NCAAF: Mountain West Preview

August 22, 2010


You have to feel a little bad for the Mountain West. They came painfully close to receiving an automatic bid to a BCS game, and for more reasons than one, they probably won’t get it. In fact, in a few years, if the conference re-alignment plays out the way experts predict it will, the Mountain West may cease to exist as a conference. Utah is leaving for the Pac-10, BYU may opt out and become an independent, and Boise State can still opt out of their agreement if they feel like it is no longer in their best interest to join the conference. In other words, in one year, this conference may go from an almost power to a watered down coalition of teams with no real history or chance of reviving the conference. My message to TCU: Find an exit. Quickly.

Team(s) With the Best Shot at a National Championship Bid

TCU is going to need a lot of help from other teams in order to have a shot at a national title bid. Unfortunately for the Horned Frogs, they don’t come in as the highest ranked non-power conference team in the nation, which puts them at a severe disadvantage. I don’t think that help is going to come, so TCU is going to be on the outside looking in again if they go undefeated. I’ll say it again: TCU, find an exit. Quickly.

Watch Out! (Team That Could Surprise)

They surprised people at the beginning of last year’s bowl season by beating Fresno State in a thriller. This year, they have the ability to surprise people again. Sophomore quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels has a year of experience under his belt, and that will serve the Cowboy offense well, which needs to become more efficient if they want to improve upon last year. Wyoming has their toughest games on the road, but that’s why I think they could surprise people.

Out-Of-Conference Game To Watch
TCU vs. Oregon State (September 4th)

There is no doubt that this game will be TCU’s toughest non-conference game of the year. If they win, then they are still in the conversation for a BCS bid. If they lose, then their number one goal will be winning the Mountain West for a chance to play in the Poinsettia Bowl. In other words, the first game of the season may be their most important in the eyes of the pollsters.

In-Conference Game To Watch
TCU vs. Utah (November 6th)

Sure, there is a chance that BYU may not miss a beat in replacing quarterback Max Hall, but chances are that TCU and Utah will be the class of the Mountain West. This game will likely be for the Mountain West title, and one or both teams could be playing for more than that. Either way, this game has become a staple of the Mountain West Conference, and it’s kind of sad to think that it will be the last time these teams face each other as conference foes. Well, maybe (hint, hint…).

Conference Predictions

1. TCU (12-0, [8-0])
2. Utah (9-3, [6-2])
3. BYU (9-3, [6-2])
4. Air Force (7-5, [5-3])
5. Wyoming (6-6, [4-4])
6. San Diego State (6-6, [3-5])
7. UNLV (2-11, [2-6])
8. Colorado State (2-10, [1-7])
9. New Mexico (1-11, [0-8])

– K. Becks

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