Mountain West power ratings: Fresno State on top after Air Force loss; Hawaii climbs (yes, Hawaii)

The Bulldogs face a steep challenge this week at San Jose State

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.

(All times are in Pacific)

1. Fresno State (8-1/4-1)

Last week: 2

Result: beat Boise State 37-30

Next up: at San Jose State (7:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network)

Comment: The outcome of Saturday night’s game will determine who advances to the MW title game. Are we completely dismissing the possibility of a loss to New Mexico or San Diego State in the next two weeks? Yes. We are, indeed.

2. Air Force (8-1/5-0)

Last week: 1

Result: lost at Army 23-3

Next up: at Hawaii (8 p.m. on Spectrum Sports)

Comment: The result against the Black Knights was shocking until you saw the bizarre turnover tally — Air Force 6, Army 0 — and then the score made sense.

3. Boise State (4-5/3-2)

Last week: 3

Result: lost at Fresno State 37-30

Next up: vs. New Mexico (7 p.m. on FS1)

Comment: It might not last, so take note: Boise State is gaining ground on UNLV in the standings. What happens next in this crazy league, with San Diego State in last place? Err …

4. Wyoming (6-3/3-2)

Last week: 4

Result: beat Colorado State 24-15

Next up: at UNLV (Friday, 7:45 p.m. on FS1)

Comment: We present Air Force’s 58-yard touchdown run against the Cowboys with two minutes remaining in a tie game, from the department of Plays That Continue To Haunt.

5. UNLV (7-2/4-1)

Last week: 5

Result: won at New Mexico 56-14

Next up: vs. Wyoming (Friday, 7:45 p.m. on FS1)

Comment: Meet a first-rate surprise — a remarkable turnaround rooted in outstanding coaching by Barry Odom, who should be on the short list for national honors.

6. San Jose State (4-5/3-2)

Last week: 6

Result: Did not play

Next up: vs. Fresno State (7:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network)

Comment: The Spartans had two weeks to prepare for Fresno State, while the Bulldogs battled Boise State down to the wire. Is that disparity significant enough to influence the outcome on Saturday night? Naturally, it is.

7. Colorado State (3-6/1-4)

Last week: 7

Result: lost at Wyoming 24-15

Next up: vs. San Diego State (4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network)

Comment: Give us a minute while we double-check — yep, confirmed: the Rams continue to rank in the bottom ten nationally in every penalty-related statistic tracked by the SportSource Analytics database.

8. Utah State (4-5/2-3)

Last week: 8

Result: won at San Diego State 32-24

Next up: vs. Nevada (12 p.m. on MW Network)

Comment: Following the big win at SDSU, the Aggies gained postseason clarity: beat Nevada and New Mexico and a bowl bid awaits, regardless of the outcome against Boise State.

9. Hawaii (3-7/1-4)

Last week: 12

Result: won at Nevada 27-14

Next up: vs. Air Force (8 p.m. on Spectrum Sports)

Comment: Sure, it’s a significant week-over-week increase, but the Rainbow Warriors are no less deserving of this spot than the teams listed below.

10. Nevada (2-7/2-3)

Last week: 9

Result: lost to Hawaii 27-14

Next up: at Utah State (12 p.m. on MW Network)

Comment: The team’s last best chance at a third win evaporated in a stinkin’ mess of a first quarter against UH. Hello, 2-10.

11. San Diego State (3-6/1-4)

Last week: 11

Result: lost to Utah State 32-24

Next up: at Colorado State (4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network)

Comment: Just like the comment on UNLV, except the exact opposite.

12. New Mexico (3-6/1-4)

Last week: 10

Result: lost to UNLV 56-14

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


We’re curious if UNLV’s dramatic turnaround under Barry Odom will influence decisions on other MW campuses. When the right person is in place, good things can happen.

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