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Cougars drop from 12th to 17th in polls

BYU fell from 12th to 17th in today's updated Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls.  As expected, UNLV is now ranked 23rd (AP) and 25th (Coaches') respectively.  The Cougars' five spot slide isn't too bad considering the disaster that was Saturday's game in Las Vegas.  The next three games - Air Force, and at CSU and Wyoming - should allow BYU to regain a spot or two.  Of course, a home win over New Mexico would do wonders as well...

For the first time ever, the MWC has three ranked teams with New Mexico now 15th (AP) and 19th (Coaches'). That's three more than the PAC-10. The MWC three schools are tied for the conference lead - each with 7-2 records.  With four losses in conference play, San Diego State is no longer close to being ranked.  The Aztecs are clearly part of the top-4 teams in the MWC however, and will play a large part in determining who will win overall.

Here's how the MWC's top 4 teams will battle it out through the rest of February:

BYU:  Still play New Mexico and San Diego State - in Provo.  The Cougars have no more games with UNLV. 

UNLV: Will play New Mexico in Las Vegas on Wednesday (2/10) but also travel to San Diego on Saturday (2/13).
New Mexico: Play UNLV and BYU on the road but are done with the Aztecs.
San Diego St.: Play the Rebels at home but BYU on the road.

Of the four schools, New Mexico obviously has the toughest remaining schedule having to travel to both Provo and Vegas.  The Lobos also have to visit Salt Lake.  Actually, in the end it may be the Utes that separate the teams at the top because BYU and UNLV must still travel there as well.