2016 CollegeFootballNews.com Midseason Top Mountain West Players, Coaches, Rankings, Games, Surprise & Disappointments
2016 Mountain West Midseason Roundup & Analysis
It’s been a rough year, but there’s one shining star that still has a shot at doing something special.
San Diego State came back loaded, and while it’s still good enough to win the West and potentially retake the Mountain West title, the loss to South Alabama was a killer. The Aztecs were able to get by Cal, but outside of that, there haven’t been a slew of key non-conference wins.
But Boise State beat Washington State and Oregon State, and now it needs to keep on rolling to have a shot at the New Year’s Six opening and with – if everything breaks right – be in the discussion for the College Football Playoff.
Colorado State, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah State were supposed to take big steps forward after looking solid last year, and haven’t. There’s still time, but this is the midsection of the league, and it’s struggling.
On the plus side, Wyoming is breaking through under head coach Craig Bohl and Hawaii is on top of the West right now under new head man Nick Rolovich.
And Boise State has the team to go 13-0.
Mountain West Midseason Offensive Player
RB Donnel Pumphrey, Sr. San Diego State
Consistently amazing, he’s been the best running back in college football this year with 891 yards in the first five games highlighted by a brilliant 281-yard, three score day against Cal. He’s smallish, but he’s tough as nails, continues to be quick, and he’s able to bust out the big plays averaging seven yards per pop.
Mountain West Midseason Defensive Player
DE Alex Barrett, Sr. San Diego State
Wyoming safety Andrew Wingard has had a brilliant first half of the season, and Colorado State linebacker Kevin Davis has been one of the shining stars in a rough year for the Rams, but Barrett – along with linebacker Calvin Munson and corner Damontae Kazee – is the big key to the D. He’s been consistent against the run, and he’s got a sack in every game but the South Alabama loss.
Mountain West Midseason Top 10 Players
1. RB Donnel Pumphrey, Sr. San Diego State
2. QB Brett Rypien, Soph. Boise State
3. DE Alex Barrett, Sr. San Diego State
4. RB James Butler, Jr. Nevada
5. S Andrew Wingard, Soph. Wyoming
6. RB Jeremy McNichols, Jr. Boise State
7. LB Kevin Davis, Sr. Colorado State
8. CB Damontae Kazee, Sr. San Diego State
9. WR Thomas Sperbeck, Sr. Boise State
10. LB Calvin Munson, Sr. San Diego State
Mountain West Midseason Coach Rankings
1. Bryan Harsin, Boise State
2. Craig Bohl, Wyoming
3. Rocky Long, San Diego State
4. Nick Rolovich, Hawaii
5. Troy Calhoun, Air Force
6. Brian Polian, Nevada
7. Mike Bobo, Colorado State
8. Bob Davie, New Mexico
9. Tony Sanchez, UNLV
10. Matt Wells, Utah State
11. Ron Caragher, San Jose State
12. Tim DeRuyter, Fresno State
Mountain West Midseason Best Games
1. Wyoming 40, Northern Illinois, 2OT, Sept. 1
2. San Diego State 45, California 40, Sept. 10
3. Tulsa 48, Fresno State 41, OT, Sept. 23
Mountain West Midseason Best Surprise
Wyoming getting hot. The season started out with a fun win into the wee hours of the morning against Northern Illinois, but it was the win over Air Force that showed that things really are starting to shine under Craig Bohl.
Mountain West Midseason Biggest Disappointment
Utah State. New Mexico losing to New Mexico State is a very, very close second, but Utah State has been the biggest dud. It doesn’t have its normal defensive punch, and while QB Kent Myers has been fine, the three-game losing streak in tough Mountain West losses have killed the season.
Mountain West Midseason – We Were Right On …
Boise State is going to go 13-0. The Broncos might not get into the College Football Playoff as predicted throughout the offseason, but they’ll be among a small pile of unbeaten teams – and could be the lone perfect team in December.
Mountain West Midseason – We Were Wrong On …
UNLV is about to blow up. The program is on the right track under head coach Tony Sanchez, and there are plenty of positives to get excited about, but Nebraska QB Johnny Stanton struggled before getting hurt. The road losses to UCLA, Central Michigan and San Diego State were fine, but losing at home to Idaho was inexcusable.