Week two was rather impressive for the Mountain West Conference as it came within only a few plays of going undefeated. Air Force, UNLV and Wyoming all lost to BCS teams on the road in the waning seconds of their games, while every other team won theirs, including Colorado State's win over instate rival Colorado. That success will need to carry over into this week, because most conference teams face a real challenge.
TCU, San Diego State, BYU and New Mexico all face opponents from BCS conferences, with the latter two coming on the road. The other four games pit the Mountain West Conference against WAC teams and only Wyoming, who's playing Boise State, will be playing at home. It's an important stretch for the conference because not only can Mountain West teams knock off some respected BCS programs, they can also show that they're the best non-BCS conference in the country with a dominate performance over the WAC. This could get ugly for the conference this week, especially with so many games coming on the road. History does not favor most of these Mountain West teams.
Here's a quick breakdown of each game and my prediction for the final outcome. Last week I was 8-0 in my picks and the week before I went 6-2. I'm not expecting to be nearly as close in the coming weeks, but we'll see.
With all that said, here are the picks...
TDS @ Boston College
BC dumped on TDS last year in the season opener, but a lot has changed since then. TDS' offense is actually better and BC isn't nearly as good. However you can't question the advantage of playing a team at home that has to travel nearly cross-country for the game. This will prove to be the deciding factor, and I think BC pulls away to win with relative ease. BC wins 28-14
San Diego State @ Wisconsin
This will be San Diego State's first game since losing to UTEP in the opener a million years ago (well it at least feels that way). It's going to be a test because Camp Randall -- outside of having the coolest name of any stadium in the country -- is not an easy place for any team to play. I'm not completely sold on Wisconsin as they had a fairly close game with Bowling Green in week one and struggled with D1-AA Western Illinois last week, but I have just as many doubts about San Diego State as well. So I think it's realistic to assume each doubt cancels one another out. It should be an interesting game, but I think Wisconsin wins by a rather comfortable margin. Wisconsin wins 31-17
Boise State @ Wyoming
It's tough playing in Laramie and the Cowboys look like they have an impressive defense. Yet their offense looks terrible and that could cause some problems, especially if the Broncos get going. I think Wyoming has a good chance at pulling off a shocker, but just can't pull the trigger on that pick just yet. Boise State looks scary and they've got the talent to roll through their schedule (yes, this includes beating Utah). The game will be close, but Boise State's offense should pull it out for the Broncos. Boise State wins 28-17
Texas Tech @ TCU
This should be the best game of the week, as it pits two top-25 teams together. Oh and they're also instate rivals to boot. The last time Tech and TCU met, the Red Raiders completely humiliated them and sent the Frogs spinning toward a 5-6 season. This year it won't be nearly as bad and TCU will be aided by a mostly partisan home crowd. Texas Tech is not nearly as good as they were last year (their game against UTEP proved it), but they still have a potent offense that can put up points. I think this turns into a nail biter and would not be surprised if the game came down to one final play...or even went into OT. TCU wins 35-31
Missouri @ New Mexico
New Mexico looked awful in week one, though a bit better in week two. Missouri on the other hand has looked pretty impressive over the first two games and should roll the Lobos, even with this game being played in Albuquerque. I guess New Mexico has yet to redeem themselves in my mind since losing to D1-AA Portland State. Missouri wins 28-10
Utah @ Utah State
Ah yes, the Battle of Brothers returns again this year. And like in years past, the Utes will dominate. USU has yet to score an offensive touchdown and the only suspense of this instate rivalry game might just unfold around whether they do this week. If Utah does not win big, I will be concerned. Utah wins 47-10
CSU @ Neveda
Last season the Rams dominated the Wolfpack when the two met in Fort Collins and turned out to be a solid win, as Nevada went on to win a share of the WAC. This season, the game is being played in Reno and I don't expect a complete domination by Colorado State. However Nevada does not impress me and I think the Rams will win this game. Last season Nevada only won a share of the conference because they beat up on a bunch of WAC bottom feeders and then upset an emotionally exhausted Fresno State team (and what WAC team hasn't done that?). CSU wins 28-24
UNLV @ Hawaii
The Rebels protested their loss against Iowa State last week but can't let that get them down because Hawaii is a tough team to beat on the road. This will be Hawaii's first game since their opening loss to Alabama in week one and they should be prepared. It's unclear if UNLV quarterback Rocky Hinds will start, but if he doesn't, look for Hawaii to roll. If Hinds starts, I still think they get defeated by the Warriors. Hawaii wins 35-28
It's going be a tough week for nearly every team, now the conference just needs to get it done, especially Utah!