Mountain West Football: MWwire’s 2022 Preseason Projected Order of Finish
How do our writers think the 2022 Mountain West football season will unfold?
Expect battles every week.
Mountain West Wire’s 2022 preseason honors:
All-Conference Teams | Offensive Player of the Year | Defensive Player of the Year | Special Teams Player of the Year | Freshman of the Year | Newcomer of the Year | Coach of the Year | Coordinator of the Year
There might be a tier of clear contenders on paper for the Mountain West football title this fall but, in the eyes of the writers here at Mountain West Wire, things might be a little more cut-and-dry than you suspect.
Order of Finish
Boise State – 83 points (11 first-place votes)
Air Force – 70 points (four first-place votes)
Utah State – 63 points
Wyoming – 42 points
Colorado State – 40 points
New Mexico – 17 points
Not even the Broncos’ worst season since 2013 could dissuade the group from predicting that Boise State will win the division again, by a margin that is pretty similar to each of the last four years. A lot will depend on Hank Bachmeier and George Holani staying healthy, but the defense could shoulder a heavy load and win some low-scoring affairs should the offense falter.
Behind Boise State, the consensus rallied behind Air Force and Utah State, both of which should remain big players in the hunt for the crown. Further down the projected standings, the Wyoming Cowboys figure to take a step back overall while the New Mexico Lobos will likely require another year to start thinking about bowling.
Fresno State – 86 points (11 first-place votes)
San Diego State – 78 points (four first-place votes)
San Jose State – 53 points
Nevada – 42 points
Hawaii – 34 points
UNLV – 22 points
The projected standings in the West are a little closer from top to bottom, but there’s a clear duo in Fresno State and San Diego State that will be expected to duel for a spot in the championship game. That’s not to say a path isn’t there for San Jose State to rediscover its 2020 form, though that path does wind through both Bulldog Stadium and brand-new Snapdragon Stadium this year.
The biggest surprise in the whole exercise might be Ken Wilson’s Nevada Wolf Pack, who licked their early off-season wounds, pulled together a solid recruiting class, and brought some intriguing transfer portal athletes who could make the mass exodus sting a bit less. Their October trip to Honolulu will make for a fascinating litmus test on both sides: You can be cautiously optimistic about the Hawaii Warriors, too, under new coach Timmy Chang, remaining a fun rollercoaster worth a lack of sleep on Saturday nights.
That optimism had to be tempered somewhere else, though, and it looks like another season without much confidence in the UNLV Rebels. Not only does Marcus Arroyo have to replace his top players on both sides of the ball, he has to resolve yet another quarterback competition and continue developing young prospects who can help win sooner rather than later. They might be able to handle some of those things, but we’re skeptical about their chances to hit the proverbial jackpot.