Six of the nine MWC schools started the 2010 season with wins this week. It's still too early to tell just how good the opponents of, and the teams in, the Mountain West Conference are, but I am going to take a stab at it anyway. In what was, an otherwise boring week in college football, the MWC sure had some edge of your seat moments.
Let's break down the action and take a look at the VTF conference standings.
Utah 27 (1-0) v #15 Pitt 24 (OT)
Utah starts the week off with an ugly upset win against Pitt. Oxymoron? Maybe. Problem is I didn't think it as an upset, and apparently neither did Vegas. The unranked Utes were favored in the game. It was a thrilling game, only because Utah played completely undisciplined football. And Pitt made it look like once again the Big Easy is going to field the worst BCS Bowl team come January. Mistakes aside I thought Utah looked very good. They were supposed to have a bit of a let down year, but things are looking good up north.
Colorado State 3 (0-1) v Colorado 24
The action packed drama from last year was all but non existent in this one. The game was exciting for the first quarter and half, but CSU just could not get things rolling behind the rookie QB. I fault the coaches partly because they would not let the kid throw the ball down the field until mid 2nd quarter. He only had one completion over 4 yards in the 1st quarter. The Rams did not look as inept as the score reflected, but they are looking like lower tie football again so far.
Air Force 65 (1-0) v Northwestern State 21
I'll be honest I did not watch this one. Couldn't find it on TV and knew it was going to be a route. The Falcons had 18 different ball carriers in this game. 18! And those 18 averaged 7.2 yards per carry. The best thing about this game for Air Force is that the won easy and did not have to show their hand to BYU on what's up their sleeve. Reminds me of Tulsa in '07. Use your vanilla offense week one and compile a bag full of tricks for the Cougars in week 2. More on this is our pre game analysis.
New Mexico 0 (0-1) at #11 Oregon 72
What can I say? I feel sorry for the Lobos. Nobody should have to live through such embarrassment. I was thinking this game would be more like 54-14. Man was it all bad for the Lobos. New Mexico managed to eek out 107 yards of total offense and turned the ball over 5 times to the Ducks. Is Oregon that good or is New Mexico that bad? Probably a lot of both. I fear that with the departure of Rocky Long this program is like a headless chicken struggling to find it's bearings.
Brigham Young 23 (1-0) v Washington 17
I will delve into this game deeper tomorrow in my post game wrap up, but I was impressed...by both teams. I think that Washington is going to have a great year IF they can bounce back from this loss. BYU is not young and unexperienced anymore. Our defense played great! I know it was 17 points, but I really feel that we will see that Washington offense put a lot of points on the board this year, and I am happy with the 17, especially knowing that the D came up with 2 great 4th down stops late. WHEN IT MATTERED.
#6 TCU 30 (1-0) v #24 Oregon State 21
This was another great game to watch! Action packed to the end. Leads going back and forth. Oregon State looked better than expected for me. And TCU showed some vulnerability, but they are a great team with great players. After one game, so far, they are living up to the ranking. Wayne Daniels looks to be the man to stop on the pass rush for TCU, logging 2 sacks in tonight's game. Kerley, Dalton and Wesley are forces to be reckoned with on the offense. As the all tie wins leader at TCU and leader in wins among active NCAA QBs, Dalton's Heisman campaign got rolling in Dallas.
San Diego State 47 (1-0) v Nicholls State 0
The SDSU defense is going to be a force this year. I have been listening to a lot of Rocky Long interviews here in San Diego and they are finally starting to catch the vision of the effort he demands on defense (see Bronco Mendenhall). Couple that with the talent they have on that side of the ball and it is a recipe for disrupting opposing offenses. When SDSU has the ball Ryan Lindley is very capable of leading his team down the field. We all saw what DeMarcon Sampson did to BYU last year and he his up to his old antics again this year. SDSU in on the rise!
Wyoming 28 (1-0) v Southern Utah 20
Its a win for the Pokes but I expected more. I would have like to see a score of 42-7. That would have let me know that Wyoming means business this year. Maybe it's first week jitters and lack of respect for the opponent. Hopefully that is true, otherwise Wyoming may be in for some more disappointment this year. This coming week they have to try and right the ship against #5 Texas. Good luck with that.
UNLV 21 (0-1) at #12 Wisconsin 41
Another game I wish I could have watched in person. UNLV capitalized on defense by creating two turnovers that led to 14 of the Rebels 21 points. One was a pick six and the other an 82 yard fumble recovery and return that was followed by a 16 yard TD pass. Omar Clayton replaced Mike Clausen half way through the 3rd quarter and was actually effective in moving he ball, albeit against a reserve defense for the Badgers. I would expect to see more Clayton in the future to keep teams off balance. Wisconsin is a team I view as legit this year, and it was a good proving grounds game for UNLV. It left them with a lot to learn from and build off of.
Week 1 Rankings: (Record Predictions)
1. TCU (11-1) - Deserving of the #6 ranking
2. BYU (10-2)/Utah (10-2)
4. Air Force (9-3)
5. San Diego State (8-4)
6. UNLV (6-6)
7. Wyoming (5-7)
8. Colorado State (5-7)
9. New Mexico (2-10) - What has happened in Albuquerque?