Mountain West Conference 2012 Power Rankings: Week Ten
Mountain West Power Rankings
Power ranking time for the Mountain West! What could be more exciting! OK so there wasn't exactly a groundbreaking upset, but there were enough performances to cause a little shakeup in my week ten power rankings.
What makes this final run of the 2012 Mountain West regular season so fun, is the week by week elimination of schools vying for a conference championship. Last Friday night two programs with one conference loss hit the field in Colorado Springs for the right stay alive.
The Air Force Falcons not only defeated the Nevada Wolf Pack, they did so going away. Winning 48-31, Troy Calhoun's team kept their dark-horse dream of finishing atop the Mountain West alive. Quarterback Connor Dietz led the Falcons to 600 yards of offense and 36 first downs in the process.
With star running back Cody Getz sidelined because of injury, senior Wes Cobb stepped in and took care of business running for 152 yards and touchdown.
Give a big wave goodbye to the Wolf Pack. High expectations after a win against the California Golden Bears has dissipated after losing two conference games in a row.
There are still plenty of teams left in the Mountain West race to the top. Two teams control their destiny; the Boise State Broncos and the San Diego State Aztecs. Both meet this weekend in Idaho which is bad news for the Aztecs, as the Broncos protect their homefield as good as anyone.
Continue on for the newest batch of Mountain West Power rankings.
For last week's rankings click here.
10. Hawaii Warriors (1-6) (0-4)
Well, the Hawaii Warriors had a shot at moving out of the Mountain West basement. A loss on the road to arguably the only team in the conference as bad as UH probably didn't go down well in Manoa. While Norm Chow searches for that first Mountain West win, perhaps his best shot in 2012 was this past weekend. Well, there's always the South Alabama Jaguars at the end of the season. Even that isn't a guarantee.
9. Wyoming Cowboys (1-7) (0-4)
The Wyoming Cowboys move down a notch to 9 in the latest power rankings. What a sad state of affairs in Laramie. Without head coach Dave Christensen because of suspension, the Pokes were summarily pounded into the Wyoming prairie by Boise State. Quarterback Brett Smith (above) is still one of the conferences best but he's not getting much much help. One has to wonder how motivated the Cowboys are with all their 2012 struggles.
8. Colorado State Rams (2-6) (1-3)
The good news for the Colorado State Rams is they broke a six game losing streak. If that is good news. On the glass is half-empty side of the argument, the win was against the hapless Warriors. It was an ugly win for the Rammies who committed five turnovers, but so did Hawaii. Out-gained in the air and on the ground CSU won thanks to two returned interceptions for touchdowns. Coach Jim McElwain's debut is disappointing and 2013 better have a better showing.
7. UNLV Rebels (1-8) (1-3)
Usually a Mountain West doormat the UNLV Rebels have taken a step forward out of the basement. The problem for the Rebels is that they are mired on the first floor. Freshman QB Nick Sherry (above) has done a superb job at keeping UNLV in most of the games they have played. Running back Tim Cornett is another unappreciated asset in Sin City. Head coach Bobby Hauck (above as well) is running out of time to show improvement where it really matters, the win column.
6. New Mexico Lobos (4-5) (1-3)
It was shaping up to be one of the biggest wins in recent memory for the New Mexico Lobos. In the end, a 24-7 lead was not enough to pull off an epic win against the Fresno State Bulldogs. Kasey Carrier (above) is proving to be a dangerous weapon for the Lobos, running for 136 yards and two scores in Saturday's loss. Bowl eligibility is two victories away. A possible proposition and one that would cement coach Bob Davie's turnaround in Albuquerque.
5. Nevada Wolf Pack (6-3) (3-2)
Offensively the Wolf Pack are still among the best in the FBS. Quarterback Cody Fajardo is a witch running Chris Ault's pistol offense. Running back Stefphon Jefferson is the best back you've never heard of. Defense is holding the Pack from competing for a conference title in 2012. The unit gives up way too many big plays for scores. In the past four games the Nevada D has yet to hold an opponent to less than 28 points.
4. Air Force Falcons (5-3) (4-1)
With zero depth on defense, and a plethora of new starters due to graduation, injury, and suspension, the Falcons just keep finding ways to make life just difficult enough for the opposition's offense. Holding the nation's leading rusher (Stefphon Jefferson) to 93 yards helped in the upset of Nevada. Even without Cody Getz, the Falcons scored 48.
3. San Diego State Aztecs (6-3) (4-1)
Quietly Rocky Long's Aztecs are alive and well in the Mountain West title chase. This Saturday in Boise will likely determine the Mountain West champion. Barring an unforeseen upset, a win over the Broncos would give the Aztecs a tie-breaker over the Broncos. After that, Air Force and Wyoming are all that would stand in the Aztecs way. A solid run game led by back Adam Muema (above) might be enough to pull the upset on the blue turf. Might.
2. Fresno State Bulldogs (6-3) (4-1)
Unfortunately for Fresno State, their only hope at a conference title is two Boise State losses. That would be unlikely to happen, but even if the Dogs are stuck at second in the power rankings, they have reason for hope. Tim DeRuyter has done a fine job at improving this team in year one, and the Broncos are gone after this season leaving Fresno State as the well... big dogs in the conference.
1. Boise State Broncos (7-1) (4-0)
Before the season began I released my best and worst case scenarios for each Mountain West team. So far, it has been the best case for Boise. A close loss in East Lansing is the only blemish on the Broncos record. If BSU can pass their next conference test this weekend against San Diego State, a conference title is all but assured.
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