Another week in the Mountain West is complete and the picture at the top of the conference is as unclear as ever. Three teams have four wins in five weeks. Three more teams have three wins in four games. Not a bad start for this conference. The latest Sagarin rankings have the Mountain division ranked second in the group of five behind the AAC-West. Overall the Mountain West is still chasing the AAC and a larger gap between the Group of Five and the ACC. Regardless, things are looking up out here in the Mountain and Pacific time zones… and whatever Hawaii does.
The week started off on Friday night with Air Force hosting San Jose State. The Spartans were flying high after their win on the road last week at Arkansas. Unfortunately for them they were facing a team pretty well versed in shooting things out of the air. The Falcons ran for 382 yards and five touchdowns, cruising to a victory over San Jose State.
New Mexico went on the road and didn’t give Liberty much grief and lost 17-10. The lone bright spot for the Lobos was 99 yards rushing out of Ahmari Davis. Fresno State made the trip to Las Cruces to take on New Mexico State. Fresno State beat up on the Aggies 30-17. Wyoming hosted UNLV this weekend in a very windy Laramie and wasted no time in putting 374 yards rushing on the Rebels. Sean Chambers accounted for four touchdowns as the Cowboys dominated the Rebels 53-17. Colorado State and Utah State played some pretty tight football most of Saturday evening. In the end a David Woodward fumble return for a touchdown was the difference and Utah State escaped with a victory. In the night cap Cole McDonald had himself a night and Hawaii beat Nevada 54-3 in Reno.
Coming up this week there’s a Friday night pillow fight with New Mexico taking on San Jose State on CBS SN. Utah State will make the cross-country trip to take on LSU in Death Valley. Air Force will also take a cross country trip to take on Navy in the first leg of the Commander-in-Chief series. San Diego State heads north to take on Colorado State. In the CBS SN night cap Boise State will go to Vegas to take on UNLV.
Onto the rest..
San Jose State 24
Air Force 41
New Mexico 10
Colorado State 24
Utah State 34
Fresno State 30
New Mexico State 17
Mountain West Player of the Week
The Mountain West player of the week this week is Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald. McDonald had an impressive outing against Nevada. He was 25/30 for 312 yards and four touchdowns as the Rainbow Warriors downed the Wolf Pack in Reno this past weekend.
Mountain West MVP Candidates
Hank Bachmeier, QB, Boise State – Idle
Jordan Love, QB, Utah State – 17/33 for 204 yards and two touchdowns, two interceptions
Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii – 25/30 for 312 yards and four touchdowns
Cedric Byrd, WR, Hawaii – Seven catches, 87 yards and three touchdowns
Charles Williams, RB, UNLV – Five rushes for 17 yards
Mountain West Power Rankings
San Diego State
San Jose State
The Quad Shot
I didn’t think Nevada was a real good team.. I didn’t think Hawaii was a particularly strong team.. I now have opposite feelings on both of those things. I think Hawaii has potential to be a very good team this year and I think Nevada has potential to be a very bad team this year. The Fremont Cannon game this year should be a real pillow fight because both of the Nevada teams are very bad. Hawaii hanging 54 points on the Wolf Pack was kind of hilarious, didn’t think the Warriors had it in ‘em away from the islands. Cole McDonald is having a great season, as is his top target Cedric Byrd.
Wyoming still doesn’t have a passing attack. Not even sure they’re really trying to have one anymore. They’re running for a grip of yards in most games, and who knows if that will be sustainable or not, but that’s where we’re at in Laramie. Sean Chambers was 5/12 for 124 yards and two touchdowns. The first touchdown pass came on a tricksey little tight end slipping out on a fake play and Josh Harshman ran like the wind for a score. Other than that, a bit underwhelming. Eventually the Cowboys will have to throw the ball to win. Or the Cowboys will become Air Force and fully embrace the triple option. Probably 50/50 of either right now.
Brutal loss this weekend for New Mexico, going on the road to take on Liberty. Liberty is coached by former Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze. I’m not sure if he’s back on the field or coaching out of a hospital bed in the press box, but the Lobos have some problems. Not a great look for the Mountain West when the conference is generally on the up and up this week and the Lobos lay an egg to a relative FBS newcomer.
Non-Mountain West related, but how often do you, the readers, root for chaos in college football games? I was rooting like hell on Saturday for North Carolina to beat Clemson. Dabo Swinney just doesn’t do it for me. My friends are big fans of his, I just don’t get it. Anyone else have a team they love to root against? For me it’ll always be Clemson, Florida State, BYU, Ohio State, and Liberty. I won’t go into my reasons for disliking those teams, but I probably have a good reason. Or not, I’m an irrational college football fan just like all of you out there in the internet.