Mountain West power ratings: Fresno State on top, followed by Wyoming, as the Bulldogs’ shutout ends the Pac-12’s shutout

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.

One week of non-conference play remains for the Mountain West, but the conference has completed its run of matchups against Power Five opponents. The end result is not exactly easy on the eyes.

The MW finished 4-17 against opponents from the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12.

Closest to home, it was 1-10 against the Pac-12, with Fresno State’s shutout of Arizona State on Saturday night as the lone victory.

Two years ago, the MW was 6-5 against its wealthier neighbor.

What changed? Head coaches. And coordinators. And quarterbacks.

The Pac-12 upgraded on all fronts; the MW has either held its ground or regressed ever-so-slightly.

To the power ratings …

(All times Pacific)

1. Fresno State (3-0)

Last week: 1
Result: won at Arizona State 29-0
Next up: vs. Kent State (7:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network)
Comment: Not to be Debbie Downer, but 29 points is the minimum acceptable victory margin when you’re plus-8 in the turnover department. On the other hand, huge credit to the Bulldogs for having the second-longest winning streak in the country (12 consecutive games) behind those other Bulldogs (Georgia).

2. Wyoming (2-1)

Last week: 2
Result: lost at Texas 31-10
Next up: vs. Appalachian State (4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network)
Comment: Everything went exactly as planned in Austin until the fourth quarter began and the Longhorns woke up. And then 10-10 became 31-10 in the span of six minutes.

3. Air Force (3-0/1-0)

Last week: 3
Result: beat Utah State 39-21
Next up: at San Jose State (Friday, 7:30 p.m. on FS1)
Comment: From the Department of Worse-Than-It-Appears, we present the Falcons’ 18-point win over USU. The score was 39-7 midway through the third quarter. It was a demolition of the highest order.

4. Boise State (1-2)

Last week: 4
Result: beat North Dakota 42-18
Next up: at San Diego State (Friday, 7:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network)
Comment: The game of the week in the MW will unfold Friday night in Snapdragon Stadium, where we expect the visitors to confirm they’re a contender and the hosts to prove they’re a pretender.

5. San Jose State (1-3)

Last week: 5
Result: lost at Toledo 21-17
Next up: vs. Air Force (Friday, 7:30 p.m. on FS1)
Comment: The last time SJSU beat Air Force when there wasn’t a global pandemic raging: 1997. Then again, the schools have only played four times since then — the three Air Force wins in the 2010s and SJSU’s victory in 2020.

6. Utah State (1-2/0-1)

Last week: 6
Result: lost at Air Force 39-21
Next up: vs. James Madison (5 p.m. on MW Network)
Comment: The Dukes are no joke, folks. After dominating at the FCS level, they transitioned to the Sun Belt and are 3-0 with a victory over Virginia. Utah State must play very well to avoid a 1-3 start.

7. Colorado State (0-2)

Last week: 9
Result: lost at Colorado 43-35 (OT)
Next up: at Middle Tennessee State (4 …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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