April 13, 2024
The Bulldogs are undefeated and cracked the AP top-25 poll before their visit to Laramie.

Last season, the Hotline published weekly ‘Best of the West’ power ratings that considered not only Pac-12 teams but those in the Mountain West and Brigham Young. The exercise was so popular that we’re adding a MW-specific column to our array of offerings this season.

Welcome to the lightest week of the Mountain West season, with just three conference games.

All feature teams in the top half of our latest power ratings.

1. Fresno State (5-0/1-0)

Last week: 1
Result: beat Nevada 27-9
Next up: at Wyoming (5 p.m. on FOX)
Comment: Huge opportunity for the Bulldogs as FOX placed the game on its broadcast network. FSU’s entry into the AP poll on Sunday (No. 24) undoubtedly helped produce a favorable outcome.

2. Air Force (5-0/3-0)

Last week: 2
Result: beat San Diego State 49-10
Next up: idle
Comment: Scheduled breaks perfectly for the Falcons, who have two weeks to prepare for Wyoming while the Cowboys must deal with Fresno State this week.

3. Wyoming (4-1/1-0)

Last week: 3
Result: beat New Mexico 35-26
Next up: vs. Fresno State (5 p.m. on FOX)
Comment: We did not expect the Cowboys to need an onside kick recovery to secure a victory over the lowly Lobos — but probably should have. It was a trap game all the way.

4. Boise State (2-3/1-0)

Last week: 4
Result: lost at Memphis 35-32
Next up: vs. San Jose State (5 p.m. on CBS Sports Network)
Comment: In this space last week, we proffered: “The best versions of Boise State would make just enough plays in the second half to leave Grind City with a victory. Does this edition qualify? We shall see.” We have seen.

5. Colorado State (2-2/0-0)

Last week: 5
Result: beat Utah Tech 41-20
Next up: at Utah State (5 p.m. on MW Network)
Comment: With each passing week, the loss to Colorado appears larger in the side mirror. And if the Rams finish with five wins? Oh, boy.

6. Utah State (2-3/0-1)

Last week: 7
Result: won at UConn 34-33
Next up: vs. Colorado State (5 p.m. on MW Network)
Comment: We could point out that USU’s two conquests, Idaho State and UConn, are winless against FBS competition. But why bother.

7. UNLV (4-1/1-0)

Last week: 8
Result: beat Hawaii 44-20
Next up: idle
Comment: For those curious: UNLV’s last bowl appearance was after the 2013 season, when the Rebels lost to North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

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

Last week: 6
Result: did not play
Next up: at Boise State (5 p.m. on CBS Sports Network)
Comment: If there’s ever a not-awful time to visit Boise — SJSU has never won there — it’s with two weeks to prepare and the Broncos coming off a cross-country trip.

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9. San Diego State (2-4/0-2)

Last week: 9
Result: lost at Air Force 49-10
Next up: idle
Comment: The Aztecs were set up to fail with Boise State and Air Force back-to-back, and they did not disappoint.

10. Hawaii (2-4/0-1)

Last week: 10
Result: lost at UNLV 44-20
Next up: idle
Comment: There is a path to the postseason, but it demands a victory Oct. 14 against San Diego State. Otherwise, the bowl math doesn’t compute.

11. New Mexico (2-3/0-1)

Last week: 11
Result: lost at Wyoming 35-26
Next up: idle
Comment: If there’s ever a good time to face SJSU, which has won nine of the past 11 meetings, it’s with two weeks to prepare and the Spartans coming off a trip to Boise.

12. Nevada (0-5/0-1)

Last week: 12
Result: lost at Fresno State 27-9
Next up: idle
Comment: Meet one of four winless teams in the FBS. The others are UConn, Virginia and Sam Houston State.

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