It’s crazy to think that the college football season is already at its end. Bowl invitations have been accepted and fans are either holding on, trying to squeeze each remaining drop from the season (me), or they are already trying to put this season in the rear view mirror and focus on bright hopes of tomorrow.
The first article I ever wrote for 4th and 1 Sports was back on July 21, 2010 entitled “Mountain West Conference Preseason Rankings“.
I realize this article was extremely biased and as the season has gone along, I have tried to remain unbiased (apart from rivalry week of course).
What I want to focus on more than anything are the predictions made and how things turned out.
Prediction – #1
Actual – #1
TCU showed that defense wins championships. The Horned Frogs and Coach Patterson were just one possession away from being conference champions in ’08, which would have meant this year’s championship would have been a three-peat. Now, its off to the Big East for TCU, where they will likely challenge for that conference title the next 5 years.
Prediction – #2
Actual – #2
Utah definitely showed improvement from last year on the offensive side of the ball. Jordan Wynn, apart from the last 4 games he played with a hurt shoulder, has grown more into his leadership role. More than anything, though, was the emergence of the young Utah defense. The Utes should take enough weapons with them from this team into the PAC-12 to make an immediate impact in the conference.
Prediction – #3
Actual – #3
Air Force, as always, proved to be a well oiled machine of a team under Troy Calhoun. They stuck to their option play and the Falcons again ended the season among the top rushing teams. Air Force also moved up a spot in the ranks from where they normally reside, #4 behind Utah, TCU, and BYU in no particular order, but this being a rebuilding year for the Y, Air Force took advantage and beat BYU for the first time in a while, claiming 3rd place in the Mountain West.
San Diego State:
Prediction – #6
Actual – #4
San Diego State started to come on late last season and it led me to believe that they would be a little better in the Mountain West this year, but I had no idea they would be this improved. BYU and Wyoming (predicted #4 and #5 respectively) struggling this year more than anticipated did not help my cause either.
Prediction – #4
Actual – #5
I thought BYU having to replace Max Hall, Dennis Pitta, Harvey Unga, etc. would account for a few hiccups to start the season. I never imagined the disorder that would arise from the Cougar camp early on. The 2 QB system, losing to Air Force, Nevada, but worst of all losing Utah State were definitely the largest set backs. Although I didn’t figure BYU would have a .500 season, struggles were bound to follow them a little.
Prediction – #7
Actual – #6
Colorado State started the season with a loss to rival CU. In conference play, they had wins over UNLV and New Mexico but were Wyoming’s single victory in conference.
Prediction – #9
Actual – #7
UNLV had another sub-par season in football. Its 2 wins in conference came over the bottom two teams, New Mexico and Wyoming.
Prediction – #8
Actual – #8
New Mexico again has a 1 win season, with their win coming over the last place MWC spot, Wyoming. That does NOT make the league look good. Especially, when one of your losses was to New Mexico State of the WAC.
Prediction – #5
Actual – #9
Wow, I did not see this one coming. Then again, I didn’t see CSU dropping off the map last season after a good start. I thought the way Austyn Carta-Samuels played last season, he would lead the Cowboys to middle of the pack again.
So with that, we leave the Mountain West Conference for football.
I can honestly say that I will always remember rushing the field after the 2008 victory over TCU, always remember the freezing game in Laramie, WY when the lights went out in 2004 and we sat in the freezing cold for 2 hours. I will never forget hitting a deer with my car at 3 AM driving back from Vegas after the win over UNLV. I will always cringe when thinking about having to play Air Force. I will always remember watching Robert Johnson intercept CSU quarterback, Grant Stucker 3 times to steal a victory for the Utes.
Utah has played some great games as a member of the Mountain West Conference and hopefully, they will do the same in the PAC-12.