force on Saturday on senior day in Laramie. The day got away from the Cowboys in a hurry as they lost starting quarterback Sean Chambers to a broken ankle early on. The Cowboys also lost the Mountain West’s leading rusher to an injury early on as well. Needless to say the Cowboys were hurting. However, that didn’t stop them from fighting through adversity to beat Air Force on Saturday. Quarterback Tyler Vander Waal stepped up with 225 yards passing and two touchdown passes, and added two rushing scores to power the Cowboys on Saturday. Air Force ran for 362 yards on the Cowboy defense, but wasn’t enough to get past Vander Waal’s career game.
The Utah State Aggies are breathing a sigh of relief after their Saturday night showdown with Colorado State. With no time left on the clock the Rams tossed a hail Mary. The pass was caught, but Preston Williams stepped out of bounds on his way to the endzone, thus making him an ineligible receiver. Colorado State did themselves no favors in this game, however. Collin Hill threw two pick sixes, one a 95 yard run back by Aaron Wade, the other by Jontrell Rocquemore. Utah State took their final lead of the game on a Jordan Love touchdown pass to Aaren Vaughns with :43 seconds left that would ultimately be the undoing of the Rams, who kept the game far closer than anyone would have expected.
Now onto the rest..
Boise State 45
New Mexico 14
Air Force 27
Utah State 29
Colorado State 24
San Jose State 12
San Diego State 14
Fresno State 23
Mountain West Player of the Week
The Mountain West player of the week is Boise State wide receiver Sean Modster. Modster had nine receptions for 129 yards and three touchdowns in the Broncos win over New Mexico on Friday night.
Mountain West MVP Candidates
Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State – 17/27 for 222 yards and 3 TD
Marcus McMaryion, QB, Fresno State – 17/24 for 267 yards and 1 TD
Jordan Love, QB, Utah State – 15/24 for 169 yards and 1 TD
Nico Evans, RB, Wyoming – 3 carries, 17 yards
John Ursua, WR, Hawaii – 6 receptions for 148 yards and 1 TD
Mountain West Power Rankings
San Diego State
San Jose State
The Quad Shot
San Jose State suffered another defeat on Saturday. They haven’t led off this part of the column in a while so I felt like they were probably due. To the Spartans credit they did hold a lead in this game until nearly halftime, but Ty Gangi got the Pack on the board with a touchdown run. Pretty much all over from there for the Spartans. San Jose State will finish their season next weekend with a game against Fresno State. The Spartans have had three winning seasons since the year 2000. I’d think that Brent Brennan will get another season or two in San Jose, but the Spartans have gotten much worse since he took over for Ron Caragher. Brutal.
Colorado State nearly screwed everything up this weekend. Beating Utah State would have been a dagger for the Mountain West. I’m sure Craig Thompson was in a back room somewhere hyperventilating into a paper sack watching the last two minutes of that game. Everyone likes a competitive game, however, if Utah State were to make the New Years Day game it would mean A LOT of money for the conference. For a conference struggling with an image problem in relation to strength it needs Utah State to be good right now.
Which brings me to my next point. The Mountain West currently has two or three teams ranked (depending on the poll you look at) in the top 25 this week. Raise your hand if you even had one team going into the final week being ranked. Props to the Mountain West for climbing back up that mountain. If anyone’s a P6 conference, it’s the Mountain West. The American Athletic is a johnny come lately conference riding on the back of one really good team. How’s that for a scorching hot take?
The FCS had their playoff selection show this morning. Twenty-four teams are headed to the playoffs to play in a true playoff. North Dakota State and Weber State are the top seeds in the tournament. Personally, I think 24 teams is too many, but with the expansion of the number of auto-bids to the tournament it was almost necessary. FBS could learn a thing or two from FCS in this regard, however, with the amount of money and numbers of bowls that ESPN controls it will never happen. College football would have to be completely revolutionized for this to ever happen. However, what fans want and what bowl execs want are completely different things. I had a fleeting thought of driving over to Bozeman this coming weekend to catch the playoff with Montana State and Incarnate Word, but still pretty stung from the Brawl of the Wild this past weekend in Missoula. That being said, put me down for Kennesaw State as your FCS champions (or anyone besides North Dakota State).