Mountain West Conference 2009 Power Rankings – Week Five

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Mountain West Conference 2009 Power Rankings – Week Five

The second tier teams in the Mountain West Conference had a terrible weekend: Air Force fell on the road for the seventh straight time, UNLV lost for the fifth straight time to Nevada, and Colorado State fell on the road to perennial doormat Idaho. 

TCU, BYU, and Utah continue to be the big three teams in the conference, without another team rising in the conference this season to compete for the Mountain West Conference title. 

This weekend is the first full schedule of Mountain West Conference games.  The difference between the upper-level teams and the lower-level teams will really start show after this weekend.

Here are the Week Five power rankings.

1) TCU — The Horned Frogs started slow, but finished off SMU easily. For all of the hype the defense is receiving—and rightfully so—the offense is also playing well. TCU is ranked 27th in total offense, and 21st in scoring offense. TCU is very good at controlling the ball, with just six turnovers the entire season. 

TCU’s defense shouldn’t have any trouble containing the Air Force option. The interesting part will be to see if TCU’s defense will continue to avoid turnovers against a ball-hawking Falcon defense.

Week Six Schedule: TCU @ Air Force

 

2) BYU — The defense played well at home against Utah State. The Cougar defense held the 9th-ranked Aggie defense to just 322 total yards of offense (the majority of those yards coming when the game was out of hand), with just 106 yards on the ground. The offense continues to struggle with ball control. BYU is ranked 115th in turnovers lost.

This weekend should help both the offense and defense gain confidence as BYU heads to UNLV. The Rebels are coming off an embarrassing performance in which they gave up 773 yards of total offense to a previously winless Nevada team. Harvey should be licking his chops just thinking about going against UNLV.

Week Six Schedule: BYU @ UNLV

 

3) Utah — The bye week came at the right time for Utes. Utah needed to reformulate their offense after losing Matt Asiata for the season. The Utah defense has looked dominating at times this season, but nothing like the shutdown defense of last season.  Terrance Cain will need to take on more of the offense for the rest of the season. 

This week will be the true coming out party for backup running back Eddie Wide. Unlike the Louisville game, Colorado State will be prepared for Wide and the Asiata-less Utes.  The Utes, though, have had an entire week to plan for Colorado State, and have seen the Rams lose twice in a row to BYU, and then to Idaho. Utah should get the win.

Week Six Schedule: Utah @ Colorado State

 

4) Air Force — Another heartbreaking loss to Navy for Air Force. For the past few seasons, it only appeared Air Force would reclaim the Commander and Chief Trophy. Once again, the Midshipmen were too much for the Falcons to handle. Air Force managed just three conversions on third down. The defense for the Falcons was excellent, but couldn’t hand the Falcons a big win.

Now the Falcons go from playing a huge rivalry game to taking on the best team in the conference at home. The Falcons defense will have to play another excellent game to even give their offense a chance to upset the Horned Frogs.

Week Six Schedule: TCU @ Air Force

 

5) Colorado State — Idaho only has a single loss; however, losing to Idaho was embarrassing for the Rams. Colorado State has not played up to their potential since they fell on their face in the first quarter against BYU. Colorado State is a much better team than the team that lost to Idaho over the weekend. 

Colorado State could really take a huge step forward with a win over Utah this weekend. The Rams will have the first crack at taking on the Utes without Matt Asiata, but they will have to elevate their game in order to win.

Week Six Schedule: Utah @ Colorado State

 

6) Wyoming — The Cowboys nearly suffered a very embarrassing road loss to Florida Atlantic. It took a three-touchdown performance from running back Alvester Alexander for Wyoming to win. Wyoming still is the real surprise team of the year in the Mountain West Conference.

In order for Wyoming to get to the magic bowl-qualifying sixth victory this season, they must win this weekend against New Mexico. Wyoming’s schedule is definitely tougher in the second half of the season. Wyoming should be favored against New Mexico and San Diego State; however, it will take an upset victory (most likely against Colorado State or Air Force) for the Pokes to get to win number six.

Week Six Schedule: New Mexico @ Wyoming

 

7) San Diego State — The Aztecs were able to beat a very bad New Mexico State team at home. Yet, San Diego State continues to be a work in progress.

The bye week will allow San Diego State to game-plan for BYU, and the Aztecs are going to need every minute to come up with a way to slow down BYU.

Week Six Schedule: Bye

 

8) UNLV — The loss to Nevada was embarrassing, and nearly earned the Rebels the bottom spot in this week’s power rankings. What is most amazing about UNLV’s defeat is the fact they were tied with Nevada 28-28 with 4:20 left in the third quarter. The Rebels then allowed 35 unanswered points to end up losing 63-28. The Rebels continue to be the fool’s gold of Mountain West Conference teams. 

If UNLV had trouble with Nevada, they are really going to struggle to contain a better BYU offense. Harvey Unga is going to be a nightmare for the Rebels to contain this weekend. 

Week Six Schedule: BYU @ UNLV

 

9) New Mexico – The Lobos are really bad, and they continue to have serious problems both on and off the field.

The Lobos had better show up this weekend against Wyoming if they hope to do anything in conference play this season.

Week Six Schedule: New Mexico @ Wyoming

 

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