2013 Mountain West Conference Top 5 Rundown
If there was ever a conference that couldn’t wait for the off-season to end and football begin, it’s the Mountain West. For a conference at times looked like it could fold, the Mountain West gathered it’s pieces, hit the delete button on some network called the “Mountain” and instead signed a huge (ok, nice or big) deal with ESPN, where it’s Cinderella, Boise State will be featured for all of their games. The deal will also allow the rest of the league to shine in multiple other games that will be shown throughout the season but enough talk about football, let’s talk TV, wait strike that, reverse it. Ok, so the storyline in the Mountain West for 2013 is can Boise State maintain it’s dominance and win the inaugural Championship Game or can Fresno State, finally, after years of preseason love, win the big games and take it’s talents to the BCS? Man, we really want to bet on Fresno but oh, #@&%* here’s the Rundown!!!
1. Fresno State 11-1
We hate this pick! There we said it, we hate this pick! Why? Fresno State has broken our hearts too many years when we thought they were going to return to being a Top 25 team every year and trade wins against Boise State like a good rival, instead they never did. Now, here we sit, with another Carr going into his senior season for the Bulldogs, we might have a different coach but we have a team, stacked of seniors, starters, playmakers. We have a team that lost to Tulsa by one point, they’re only other losses, to Oregon and Boise State, this year Fresno has no Oregon, now they have Colorado and they get Boise State at home. This might seem dramatic but their whole season is going to ride on a home game against Rutgers, if they win that opener, and they go into their game against Boise at 3-0, Fresno could have a special season, maybe undefeated. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, as we said early we hate the pick but all of our research says it’s the year. Urggh, we already want to take it back. PS, don’t be surprised if this season turns magical that Carr ends up in the Heisman talk…
2. Boise State 11-1
Ok, we really don’t want to say anything here other then, if Boise had the kind of returners that Fresno State had, we would be calling for a BCS return, instead we see Boise having a Boise year, winning all of their games but 1 and being shut out of a major bowl. They either lose one in the regular season or the Championship game but they will lose a game. Now, why is Fresno State ahead, because, we think that Boise might get the best of them during the regular season, but we see Fresno coming back and winning the Championship Game, giving them the outright title. Now, the team, has leadership all over the field on offense but the defense needs to learn and we don’t know if they will be together early enough. We like everything about Boise, they have built a program that plugs pieces into it’s system and then they go this Boise team will have to wait another year or two until they return to BCS not because they don’t belong because only one team from the Mountain West can make a major bowl and to do that they have to go undefeated. If we respected this conference, at the end of the year, if Boise sits with one loss and Fresno sits with one loss, they would both deserve a shot at any other one loss team in the country and we always like our money on the team with a chip on it’s shoulder.
3. Utah State Aggies 8-4
The Mountain West has a big drop off for the 2013 season after the first two teams, after Boise and Fresno, we have a couple of teams that overachieved in 2012 that are going to have a tough run if they want to match the win totals of the previous season. That group begins with Utah State. The Aggies last year came within 5 points of a perfect 13-0 season, one that led to it’s coach leaving for an opportunity at Wisconsin (one of the teams they lost to, pretty impressive statement). Now, in 2013 Utah State finds themselves in a new conference that features games against Boise State and Air Force rather then UTSA and Texas St. One thing we really like a bout Utah State is the offensive line, the line returns all of it’s starters and the QB, this fact could lead Utah St to a major upset against Boise St or USC but for now we like the Aggies to have a solid year, and maybe with some luck 9 regular season wins and 10 with a bowl victory.
4. San Diego State Aztecs 8-4
If you were to ask most college football fans how many wins the Aztecs had each of the last three season, we doubt that any of them would know that they have gone, 9,8,9 and that they had a share of the conference title for 2012. Moving towards the 2013 season, coach Rocky Long, has his players ready to compete with enough starters on both sides of the ball returning, San Deigo State might not win the conference but they should be able to keep the trend of having at least 8 wins a year. The Aztecs return a total of 16 starters but will have to solidify the right side of the offensive line to make sure that QB Dingwell has the time needed to run Bob Toledo’s offense. With tough game against Ohio State and Oregon State in weeks two and three, SDSU will have to stay healthy and learn from those teams so they can be ready for league play. If we had to pick a team other then Fresno to play in the title game and then to win in a huge upset against Boise, we like the idea of SDSU crashing the Bronco’s party in back to back years but that’s just crazy talk.
5. San Jose State Spartans 7-5
San Jose State, like SDSU and Utah St, overachieved last year, sometimes if happens when a perfect storm of experience, coaching, schedule and luck all come together for a program. The Spartens, had a schedule that featured only tough games against Stanford and Utah St with good games against BYU and LaTech. This year those same games are Stanford, Minnesota and Utah State, then we will add SDSU, Navy, and then Fresno State. San Jose State will have a winning season, just not a double digit one like last year.