Outside of Utah's victory over UCLA and New Mexico's win at Arizona, it really wasn't a great week for the Mountain West Conference. Too many teams lost games they could have won and because of that, the conference definitely took a step back.
Luckily, Utah's win against the Bruins brought enough positive attention to the conference to offset some disappointing losses.
Team of the week: Utah. Oh boy, how quickly things can turn! This time last week the Utes were the two-time dud of the week. Now they are the team of the week. Utah not only beat UCLA, they completely abused them. Just an unbelievable performance by the Utes and now comes the catch, they'll need to keep it up, or no one will even remember UCLA.
Dud of the week: TCU. Just a horrible parade of errors by the Frogs against Air Force. Not only did they blow a 17-3 fourth quarter lead, they tried to win by 7 instead of 3. With the game winding down and the team in field goal range, TCU's offensive coordinator (who was later thrown under the bus by Gary Patterson) opts to throw it into the end zone. The pass flutters a bit and then is picked off by the Falcons. They run out the clock and TCU once again blows an opportunity, missing a field goal in overtime.
And now, the rankings...
|1||Who would have thought Air Force, after being picked to finish at the bottom of the conference, would be looking at a clean sweep of the three top dogs of the Mountain West? Well, with a victory Saturday against BYU, that's exactly what will happen. It's not an easy task, but then again, no one expected the Falcons to beat Utah and TCU in consecutive weeks. If Air Force defeats BYU, it's their conference to lose.|
|2||The Cowboys gave Boise State a game early, but their complete lack of offensive power did them in. Wyoming is only this highly ranked because they have, outside of Air Force and New Mexico, the best record of any Mountain West team. If their offense doesn't get it into gear though, I expect them to falter greatly -- strong defense or not.|
|3||The Lobos made a big jump after an impressive victory against Arizona Saturday night. Yet Arizona is just a really bad team and a victory over them doesn't mean much. The Lobos loss to UTEP looks even worse, since they lost to NMSU (who the Lobos beat). New Mexico should win easily this week against Sacramento State, though we all remember the last time they played a D1-AA team (hint, they lost to Portland State).|
|4||From last to fourth! Utah isn't back just yet, but it's perfectly reasonable to suggest their struggles against Air Force were because of a new offense working out its kinks. Utah needs to prove they're back and that begins by beating two teams they have no business losing to, UNLV this week and Utah State next week. If the Utes do what they are expected to do, they will roll into Louisville 3-2 and looking for yet another upset. A loss to either team will derail any good fortune achieved by beating UCLA.|
|5||It's tough to really get a feel for how good BYU is. They rolled Arizona, who then lost to New Mexico at home and kept it close against a UCLA team that was slaughtered by Utah. Then they go out and lay a massive defensive egg against Tulsa, losing in a crazy shootout. Right now, BYU doesn't appear to be great, but they're not bad, either. Air Force might be their first true measuring stick and if they lose that game, the wheels just might come off the BYU wagon.|
|6||What the hell has happened to TCU? They were the media's darling entering this season and have struggled the past two weeks. That loss to Texas won't look bad, but it certainly looks worse than UCF's and Arkansas State's loss to the Longhorns. Both those teams gave Texas a better game than TCU and that has to be a big concern for the Frogs. Right now in Fort Worth, I have a feeling they're having flashbacks to 2004.|
|7||CSU was off last week and they get a chance for their first victory against Houston Saturday. A victory there would snap one of the nation's longest losing streaks, which is currently at 9-games.|
|8||You nearly knock off Wisconsin one week and get murdered the next against a Hawaii team that barely beat Louisiana Tech. I don't know what to think about UNLV, except it does not seem like Mike Sanford has this team heading in the right direction. He gets a chance though to do something only one coach has ever done before, beat Utah. For those wondering who that coach was, it's former Utah State head coach Tony Knap. A win over Utah might just save Sanford's job.|
|7||Even though they looked better in week three against Arizona State than they did in week two against Washington State, it's still not enough to get them out of the cellar. Now they face Portland State, but that isn't a gimmie, since the Aztecs lost to a D1-AA team last year.|