2018 Mountain West football projections on the Hour Glass
Established in 1999, the Mountain West started out with 11 teams, after delayed aftereffects of the 1996 conference alignment and today has 12 teams that encompass the Mountain and West divisions.
While not as strong today as the AAC, the Mountain West could lay claim to the second best G5 conference in all of college football and on some years, tussle for the best.
We know what Boise State has done the last decade and we’ve seen bright spots from teams like Fresno State; and just last year San Diego State shocked Stanford. Wyoming gave the NFL Josh Allen, Colorado State has been the home of coaches that move into the Power Five and Hawaii has in fact played in a Sugar Bowl.
Due to the fact it is a G5 conference and the games are played at odd times, a lot of the times; lots of Americans miss some really good football in this conference, so I highly urge you to peek in on the MWC in 2018.
There is a talent gap in the conference:
Before TCU and Utah took off to the Power Five, and BYU left for their Independent status, it was a very deep conference. Since 2012 though, Boise State, Fresno State and San Diego State have flexed their muscles on the field and in recruiting.
Boise State is by far the most talented team on our three year talent index, but look at Colorado State making a move. The Rams have had some nice seasons recently and while coaches have been in and out the door there, the Rams have moved ahead of San Diego State in recruiting.
Nevada, San Jose State and Hawaii are middle of the pack recruiters in the conference and the back end needs a ton of work.
Your next P5 coach could come from here:
One of the things that makes this league one of the better G5 leagues is the group of coaches now in the league. San Diego State's Rocky Long, who has been with the Aztecs since 2011. Long, who played for New Mexico and has spent his time in this part of the country, understands the area and demo.
At 68 years old, it's hard to imagine he would jump to another job at this point, but it's not hard to imagine for Boise State's Bryan Harsin.
Harsin has amassed a 42-12 record with one year at Arkansas State and four years on the Blue Turf. This year could be his best yet and don't be surprised if a big school comes calling. Jeff Tedford has revitalized Fresno State and Mike Bobo looks to continue the winning trend on the Colorado State field.
Quarterback play should be good:
The MWC signal callers look to be much improved in 2018, led by Ty Gangi of Nevada and Brett Rypien of Boise State. Rypien should be poised for a big year on the Blue Turf and some feel Gangi could follow Colin Kapernick to the NFL.
Marcus McMaryion of Fresno State and and Christian Chapman of San Diego State will be tough outs each week, while Arion Worthman gives Air Force a shot at post season play this fall.
Overall, five quarterbacks are above our average quarterback line in 2018 and the conference is in as good a shape at the position as any Group of Five Program.
A Mountain West Showdown:
October 6th could decide the fate of the league as San Diego State travels to Boise in a key match up of MWC powers. Both have to play Fresno State and both have key out of conference match ups as well.
San Diego State opens the season at Stanford, a team they upset a year ago; while Boise has a week three trip to Oklahoma State. Fresno State travels to Minnesota in week two.
San Diego State gets another chance to knock off a Power Five team in Herm Edwards and Arizona State September 15th, and the rest of the conference slate is sure to be loaded with exciting games.
Seven teams should punch their ticket to post season play and look for a Boise State and San Diego State to meet again December 1st for the MWC Championship, with the Broncos of Boise winning another title and punching a ticket to a New Years Day Six Bowl Game.