CollegeFootballNews.com Preview 2017 Season Predictions: What Will Happen In The Mountain West
Predicting everything that’ll happen this season in the Mountain West Conference.
What Will Happen? 5 Mountain West Predictions
Mountain West Team Previews
– 2017 CFN MW Preview: Best Group of Five Conference
– 2017 CFN All-Mountain West Team & Top 30 Players
1. September Will Be Rough
The Mountain West never takes it easy on the non-conference schedule, and while that gives the league plenty of chances for big, brand-name, restaurant-quality wins, it also means plenty of pain and torment.
Iowa will be ready for Wyoming, Wisconsin with thump Utah State, South Florida will take care of San Jose State and Nevada’s new high-powered offense will struggle at Northwestern.
And that’s just in Week One.
While Colorado State will upset Colorado in a revenge game after last year’s ugly blowout loss, going to Alabama a few weeks later won’t be fun.
Boise State will lose a shootout at Washington State on September 9th, San Diego State will struggle at home against Stanford and on the road at Arizona State, and Wyoming won’t be able to take down Oregon.
The Mountain West will be competitive, but the results won’t be there, meaning …
2. Just One West Division Team Will Be Bowl Eligible
San Jose State is in a total rebuilding mode, Fresno State will need at least a year under Jeff Tedford, and Nevada will be better with its Air Raid attack, but all three will finish with losing records.
UNLV will be right there with a chance to be bowl eligible, but they’ll lose their last three games to BYU, at New Mexico, and at Nevada to blow it.
The biggest disappointment, though, will be Hawaii. Coming off the great first season under Nick Rolovich, the Rainbow Warriors have to go on the road to face UCLA, Wyoming, Nevada, UNLV and Utah State – they won’t win any of them, and if they do, they’ll just win one. Meanwhile, they’ll lose at home to Colorado State, San Diego State and BYU.
San Diego State. The West is yours. Again.
3. Colorado State Will Be The Mountain West’s Breakthrough Team
It’s been a little while to gear up the program, but head coach Mike Bobo might just have the right mix going into his third season.
He’s got a dangerous pitch-catch combination in Nick Stevens to Michael Gallup, he’s got a dangerous group of running backs to balance things out, and he’s got one of the best linebacking corps in the league, if not the top group.
Forget about winning at Alabama, and losses to New Mexico and Boise State will be disappointing, but after two straight 7-6 seasons, a nine-win regular season will seem terrific.
4. Brett Rypien Will Be The Mountain West’s Best Quarterback … Again
While Wyoming’s Josh Allen received the attention as a top NFL prospect, it was Boise State’s Brett Rypien who earned First Team All-Mountain West honors with a brilliant 3,646-yard, 24 touchdown, eight interception season.
Allen was hardly bad, but he threw for fewer yards, more interceptions, and wasn’t as accurate. He’ll be a marked man and will press a bit, but he’ll look every bit the part of a franchise-making NFL quarterback – who just needs a little tweaking.
Helped by star WR Cedrick Wilson – and a fantastic defense that will keep the offense from having to take a slew of chances – Rypien will be more efficient and more effective as he leads the team to …
5. The Mountain West Champion Will Be …
Boise State over San Diego State.
The Broncos will lose to San Diego State the first time around on October 14h, but Round Two will go the other way.
Again, the Aztecs will be the lone team to finish in the West with a winning record, and they’ll take the division title by a mile. They won’t be as good as the last two versions that took home the conference championship, but they should have the spot in the title game locked up in early November.
Boise State will have to fight, and if they lose to Colorado State in Fort Collins on November 11th, put the Rams in the championship.
But this Bronco team will finally take home the championship after two years off, beating Colorado State on the road, taking down Air Force and Wyoming at home, and sealing it up with a strong, unbeaten November.
Where will everyone end up? For all of the Mountain West Bowl Projections?
Mountain West Team Previews