The season begins tomorrow (!!!) and I thought I'd release my preseason power rankings. I try to do this every week (generally released on Tuesday or Wednesday), so expect this to be a weekly thing. Well unless I lack the time.
Since there were no games last week, this is all speculation and I can't do the typical Team of the Week/Weak like I generally do with these rankings.
But I can still rank them based on where I think they might stand as of now.
|1||The Utes are here because they were last year's conference champion. I'm not saying they're the best team in the Mountain West, but it's hard to drop them without a game being played. We'll see how things shake out next week after the Utes play Utah State. An unimpressive win there, coupled with a big win by BYU over Oklahoma, would certainly force them down a bit.|
|2||The Frogs are favored to win the Mountain West for the third time since joining the conference in 2005. Unfortunately for TCU, the last two times they were picked to win the conference (2006 and 2007), they didn't. TCU starts the 2009 season with a bye - so don't expect them to drop.|
|3||It's not an easy start to the season for BYU, but it does provide them the chance to make the biggest noise of the week. If they don't, the Cougars will be looking at their first three-game losing streak since the start of the 2004 season.|
|4||Air Force has its work cut out for them this season if they're going to contend for the conference championship. However, Troy Calhoun has thus far established a fairly stable program in Colorado Springs. Whether that's good enough to launch them into the top-three this season is unclear, but they should get off to a good start - they host FCS' Nicholls State.|
|5||This is it for Mike Sanford. He either produces this season or he's gone. And that means at least 7-wins and a bowl berth. It won't be easy, but the Rebels do return decent talent and should have it easy with their opener against Sacramento State.|
The Rams look to follow up 2008's solid 7-6 campaign with another good effort this season. It might not be as easy, however, with their losses on offense and though Steve Fairchild has this program moving in the right direction, it's possible they take a step back this year. Their opener won't be easy, either, as they take on Colorado - in Boulder.
|7||Brady Hoke has breathed new life into Aztec football and they'll need it, since they finished an abysmal 2-10 last year. Expect them to be tested early, as they open with UCLA - though an upset here is possible.|
|8||The Lobos are coming off a difficult season and will look to get things going early on the road against a Texas A&M team that is pretty much doing the same thing. It's never easy going to College Station, but this is a possible victory for New Mexico and could act as a foundation for the new coaching staff. However, a loss is probably more likely.|
|9||Wyoming might have a new coaching staff, but don't expect much difference this year from last season's 4-8 finish. They do open against an FCS opponent, but Weber State is very capable of knocking off this Cowboy team in transition.|