Mountain West Football: Post-Spring Top 25 Rankings Roundup
With spring football practice in the books, how does the Mountain West stack up in the college football landscape?
The conference is wide open, but the top tier is easy to spot.
Spring ball has brought with it a lot of intrigue across the Mountain West this year, as every single presumed contender will have at least one significant question with which to wrestle in the fall. What does this mean, however, in terms of the conference’s overall profile as we head into the quietest part of the offseason?
Multiple publications have created a top 25 to reflect changing situations across college football. Here’s who makes an appearance from the Mountain West.
The Broncos left 2018 on a sour note, losing a tightly-contested conference title game and then having their bowl appearance erased by inclement weather. As with virtually every other year, however, the Broncos have received the benefit of the doubt as they reload once again.
Bryan Harsin’s biggest question, of course, is who will replace Brett Rypien, but USA Today’s Paul Myerberg places the Broncos at #22 while noting the wealth of experience they still have in other key areas, most notably at wide receiver and along the offensive line.
The defending Mountain West champions only show up in one top 25, as part of a Group of 5 crowd in The Athletic‘s rankings at #25. Stewart Mandel notes that breaking in new starters at linebacker and wide receiver will be a challenge, but he also suggests that solidifying the situation at quarterback is a good first step.
If you’re tempted to be disappointed by how short this list is, don’t be. While some rankings reflect the typical uphill battle that all G5 programs usually face — Scooby Axson of SI.com has UCF at #15 and that’s it — others reflect an evolution in the “UCF and everyone else” narrative that has dominated the last two off-seasons. CBS Sports‘ Dennis Dodd, for instance, ranks both UCF and Army in his top 20, while Bill Bender of The Sporting News has Army ahead of the Knights.
All in all, though, it’s easy to imagine that, despite having arguably the conference’s best players on both sides of the ball, Utah State fans won’t be pleased at the Aggies’ absence in this conversation. Things are going to change again the lead-up to Week 0, but the Mountain West, as usual, will likely have to wait to get the respect it deserves.