And if you don’t even have the CBS Sports Network, you might be shocked to know that UNLV still has a football team.
Part Three! We’re getting there…slowly. Man this is going to take a long time.
Third on our list is the Mountain West, the little brother of the Pac-12 (and just as much of a pain in the ass). BCS buster from this conference? The MWC is always good for a team to have a chance to do just that. And now the Mountain West has enough teams to do divisions called…mountain and west. Wow. Just wow. So if you want to talk about the western part of the conference you need to say Mountain West West. Can I just say Mountain West2?
- Utah State Aggies (7-1 Mountain West, 9-3 overall). The Aggies got real good, real fast under Gary Andersen. Now they have a new coach and a new conference. I think Chuckie Keeton and company will make life difficult for the new Mountain Division. I see them pulling off a (somewhat) surprising division title to move on to the first Mountain West championship.
- Boise State Broncos (6-2 Mountain West, 8-4 overall). It may shock a lot of people to see Boise State be somewhat ordinary this year. I think with the additions of Utah St. and San Jose St. to the mix, this conference is arguably more difficult than the Big East, uh, I mean, American. All this means is that Chris Petersen can’t throw the ball a thousand times, score a boatload of points, and just waltz to a conference championship.
- Air Force Falcons (4-4 Mountain West, 6-6 overall). All of the service academies are fun to watch and painful to watch all at the same time. If it was NFL clock rules, their games would be over in less than two hours. Again, Air Force will have just enough to make it to a bowl game.
- Wyoming Cowboys (3-5 Mountain West, 6-6 overall). What else is there to do in Laramie? Honestly. Yeah I thought so. Just like Air Force, they will do just enough to go to a bowl this season. The difference? Wyoming will stumble in, losing 4 of their last 5.
- New Mexico Lobos (3-5 Mountain West, 6-6 overall). Bob Davie was never exceptionally good in the booth. However, I am glad to see he has received new coaching life down in New Mexico. Finally, FINALLY, the Lobos will go to a bowl game this year. And it may not even be their own bowl (for those of you wondering, that would be the New Mexico Bowl…go figure).
- Colorado State Rams (1-7 Mountain West, 3-10 overall). Ever since Sonny Lubick left/was fired/got out of dodge, the Rams have been terrible. That won’t change this year. The worst part is they still will look better than their brothers in Boulder and should beat them to open the season. Then it’s a big, bad set of downhill rapids from that point on.
- Fresno State Bulldogs (8-0 Mountain West, 12-0 overall). Pat Hill would be rolling in his grave (if he was dead). Hill’s mantra was any time, any place. He would take on the big boys all the time and the Bulldogs were always surprisingly competitive. Since he left, they’ve had some down years, but this is the year they put it all together. An awesome QB and a relatively cushy non-conference schedule (save a speed bump against Rutgers) helps for sure in this case.
- San Jose State Spartans (7-1 Mountain West, 9-3 overall). New conference but the same results. You would think there would be a bit of a down year moving from the WAC to here but David Fales is all sorts of awesome and the Spartans will continue to sneak up on opponents. They will be an upset of Fresno State away from running the table in the conference.
- San Diego State Aztecs (4-4 Mountain West, 6-6 overall). The university has to be thanking Boise State all the time for giving them opportunity to stay out of the Big (L)East and remain in the Mountain West. A bit of a down year this year, but still bowl-eligible. I just wish they would stop playing at Qualcomm. That stadium is an absolute shithole.
- Nevada Wolf Pack (3-5 Mountain West, 4-8 overall). Nevada has been used to being bowl-eligible every year. However, no more Chris Ault and Colin Kaepernick feels like ages ago. This team will struggle this year after collapsing in their bowl game last year. But at least they will still beat…
- UNLV Rebels (1-7 Mountain West, 2-10 overall). Life as a head football coach just can’t get worse for Bobby (don’t call me Mike) Hauck. Going from arguably one of the best FCS programs ever (Montana), to Las Vegas (aka college football hell) is a bitter pill to swallow. Expect the same this year.
- Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (1-7 Mountain West, 2-10 overall). Since they busted the BCS, the Rainbow Warriors (I assume they have gone back to that name by now) have been a little better than terrible. But not by much. Their home advantage seems to be anything but. Plus they have to host USC, Fresno St., and San Jose St. in the first five games of the season. Ouch. Good luck with that.
First ever Mountain West Championship! This year, I predict it will be in Fresno as the Bulldogs will host the (somewhat) surprising Aggies. Unfortunately for the conference, this game will probably not be close as Fresno State will be auditioning for a BCS bowl spot. Fortunately for the conference, this game will probably be exiled to the CBS Sports Network (unless the ESPN takes pity on them).