While the Mountain West Conference may not be considered a Power 5 conference in college football, teams in the MWC are gaining respect.
It’s hard to outshine teams like the Alabama Crimson Tide, Clemson Tigers, or Ohio State Buckeyes on the national stage, but that’s not what the Mountain West conference is about. They may not compete for national championships or be the talk of college football, but the conference is producing professional talent ready for the next step.
Not every team can be the Crimson Tide, that’s a fact. There are a handful of teams that rule the sport, which is fair. But the Mountain West Conference doesn’t bury their heads in the sand and try to hide – instead, they embrace what they have to offer. They aren’t flashy, but they are a stepping stone for not only education but a potential football career.
As preparations for the NFL Draft are well underway, there are several players and teams from the Mountain West that has caught the eye of NFL front offices.
San Diego State is the perfect example of a program that might not win national titles but helps college football talent reach the next level. Tariq Thompson and Darren Hall are two projected draft picks at the upcoming draft. Thompson’s prowess on the field could easily help any NFL team, while Hall’s football IQ would be a nice addition to the defensive end of a professional team.
The Mountain West has been producing NFL talent for many years, but they don’t seem to get national attention. Going back to teams like Clemson and Alabama, it makes sense that those programs and their recruits will make headlines in the sport.
But players from San Diego State, Wyoming, Fresno State, Utah State and Colorado State have helped plant the seeds for future NFL talent.
Mountain West isn’t overlooked, but they may be underappreciated. Josh Allen is a former Wyoming Cowboy that is adored in Buffalo. Utah State’s Jordan Love made headlines as the potential replacement to Aaron Rodgers and Colorado State has been pumping out WR’s ready for the next level.
It’s almost as if there is a Moneyball approach to the Mountain West. While the Oakland Athletics looked for value and hidden gems, NFL teams and front offices are looking at diamonds in the rough from Mountain West schools.
With that being said, it doesn’t seem as if any Mountain West program will win a national title in the immediate future.
Betway Sports has Boise State at +25000 to win the national title in the upcoming season. To put that into perspective, the Alabama Crimson Tide are listed at +275.
The Broncos own the best odds of any Mountain West team, which shows how competitive the top teams and conferences are in college football. It would be a Cinderella story for the Broncos to win the upcoming national championship.
It makes sense that teams in the Mountain West are more focused on winning their Conference championship rather than a national title. While winning the College Football Playoff is the ultimate goal, right now, the MWC Title is more obtainable for a lot of programs.
Still, while the Mountain West won’t set the college football scene on fire, they do a good enough job in prepping players for the next step. There are many current and former players in the NFL today that have donned a jersey from the Mountain West Conference.
The NFL Draft will be another opportunity to see Mountain West players make the jump from the college level to the professional level.
Domination comes in waves and it wouldn’t surprise me to see a Mountain West team compete at the national championship level. Mountain West teams have competed in prestigious Bowls before, like the Fiesta Bowl, so there is potential that an MWC team would take the next step to a potential College Football Playoff spot.
We have seen the rise and fall of top programs, so the same could be said about a future Mountain West team. The goal right now is to compete with some of the best programs outside of their Conference. Mountain West programs are producing NFL talent to no one’s surprise.
They might not be the flashiest conference on the college football scene, but the MWC is hard-nosed football that is loved by professional football’s finest.
Expect to see a number of Mountain West talents get their name called at the upcoming NFL Draft.