The Mountain West is one of the stronger “Group of 5” conferences (Non-Power 5). The American Athletic Conference (AAC) is probably stronger from top to bottom, but there’s not that big a gap when comparing the top teams in each conference.
There’s almost always at least one team from the Mountain West that ends up in the Top 25. Last year there was three different teams that ended the year ranked in the Top 25. Those were Fresno State (#18), Utah State (#21) and Boise State (#23). All 3 teams finished with 10+ wins and were a combined 33-7.
Mountain West College Football Preview & Predictions
Last year Fresno State defeated Boise State in the MWC title game. It was the Bulldogs second conference championship and fourth appearance in the title game since it was added in 2013. Boise State (2) and San Diego State (2) are the only other teams in the Mountain West to win the title game.
I’ve put together 2019 Mountain West predictions. I project the conference records and standings for each division, as well as the overall records.
2019 MWC Projected Standings, Rankings & Betting Odds
It really speaks volumes to what kind of program Boise State has built when they are still the team to beat after losing a 4-year starting quarterback in Brett Rypien (No. 2 all-time passer), top rusher Alex Mattison (1,415 yards, 17 TDs) and their top two wide outs Sean Modster and A.J. Richardson.
There’s a lot of excitement around true freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier and if he lives up to the hype they should run away with the Mountain Division. A big part of that is they avoid both Fresno State and San Diego State out of the West.
Most will see Utah State as the Broncos biggest threat, as they come in off an 11-2 season. While they do get back star quarterback Jordan Love, he’s one of just 2 starters back on offense. They also lose 3 of their top 4 tacklers on defense and are in the first year of head coach Gary Anderson (second stint with program).
Air Force is the team that I believe is real threat to Boise State, but would likely need to upset the Broncos in Boise for that to happen. Falcons have 14 starters back and are expected to field one of their best offenses in recent memory.
Wyoming is another team you can’t sleep on. I’ve got a ton of respect for Cowboys head coach Craig Bohl. If red-shirt freshman quarterback Sean Chambers makes a full recovering from a broken leg, their offense is going to be greatly improved. The problem is the schedule, as they have to play San Diego St, Boise State, Utah State and Air Force on the road.
That leaves New Mexico and Colorado State, neither of which I’m expecting a whole lot out of. I don’t see the Lobos are Rams being able to make it to a bowl game this year.
|1st||San Diego State||7-1||10-2||+500|
|6th||San Jose State||1-7||2-10||+13000|
As you can see from the odds, Fresno State is the Vegas favorite to win the division. I just don’t think they are deserving of that title. I see San Diego State as the team to beat.
The Aztecs had a rare down year in 2018, going just 7-6 overall with a 4-4 mark in the conference. It’s like people just forget how dominant this team was prior to last season. From 2015-2017 San Diego State went 32-9 with a 22-4 record in the MWC.
This year the Aztecs will have 12 starters back and will be going to a more spread attack on the offensive side of the ball. The inability to score was what plagued this team last year. It’s worth noting that 3 of their 4 losses were by 9-points or less and the other was at Stanford.
Going back to Fresno State, it’s not that I don’t think the Bulldogs will be a good team. They just lose a lot and have to play a brutal schedule. Fresno State will have a new QB and return just 9 starters in total. Unlike Boise State, they don’t have a top tier recruit waiting to take over.
The Aztecs and Bulldogs are the only two teams to reach the MWC title game since they went to the two division format. Hawaii is a team that could put an end to that. The Rainbow Warriors were one of the biggest surprises in the country last year. Many thought the team would be lucky to win 2-3 games, yet they finished 8-6. Hawaii will have a ton of experience with 18 returning starters and get to host both Fresno State and San Diego State.
Nevada will be in year three under head coach Jay Norvell and despite only returning 11 starters, this will be his best team yet. A big reason for that is the juco quarterback (Malik Henry) that they added. He was originally recruited by FSU and was considered a Top 5 quarterback in his class out of high school.
UNLV and San Jose State are the two bottom feeders that will likely have a hard time winning games in 2019. The Rebels are without a doubt the more talented of the two, but have to go through a gauntlet of a schedule in the middle of the season where they play 4 of 6 on the road and the two at home are against Boise and San Diego St.
MWC Championship Game Prediction: Boise State Defeats San Diego State
2019 MWC Win Totals
|San Diego State||8|
|San Jose State||2.5|
Find out who is the favorite to win the Heisman in 2019 by clicking on the link.
Playoff Odds (Win National Championship)
Here’s a link to our NCAAF Championship Odds.