Mountain West power ratings: Air Force jumps, SDSU falls and Fresno State tightens its grip on the top spot

The Bulldogs pummeled Kent State for their 13th consecutive win

Last season, the Hotline published weekly ‘Best of the West’ power ratings that included teams from the Mountain West and Brigham Young in addition to the Pac-12. We’re adding a MW-specific column to our lineup this season because the exercise was so popular.

Before getting into the power ratings, here’s a quick thought:

The Mountain West doesn’t have any big games planned for the season because both Boise State and San Diego State have lost more than once.

Fresno State and Air Force, the only teams still without a loss, are going to miss each other this year.

(All times are Pacific)

1. Fresno State (4-0)

Last week: 1

Result: beat Kent State 53-10

Next up: vs. Nevada (7:30 p.m. on FS1)

Comment: Arizona State pushed USC all the way into the fourth quarter, making the 29-0 win at Arizona State look even better now.

2. Air Force (4-0/2-0)

Last week: 3

Result: won at San Jose State 45-20

Next up: vs. San Diego State (5 p.m. on CBS Sports Network)

Comment: Up to now, the Falcons have gained 240.5 rushing yards per game, which is a lot even for them and 70 yards more than the No. 2 team, Liberty.

3. Wyoming (3-1)

Last week: 2

Result: beat Appalachian State 22-19

Next up: vs. New Mexico (1 p.m. on MW Network)

Comment: It’s important not to forget that they beat App State, which made No. 15 North Carolina go to overtime. It’s one of the MW’s four or five best wins outside of conference play this season.

4. Boise State (2-2/1-0)

Last week: 4

Result: won at San Diego State 34-31

Next up: at Memphis (1 p.m. on ESPN2)

Comment: Memphis has one loss, to Missouri, but no good wins. Their quarterback play is average, and their defense is average as well. In the second half, the best Boise State teams would make just enough plays to give Grind City a win. Is this edition good enough? We’ll see.

5. Colorado State (1-2)

Last week: 7

Result: won at Middle Tennessee State 31-23

Next up: vs. Utah Tech (4 p.m. on MW Network)

Comment: How our views change as time goes on Saturday: The loss to Colorado in overtime looks worse than the loss to Washington State by a huge margin.

6. San Jose State (1-4/0-1)

Last week: 5

Result: lost to Air Force 45-20

Next up: idle (then: at Boise State)

Comment: Once the schedule was set, we thought that SJSU’s bye would be best if it happened a week or two early. It looks pretty close to perfect in real life.

7. Utah State (1-3/0-1)

Last week: 6

Result: lost to James Madison 45-38

Next up: at UConn (9 a.m. on CBS Sports Network)

Comment: Not being ashamed of losing to James Madison is not guilty at all. Asheville would feel very bad if they lost to UConn.

8. UNLV (3-1)

Last week: 9

Result: won at UTEP 45-28

Next up: vs. Hawaii (1 p.m. on Spectrum)

Comment: The Hotline usually waits three years before giving a new head coach a grade. When it comes to Barry Odom and UNLV, we might hurry up the announcement of victory.

9. San Diego State (2-3/0-1)

Last week: 8

Result: lost to Boise State 34-31

Next up: at Air Force (5 p.m. on CBS Sports Network)

Comment: The Aztecs just gave up 241 yards on the ground to Boise State and now they have to deal with the Falcons’ triple option. Three hundred going once, going twice, going three times… SOLD to the San Diego team.

10. Hawaii (2-3)

Last week: 10

Result: beat New Mexico State 20-17

Next up: at UNLV (1 p.m. on Spectrum)

Comment: A win is a win, and with the games they have coming up, Timmy Chang and his team might make it to 5-7, which would be a good second year.

11. New Mexico (2-2)

Last week: 12

Result: won at UMass 34-31

Next up: at Wyoming (1 p.m. on MW Network)

Comment: Only one win for UMass all season. It was an 11–10 win at New Mexico State in Week 1. After a few weeks, NMSU beat New Mexico by 10 points. After that, New Mexico beat UMass by three points. Only one thing could be true: bad football.

12. Nevada (0-4)

Last week: 11

Result: lost at Texas State 35-24

Next up: at Fresno State (7:30 p.m. on FS1)

Comment: Fresno State is a 24.5-point favorite on Saturday night. When I saw this, my first thought was, “Maybe for the first half, but what about the game?”

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