Mountain West Preview

August 23, 2017 by CFP Staff

As predicted by the Congrove Computer Rankings, San Diego State repeated as MWC champs in 2016. The Aztecs' 27-24 win at Wyoming came just two weeks after the Cowboys had put an end to SDSU's 17-game conference winning streak.

The 2017 preseason forecast has San Diego State pulling off a 3-peat in 2017. The computer says the Aztecs will get home field advantage for the title game where they will be favored by 2.68 points to douse the championship aspirations of Colorado State.

San Diego State begins the year with an 8.42 power point separation between itself and the next closest team in the West division, Hawaii. Just like last year, no other division squad will finish better than 4-4 in conference play.

Colorado State's road to the Mountain division crown will be much more difficult as the Rams get just a 1-game edge over Boise State and Wyoming. CSU is a 1.12-point underdog at Wyoming on November 4 for the only conference loss in its forecast. The Rams are a 5.04-point home favorite on November 11 to hand Boise State its second conference loss of the season, adding to a 4.72-point underdog role for BSU when it visits San Diego State on October 14.

Wyoming's two projected conference losses are on road trips to Boise State and Air Force. The Cowboys are a 2.84-point underdog on the Smurf Turf and a 0.95-point dog at the Falcons.

Life in the Mountain West hasn't been too sweet for Boise State. After winning the WAC title 8 times in 9 seasons from 2002-2010, the Broncos have claimed MWC crowns only twice during their 6 years in the league.

Hawaii, which began last season in Australia, has another long trip to open the 2017 season. The Rainbow Warriors will fly all the way across the U.S. mainland to face Massachusetts on August 26.

Air Force, after finishing 10-3 a year ago, is given a 5-7 forecast for 2017. The Falcons' daunting road schedule features trips to Michigan, Colorado State and Boise State.

Three MWC teams made head coaching changes during the offseason. Former Cal coach Jeff Tedford takes over at Fresno State where Tim DeRuyter was fired after after a 1-7 start, and interim head coach Eric Kiesau was 0-4 down the stretch. Jay Norvell replaces Bill Polian (5-7) at Nevada, and Brent Brennan takes over for Ron Caragher (4-8) at San Jose State.

2017 Projected Order of Finish

MWC Mountain

  Team W-L CW-CL Rank Power SOS
1 Colorado State 9-3 7-1 36 73.30 77
2* Boise State 8-4 6-2 51 71.26 62
3 Wyoming 9-3 6-2 39 71.42 105
4* New Mexico 6-6 4-4 68 67.44 84
5 Air Force 5-7 4-4 77 69.37 74
6 Utah State 1-11 0-8 126 52.41 63

*-Tie-breakers: Boise State beats Wyoming. New Mexico beats Air Force

MWC West

  Team W-L CW-CL Rank Power SOS
1 San Diego State 11-1 8-0 19 72.98 99
2* Nevada 5-7 4-4 82 62.47 68
3 Hawaii 6-6 4-4 71 64.56 106
4 San Jose State 4-9 3-5 97 60.36 81
5* Fresno State 2-10 1-7 119 54.09 59
6 UNLV 2-10 1-7 114 56.08 86

*-Tie-breakers: Nevada beats Hawaii.Fresno State beats UNLV.