1. Bronco Mendenhall, BYU: The biggest no brainer in the league, Mendenhall has a record of 28-10 and has ran the table in league play the last two years. He also has two back-to-back 11 win seasons.
2. Gary Patterson, TCU: This was a close one between Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, but Patterson gets the nod for going undefeated his first year when TCU came into the Mountain West Conference play. If you were to include past performances Patterson could be number one, but TCU has been in the WAC and C-USA before joining the MWC.
3. Kyle Whittingham, Utah: The only reason Whittingham is not higher is because he has yet to win a conference title. Whittingham after taken over the Utes has won 25 games and three straight bowl wins. Some of the time the coaching staff goes in slumps that reflects on the team as they are streaky.
4. Troy Calhoun, Air Force: Calhoun took over for long time coach Fisher DeBerry and a school that has had moderate success and decided to transform the offense. Most thought it would fail, but Calhoun kept the running scheme in line because of the players he had.
He moved the offense from a triple option to a spread run option and had excellent success by going 9-4 and making a bowl game in his first season. This next season will be huge, because Air Force lost a ton of players to graduation.
5. Rock Long, New Mexico: New Mexico always seems to have talent, but for some reason the team keeps losing close games, and games where they are the favorite. Long has a career 61-61 record at UNM, but has never had a conference title.
6. Joe Glenn, Wyoming: Glenn used to be considered an up-and-coming coach who would soon be plucked to a big time program to lead the team. While very successful in Laramie, with its pinnacle win against UCLA in the 2004 Las Vegas Bowl, he has yet to put together an expected break out year. With only one winning record Glenn is squarely on the hot seat at Wyoming.
7. Chuck Long, San Diego State: For all the players that were drafted and signed as free agents it is a wonder why the Aztecs are not better.
Long has had little success in two seasons in San Diego he is 7-17, and the team has shown minor improvement from year one to year two. The defense needs to learn how to stop people for Long to be successful. If Long has two more years like his first two.
8. Mike Sanford, UNLV: This was the offensive genius that lead the Utah offense in 2003 and 2004 to new heights and a Fiesta Bowl win, and was a hot new coach.
With six wins in three seasons, Sanford has not progressed since he replaced John Robinson. Sanford needs to show drastic improvement, which means at a minimum four wins this year to save his job and to keep the team competitive in the others.
N/A Steve Fairchild, Colorado State: Fairchild is not ranked, because it is his first year as a head coach. Fairchild hopes to follow Air Force’s Troy Calhoun with a bowl appearance in his first year. Fairchild was around during the great years with the Rams.