After losing to Fresno State in last season's championship game on its own blue field, Boise State is picked to win the 2023 championship over Air Force.
The conference drops divisions this year so the top two teams out of the entire 12 members will vie for the title. The host will continue to be the team with the best conference record.
There is very little agreement between the projections of the Congrove Computer Rankings and the conference media poll. However, they do agree on the top two teams, and that the Broncos should win the whole thing. The computer has BSU 9.57 power points higher than the Falcons, and the bottom six teams lag way behind by at least 30 power points. Five teams in the Mountain West - Colorado State, Nevada, UNLV, Hawaii and New Mexico - are ranked 103rd or worse.
Still, the race with Air Force is tighter than those numbers indicate. The Broncos get an 8-0 conference forecast, with the Falcons just one game behind as everything boils down to the regular season finale at Boise to determine who hosts the rematch a week later.
Fresno State loses over 4,300 yards worth of offensive production and still finished 3rd in the media vote, but is picked by the computer to slip all the way down to 6th. Wyoming and San Jose State tie for 3rd in the computer's projections, while the media have the Cowboys 6th and Spartans 5th.
Boise State QB Hank Bachmeier left the school last October after the senior, and team captain, was benched in favor of freshman Taylen Green after a horrible outing in an upset loss at UTEP. Bachmeier is now the starter at Louisiana Tech. Green gets his top four pass catachers back, along with the RB's George Holani (1,190 yards and 10 TD's) and Ashton Jeanty (845 yards, 7 TD;'s). There could be some issues on defense where four of the top five tacklers are gone and only 5 starters return. Fortunately, DJ Scramm returns to his inside linebacker spot after racking up 107 tackles a year ago.
Air Force no longer has the services of Brad Edwards at running back after he led the nation in total rushing yards with 1,728 while tallying 17 TD's. John Lee Edlridge (792 yards, 4 TD's) will likely stay at tailback with Owen Burk and/or Jet Harris at fullback. QB Haaziq Daniels' academy career comes to an end after starting for three seasons and twice being named bowl MVP. Either senior Zac Larrier or junior Jensen Jones will start the season-opener at home against FCS member Robert Morris. That game could be really ugly as the Colonials were 0-11 a year ago and gave up 235.8 rushing yards per game to rank near the bottom of the FCS. Air Force has led the FBS in rushing in each of the last three seasons.
With 15 returning starters, Colorado State could turn the preseason predictions upside down. The Rams are 11th in the conference in the computer numbers, and were voted to finish 7th by the media.
|3 (tie)||5||San Jose State|
|5||4||San Diego State|
|CHAMPIONSHIP: Boise State over Air Froce
Note: Wyoming and SJSU do not play each other
|3||59||San Jose State||69.9||40.78||7||5||6||2||76|
|5||62||San Diego State||67.64||39.46||7||5||5||3||78|
2 Teams tied at 6-2. Wyoming and SJSU do not play each other
3 Teams tied at 3-5
- Utah State 1-0 vs. other 3. Beats Nevada. Does not play UNLV
- Nevada 1-1 vs. other 3. Beats UNLV, Loses at Utah State
- UNLV 0-1 vs. other 3. Loses at Nevada. Does not play Utah State
CHAMPION: Boise State
|12/7/13||Fresno State 24, Utah State 17||at Fresno State|
|12/6/14||Boise State 28, Fresno State 14||at Boise State|
|12/5/15||San Diego State 27, Fresno State 24||at San Diego|
|12/3/16||San Diego State 27, Wyoming 24||at Wyoming|
|12/2/17||Boise State 17, Fresno State 14||at Boise State|
|12/1/18||Fresno State 19, Boise State 16 (OT)||at Boise State|
|12/7/19||Boise State 31, Hawaii 10||at Boise State|
|12/19/20||San Jose State 34, Boise State 20||at Las Vegas|
|12/4/21||Utah State 46, San Diego State 13||at Carson, CA|
|12/3/22||Fresno State 28, Boise State 16||at Boise State|