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Media picks Utah third, BYU second, TCU first

The media poll is out and they have Utah finishing 3rd and only receiving three first-place votes. 

This is a bit of a surprise, since even though Utah loses some talent, I expected them to either be picked first or second by the media -- after all, they are the defending champions. 

Third place is the lowest for a Mountain West champion in a preseason poll since the conference started, suggesting the possibility of Utah being slighted.

In 2008, with much of their talent returning from their '06 squad, BYU was picked to finish first. 

In 2007, after losing a good bulk of its offense, the Cougars were picked to finish 2nd, behind TCU, in the Mountain West. 

In 2006, after a surprising first-year run to the conference title, TCU was selected to repeat as champions. 

In 2005, after an undefeated season, Utah was picked to repeat as conference champs.

In 2004, after winning their first outright title in 50 years, the Utes were again picked to win the Mountain West. 

In 2003, after winning the title in 2002, CSU was picked to win it again in 2003. 

In 2002, after a promising start to the Crowton era -- one with a title -- BYU was picked to finish 2nd in the Mountain West. 

In 2001, after CSU wrapped up a conference championship in 2000, they were again picked to win it in 2001. 

In 2000, after Utah had shared the title with BYU and CSU, they were selected to win the conference outright. 

Every title winner, outside of the 2000 preseason -- since three teams won the inaugural title -- has been picked either first or second by the media. 

Well until now. 

But I can't say I disagree with the rankings. I think you can pretty much make the case for any of the top-3 teams. They're so close - in my mind there just isn't a clear cut favorite. 

With that said, I'm sure Whittingham will use this as them disrespecting us

Here are the entire rankings: 

2009 Mountain West Conference Football Preseason Poll
Rk. Team (first place votes) Points
1. TCU (15) 207
2. BYU (6) 190
3. Utah (3) 179
4. Air Force 130
5. UNLV 108
6. Colorado State 107
7. New Mexico 60
8. San Diego State 53
9. Wyoming 46

The preseason All-Conference team is after the jump...

2009 Preseason All-Mountain West Football Team
QB Max Hall** Sr. BYU
WR Ryan Wolfe* Sr. UNLV
WR Rashaun Greer** Sr. Colorado State
WR Vincent Brown Jr. San Diego State
RB Harvey Unga** Jr. BYU
RB Matt Asiata Sr. Utah
OL Zane Beadles* Sr. Utah
OL Nick Charles** Sr. Air Force
OL Shelley Smith** Sr. Colorado State
OL Erik Cook** Sr. New Mexico
OL Marshall Newhouse** Sr. TCU
TE Dennis Pitta*# Sr. BYU
Note: Three wide receivers were selected due to a tie in the voting.
DL Jan Jorgensen* Sr. BYU
DL Jerry Hughes*# Sr. TCU
DL John Fletcher** Sr. Wyoming
DL Koa Misi** Sr. Utah
LB Daryl Washington Sr. TCU
LB Jason Beauchamp** Sr. UNLV
LB Stevenson Sylvester**# Sr. Utah
DB Chris Thomas** Sr. Air Force
DB Rafael Priest** Sr. TCU
DB Nick Sanders Sr. TCU
DB Robert Johnson Sr. Utah
P Anson Kelton So. TCU
PK Mitch Payne Jr. BYU
Ret. Jeremy Kerley* Jr. TCU
Offensive Player of the Year:
Max Hall, Sr., QB, BYU
Defensive Player of the Year:
Jerry Hughes, Sr., DL, TCU
Special Teams Player of the Year:
Jeremy Kerley, Jr., KR/PR, TCU
Freshman of the Year:
Ed Wesley, RB, TCU
# - unanimous 2009 preseason selection. 
* - member of the 2008 All-Mountain West Conference first-team. 
** - member of the 2008 All-Mountain West Conference second-team.