Its that time of year again. Conference media days are just around the corner and the speculation is starting. Who’s the strongest? Who’s a contender? Who’s the weak link and who’s a cupcake?
The winner of the Mountain West Conference has gone on to a BCS bowl game each of the last 2 years. That tells us a lot about the competition within the conference. It has been on the rise the last 2-3 years with 3 teams finishing in the top 25 the last 2 years (TCU, Utah, and BYU)
With this being the Utes last year in the Mountain West Conference, I am very excited to for this next football season. There will be a lot of bad blood between Utah and the remaining schools as they’ll no doubt try to show the Utes they aren’t so great and bring them back down to earth.
As for myself, I hope that the Utes do prove that we’re so great and contend for the Mountain West Conference championship. The Utes definitely have home field advantage on their side this season as both TCU and BYU come to Salt Lake City in November (11/06 and 11/27 respectively)
The BYU game intrigues me the most simply because they have the most to prove. BYU, along with its fans (even if they wont openly admit it) are upset that Utah received an invite and they didn’t. Anyone who says otherwise or tries to pretend the Mountain West Conference is better is lying to themselves and should be ashamed to call themselves fans. Personally, if the tables were turned, and the PAC-10 had invited BYU to their conference and not my team, I would have been furious. And that knowledge makes me feel empowered and makes me feel like I’ve won the battle. BYU has one last shot at the Utes to leave a bad taste in Utah’s mouths leaving the conference , just as they left a bad taste in our mouth at the end of the ’09 season.
TCU returns much of their talent and power and are far and away the team to beat in the conference this year. But that being said, they will have Utah on the road toward the end of the their season and you never know what can happen with injuries and flukes. The Horned Frogs also start their season against a talented Oregon State team on 9/4 at a “neutral” field in Arlington, TX. The Utah game is the single challenging road game the Horned Frogs will face this year, placing them in a good position should they beat Oregon State.
So without further ado, my Mountain West Conference Preseason Rankings
#1 – TCU
#2 – Utah
#3 – Air Force
#4 – BYU
#5 – Wyoming
#6 – San Diego State
#7 – Colorado State
#8 – New Mexico
#9 – UNLV
So there you have it. I’m sure this will open itself up into a run down of each team starting with the last placed UNLV and working up to TCU before the season kicks off.