College Football Rankings, Season Predictions: Mountain West Spring Version 2022

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Rankings, Season Predictions: Mountain West Spring Version 2022

College Football Features

College Football Rankings, Season Predictions: Mountain West Spring Version 2022

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Mountain West college football rankings and predictions with the realistic best and worst case records and quick analysis – the 2022 spring version.


The Mountain West isn’t exactly wide open, but with Boise State, Air Force, and San Diego State coming back strong, and with several new head coaches about to make a splash, this should be as wild an unpredictable a conference as any in college football.

The rankings are based on how good the teams should be and not the final projected records. Keeping in mind that this all could/might/will change when we make the final calls in August …

2022 College Football Schedules By Teams: All 131 Schools

1
Boise State Broncos

2020: 5-2 2019: 12-2 2018: 10-3

Coming off a disappointing season, the Broncos should be far better thanks to a loaded defense that got a whole lot of help for the front line. The offense loses star WR Khalil Shakir and a few linemen, but QB Hank Bachmeier, RB George Holani, and the other skill parts will be fine.

The schedule isn’t awful with San Diego State, Fresno State, Utah State, and BYU all having to come to the blue turf. There will be a few misfires, but beat Oregon State on the road to start the season, and a ten-win run is a reasonable goal.

Realistic Best Case Record: 11-1
Realistic Worst Case Record: 6-6
2022 Boise State Prediction, Spring Football Version: 9-3
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 8-4
Boise State 2021 Final Record: 7-5
Boise State 2022 Schedule

2
San Diego State Aztecs

2020: 4-4 2019: 10-3 2018: 7-6

The Aztecs open up their new Snapdragon Stadium with Arizona, and they get three of their first four games at home. The problem will be the road dates – at Utah, at Boise State, at Nevada, at Fresno State – that come before November.

However, Brady Hoke has a good team coming back even after losing a slew of Mountain West stars from all three phases. The transfer portal should help with Virginia Tech and Oregon QB Braxton Burmeister settling the position to go along with another great ground game. It’s San Diego State – the D will be great even after losing six starters. There’s no replacing P Matt Araiza, though.

Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Realistic Worst Case Record: 7-5
2022 San Diego State Prediction, Spring Football Version: 9-3
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 8-4
San Diego State 2021 Final Record: 12-2
San Diego State 2022 Schedule

3
Air Force Falcons

2020: 3-3 2019: 11-2 2018: 5-7

The Falcons have the talent and experience to keep the ground attack rolling. QB Haaziq Daniels and FB Brad Roberts combined for over 2,000 yards, and they’re not alone. The defense needs some new starters up front, but the safeties – Trey Taylor and Corvan Taylor – can hit.

It might not be easy to hit the ten-win mark of last year, but they might come awfully close. Boise State and Nevada are home games, and outside of the road trip to San Diego State and possibly the date against Colorado, they might not be underdogs against anyone else.

Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Realistic Worst Case Record: 6-6
2022 Air Force Prediction, Spring Football Version: 9-3
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 7-5
Air Force 2021 Final Record: 10-3
Air Force 2022 Schedule

4
Fresno State Bulldogs

2020: 3-3 2019: 4-8 2018: 12-2

New/old head coach Jeff Tedford might need to crank up the depth and the options on the offensive line, and the defensive front is all but starting over, but QB Jake Haener is a wonderful passer for the new staff to work around. Tedford knows a little something about quarterbacks.

There are a slew of landmines with Oregon State, at USC, and at Boise State before the midseason. As long as the lines come together fast, there are more than enough winnable games to push for another ten-win season. The Bulldogs might not get there, but Tedford has worked wonders before.

Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Realistic Worst Case Record: 6-6
2022 Fresno State Prediction, Spring Football Version: 8-4
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 6-6
Fresno State 2021 Final Record: 10-3
Fresno State 2022 Schedule

5
Utah State Aggies

2020: 1-5 2019: 7-6 2018: 11-2

Blake Anderson had a great first year with a Mountain West championship and an 11-win season, but repeating will be a problem without most of the star receivers around. QB Logan Bonner is back, though, along with just enough on the line to be okay. Transfers will help the defense reload, but it’ll take a while. The Aggies have exactly one game to do that with Alabama up on September 3rd.

It’s a long season with an August 27th Week 0 start, but there’s no San Diego State to deal with and Air Force is a home game. Bama, at BYU, at Boise State – those three alone should equal last season’s loss total.

Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Realistic Worst Case Record: 4-8
2022 Utah State Prediction, Spring Football Version: 7-5
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 6-6
Utah State 2021 Final Record: 11-3
Utah State 2022 Schedule

6
Nevada Wolf Pack

2020: 7-2 2019: 7-6 2018: 8-5

Nevada was gutted with the loss of head coach Jay Norvell to Colorado State and with several starters taking off or done. Gone is the great pitch-catch combination of Carson Strong to Romeo Doubs, but in comes Oklahoma State QB Shane Illingworth as an offensive playmaker to build around. The secondary should be fine, and the defensive line around Dom Peterson will be solid.

New head coach Ken Wilson should start things off with a bang – at New Mexico State, Texas State and Incarnate Word. However, three road trips – including a date at Hawaii – before dealing with San Diego State will be a rude run over the first half of the season. Getting the Aztecs at home along with Boise State and Fresno State is a nice break.

Realistic Best Case Record: 8-4
Realistic Worst Case Record: 4-8
2022 Nevada Prediction, Spring Football Version: 6-6
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 8-4
Nevada 2021 Final Record: 8-5
Nevada 2022 Schedule

7
Colorado State Rams

2020: 1-3 2019: 4-8 2018: 3-9

New head coach Jay Norvell built a whole new offense around transfers. There’s a shot seven starters on O could be new faces – with former Nevada commit Clay Millen likely at quarterback and with a totally rebuild line. There’s no replacing TE Trey McBride on one side and DE Scott Patchan on the other, but overall the team should be stronger.

The schedule isn’t going to help get everyone settled with road games at Michigan and Washington State early. Going to Boise State and Air Force will be tough, and there might be a rude welcome in Nevada for Norvell – the former Wolf Pack head coach – and his new squad.

Realistic Best Case Record: 8-4
Realistic Worst Case Record: 4-8
2022 Colorado State Prediction, Spring Football Version: 6-6
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 5-7
Colorado State 2021 Final Record: 3-9
Colorado State 2022 Schedule

8
Wyoming Cowboys

2020: 2-4 2019: 8-5 2018: 6-6

The offense lost QB Levi Williams to Utah State, RB Xazavian Valladay to Arizona State, and WR Isaiah Neyor to Texas. However, the Cowboys are using the transfer portal, too – Utah State’s Andrew Peasley should take over at quarterback – for both sides of the ball. The D should be in better shape early on than the O.

The year starts at Illinois, and there’s a date at BYU, but in conference play the Cowboys get Air Force, Utah State, and Boise State in Laramie. The conference road games aren’t that bad – there’s a week off after going to Hawaii – but closing out at Fresno State is tough.

Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Realistic Worst Case Record: 4-8
2022 Wyoming Prediction, Spring Football Version: 7-5
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 7-5
Wyoming 2021 Final Record: 7-6
Wyoming 2022 Schedule

9
San Jose State Spartans

2020: 7-1 2019: 5-7 2018: 1-11

Hello, transfer portal. San Jose State lost several key parts to the offense, but QB Chevan Cordeiro comes in from Hawaii and getting Nevada WR Elijah Cooks will help. The D is relatively set with a good front seven and decent depth.

There are more than enough winnable games to get bowling. Returning to Mountain West championship form from 2020 is a bit much, but it should be a winning season as long as the Spartans can win the 50/50 home games.

Realistic Best Case Record: 8-4
Realistic Worst Case Record: 4-8
2022 San Jose State Prediction, Spring Football Version: 6-6
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 8-4
San Jose State 2021 Final Record: 5-7
San Jose State 2022 Schedule

10
Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors

2020: 5-4 2019: 10-5 2018: 8-6

New head coach Timmy Chang takes over a reeling program coming off a rough offseason, a tough home field situation, and with its star quarterback (Chevan Cordeiro), running back (Dae Dae Hunter) and top defensive players all transferring out. But it’s Timmy Chang coaching Hawai’i – the offense is going to throw and keep throwing.

The 13-game season brings eight games to the Clarence TC Ching Athletic Complex, but road games at Michigan, San Diego State, Fresno State, and Colorado State will all be gut checks. There aren’t any almost-certain wins other than Duquesne and at New Mexico State, but strange things happen to teams once they hit Honolulu.

Realistic Best Case Record: 9-4
Realistic Worst Case Record: 4-9
2022 Hawai’i Prediction, Spring Football Version: 7-6
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 7-6
Hawai’i 2021 Final Record: 6-7
Hawai’i 2022 Schedule

11
UNLV Rebels

2020: 0-6 2019: 4-8 2018: 4-8

Marcus Arroyo’s team started to come on for a stretch late last year – at least it started to play better – and now he welcomes in Tennessee QB Harrison Bailey to go along with a good group of receivers already in the mix. Defensive depth will be an issue for a while, but there’s at least a tune-up against Idaho State to start.

UNLV will have to biff hard to not better its two-win total of last year before middle of the season. However, there’s no break whatsoever in the second half – at least until it deals with Nevada in the battle for the Fremont Cannon.

Realistic Best Case Record: 7-5
Realistic Worst Case Record: 3-9
2022 UNLV Prediction, Spring Football Version: 4-8
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 3-9
UNLV 2021 Final Record: 2-10
UNLV 2022 Schedule

12
New Mexico Lobos

2020: 2-5 2019: 2-10 2018: 3-9

Danny Gonzales’s team totally collapsed over the last month of last year’s rough campaign, but there’s experience returning. The skill parts are full of veterans, the line should be fine, and the defense should improve if the secondary can find two steady corners.

With home games against Maine and UTEP and a road date at New Mexico State, there’s a shot to match last year’s three wins before late October. It’s going to take an upset to pull off a Mountain West win, but there should be a little success. The problem once again is the finishing kick – November will be rough.

Realistic Best Case Record: 8-4
Realistic Worst Case Record: 3-9
2022 New Mexico Prediction, Spring Football Version: 4-8
CFN 2021 Spring Prediction: 5-7
New Mexico 2021 Final Record: 3-9
New Mexico 2022 Schedule

2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams

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