Mountain West Football: Wyoming Drops, San Jose State Rises In Updated 2022 SP+ Projections
The update to Bill Connelly’s efficiency metric might change the fortunes of at least a pair of Mountain West football teams this fall.
Some small changes to go along with a couple big ones.
As the college football off-season heads into the summer, ESPN’s Bill Connelly provided an update to his preseason SP+ rankings this morning, a way to examine the sport’s most efficient teams that adjusts for opponents and tempo.
For the most part, this update didn’t shake up what the system had come to expect of the Mountain West when the first iteration was revealed back in February, though the transfer portal and returning production seems to have had an effect on two teams in particular.
- 37. Fresno State — #27 offense, #58 defense
- 43. Boise State — #72 offense, #14 defense
- 64. Air Force — #69 offense, #61 defense
- 67. San Diego State — #117 offense, #12 defense
- 83. San Jose State — #101 offense, #59 defense
- 87. Colorado State — #118 offense, #50 defense
- 91. Utah State — #73 offense, #107 defense
- 104. Wyoming — #119 offense, #78 defense
- 110. UNLV — #114 offense, #94 defense
- 117. Nevada — #121 offense, #103 defense
- 121. Hawaii — #107 offense, #122 defense
- 126. New Mexico — #131 offense, #74 defense
In all, five teams saw at least some improvement in their overall outlook, but San Jose State appears to be the big winner overall on that front. The Spartans jumped 13 spots, an improvement matched only by USC and surpassed by only Ball State among all FBS teams, thanks to projection adjustments on both sides of the ball: The offensive outlook improved from 110th, while the defensive one rose from 74th.
Conversely, the Wyoming Cowboys’ projection took a bigger hit than any other team in the nation and plummeted 19 spots from their February outlook. Connelly points out that this has largely to do with their losses to the transfer portal since, at least for right now, they now surpass only Nevada and Hawaii in terms of returning production for 2022.
Granted, the Utah State Aggies taught us that any team can handily outperform their preseason projections, so a May decline may not mean much of anything given Craig Bohl’s track record of developing players. There are other projections, too, like those for the Colorado State and New Mexico offenses, that seem like safe bets to be surpassed in the fall, and there’s always a chance we get one last update in August before things kick off in Week 0 so skip the doom and gloom for now.