Boise State has nearly closed the gap on SDSU
After another pair of close wins, the Aztecs stay on top — but for how long?
We’re starting to see some clear tiers develop in the league, with a strong top four followed by a decent middle class — and a basement that is getting dangerous close to full occupancy.
Without further delay, let’s dive into this week’s Mountain West Wire basketball power rankings, as voted on by our staff of ten writers.
11. San Jose State (2-8, 0-6 MW; 15 points) ↔
A pair of losses to Fresno State — last week’s second-to-last team in these rankings — did away with any notions that the Spartans might be making a push after their close call with Boise State. Richard Washington continues to work mostly alone for SJSU.
Next up: vs. Colorado State (Thu/Sat)
10. New Mexico (3-6, 0-6 MW; 21 points) ↓
The Lobos turned in a pair of dreadful performance, scoring under 50 points in each of their games against Utah State (and losing both). And while we love a good defensive battle — this wasn’t that. New Mexico was outscored 159-91 in two games, making for an average loss of 34 points. Ouch.
Next up: at UNLV (Thu/Sat)
9. Air Force (3-7, 1-5 MW; 29 points) ↓
The Falcons may have played the toughest MW schedule so far, with series against Boise State, Utah State, and Nevada already in the books. Unfortunately for Joe Scott’s team, Boise State recovered from a first-half scare over the weekend, and kept Air Force from pulling another upset.
Next up: vs. Wyoming (Sat/Mon)
8. Fresno State (5-3, 3-3 MW; 37 points) ↑↑
The Bulldogs are starting to climb a bit after dispatching of San Jose State in both matchups last week. Orlando Robinson has been a monster, but the development of other options will be important. This week, Jordan Campbell stepped up and scored 27 points combined in the series.
Next up: at Nevada (Fri/Sun)
7. UNLV (1-6, 0-2 MW; 52 points) ↔
The Rebels are back in business after a long pause, and they nearly came back in serious style. Sadly for UNLV, two attempts to beat a hot Colorado State came up just short, so they’ll have to sit with an ugly record for a bit longer. But this team is much better than the record indicates.
Next up: St. Katherine (NAIA, Tue); New Mexico (Thu/Sat)
6. Wyoming (7-2, 1-1 MW; 56 points) ↔
Absence has made the heart grow forgetful, as the Cowboys have been dormant for a while now after a hot start to the season. In that time, Wyoming has fallen from #3 in these rankings down to #6, and it’s tough to see a clear path forward unless they score some big wins. They can start this week against Boise State.
Next up: Boise State (Mon/Wed); Air Force (Sat/Mon)
5. Nevada (8-5, 3-3 MW; 70 points) ↔
The Wolf Pack very nearly pulled off not one but two upsets of San Diego State last week, only to be bested by Brian Dutcher’s club on both occasions. Still, this Nevada team has shown up well ahead of schedule, and Grant Sherfield has been an All-MW player so far. Keep an eye on Nevada.
Next up: Fresno State (Fri/Sun)
4. Utah State (9-3, 6-0 MW; 85 points) ↔
The Aggies haven’t lost in over a month, ever since their Dec. 5 defeat at the hands of BYU. In that stretch, the closest margin of victory was 13 points, which came in their matchup against Northern Colorado. Utah State has been feasting on lesser foes, though. The real test comes this week against SDSU.
Next up: San Diego State (Thu/Sat)
3. Colorado State (8-2, 5-1 MW; 87 points) ↔
If you thought the Rams were a fluke after their win over SDSU, think again. This team is for real, and they have two legitimate stars in David Roddy and Isaiah Stevens. They needed some late heroics to survive both games against UNLV last week, but the ability to prevail in close games will do wonders for Niko Medved’s team going forward.
Next up: San Jose State (Thu/Sat)
2. Boise State (10-1, 6-0 MW; 102 points) ↔
They’re not quite there yet, but the Broncos are inching closer and closer to the #1 spot in our Power Rankings. With SDSU showing some struggles in their past two matchups against Nevada, Boise State was able to turn some heads as they swept Air Force to bring their win streak up to ten. The Broncos’ only loss this year came against #11 Houston on opening night.
Next up: Wyoming (Mon/Wed)
1. San Diego State (9-2, 3-1 MW; 106 points) ↔
Hey, a win’s a win, right? The Aztecs may not have looked utterly dominant in their games against the Wolf Pack last week, but they stepped up when it counted. And Trey Pulliam’s name will forever be etched into lore for his Tyus Edney-esque coast-to-coast buzzer beater against Nevada on Saturday. The league is still theirs to lose — but that might happen sooner than anyone imagined.
Next up: Utah State (Thu/Sat)
Well, there you have it! Check back early next week for our updated MWW Power Rankings to see which teams are on the move!
Andrew Dieckhoff is a USBWA member writing about college basketball for Mountain West Wire of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group and The DPI Gradebook presented by Heat Check CBB. Andy is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and a graduate of Portland State University. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon.