Last season, the Hotline published weekly ‘Best of the West’ power ratings that considered not only Pac-12 teams but those in the Mountain West and Brigham Young. The exercise was so popular that we’re adding a MW-specific column to our array of offerings this season.
Through two weeks, the Mountain West has the following records:
— 4-12 against FBS opponents
— 2-12 against Power Five opponents (Fresno State over Purdue and Wyoming over Texas Tech)
— 2-0 against Group of Five opponents
— 0-7 against the Pac-12
How quickly things change. Just two years ago, the Mountain West was feasting on the Pac-12.
Now, let’s plunge into the power ratings …
1. Fresno State (2-0)
Last week: 1
Result: beat Eastern Washington 34-31
Next up: at Arizona State
Comment: EWU was a trap game all the way, sandwiched between trips to Purdue and ASU. Victory in any form was all that mattered, even if it required overtime.
2. Wyoming (2-0)
Last week: 2
Result: beat Portland State 31-17
Next up: at Texas
Comment: If you’re going to face the Longhorns on their home turf, might as well do it after their biggest win (at Alabama) in eons.
3. Air Force (2-0)
Last week: 5
Result: won at Sam Houston 13-3
Next up: vs. Utah State (Friday)
Comment: Tough conference opener this week for the Falcons, and it only gets tougher from there with San Jose State, San Diego State and Wyoming in succession. By early October, we’ll know if they’re legit.
4. Boise State (0-2)
Last week: 3
Result: lost to UCF 18-16
Next up: vs. North Dakota
Comment: More surprising than the 0-2 start — much, much more surprising — is the mere 35 points scored by a veteran offense with a talented quarterback. It’s reminiscent of the issues in early 2022.
5. San Jose State (1-2)
Last week: 8
Result: beat Cal Poly 59-3
Next up: at Toledo
Comment: Undefeated against teams not ranked in the top 16 of the AP poll.
6. Utah State (1-1)
Last week: 7
Result: beat Idaho State 78-28
Next up: at Air Force (Friday)
Comment: The Aggies’ resume now consists of a 50-point home win and a 10-point road loss in Big Ten country. (It wasn’t quite that close in Iowa City, but it wasn’t a blowout, either.) That’s plenty good enough for the top half of the power ratings given the state of play up and down the MW.
7. San Diego State (2-1)
Last week: 4
Result: lost to UCLA 35-10
Next up: at Oregon State
Comment: Reminder that the Aztecs struggled to put away Idaho State last week — yes, the same Idaho State team that just lost by 50 to Utah State.
8. UNLV (1-1)
Last week: 6
Result: lost at Michigan 35-7
Next up: vs. Vanderbilt
Comment: The one SEC team UNLV has a fleck of a hint of a prayer of beating, maybe.
9. Colorado State (0-1)
Last week: 9
Result: did not play
Next up: at Colorado
Comment: As with Wyoming’s trip to Texas, the Rams could not have asked for more favorable circumstances as they head down the road for a matchup in Letdown City, Colo. Even better: They had an extra week to prepare for the Buffaloes.
10. Hawaii (1-2)
Last week: 11
Result: beat Albany 31-20
Next up: at Oregon
Comment: We have the urge to research the record for most points allowed by Hawaii in school history. Wonder why that could be.
11. New Mexico (1-1)
Last week: 12
Result: beat Tennessee Tech 56-10
Next up: vs. New Mexico State
Comment: Lose this week and the heat on fourth-year coach Danny Gonzales will rise to an 11.
12. Nevada (0-2)
Last week: 10
Result: lost to Idaho 33-6
Next up: vs. Kansas
Comment: There are good losses, bad losses and losses that make you wonder about every aspect of program management. Getting your clock cleaned by Idaho falls into the third category.
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