2016 College Football Preview: Mountain West Conference

Day four of THE USB’s College Football Preview continues with a look at the division that is usually known as “Boise State and everyone else”.

Lately though, things have changed in the Mountain West Conference and teams are starting to catch up to the former “KINGS OF THE MWC”.

Will there be another usurper this year or can Boise State return to dominance?





12. Wyoming Cowboys


Last Year’s Record: 2-10 (2-6)

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Head Coach: Craig Bohl (6-18 at Wyoming)

Top Returning Players: Brian Hill (RB), Tanner Gentry (WR), Jake Maulhardt (WR), Chase Roullier (OG), D.J. May (LB), Lucas Wacha (LB), Andrew Wingard (FS), Brendan Turelli (LS)

Top Incoming Players: Chandler Garrett (QB), Sam Maughan (TE), Cooper Rothe (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Northern Illinois, @Nebraska, Air Force, @Nevada, Boise State, Utah State, San Diego State, @New Mexico

Predicted Record (for 2016): 1-11 (0-8)

11. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors


Last Year’s Record: 3-10 (0-8)

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Head Coach: Nick Rolovich (0-0 at Hawaii)

Top Returning Players: Paul Harris (RB), Dejon Allen (OT), Jahlani Tavai (LB), Jerrol Garcia-Williams (LB), Rigoberto Sanchez (K), Keelan Ewaliko (KR), Nick Nelson (PR)

Top Incoming Players: Freddie Holly (RB), Jeremiah Pritchard (LB), Ikem Okeke (LB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): California, @Michigan, @Arizona, Nevada, @Air Force, New Mexico, @San Diego State, Boise State

Predicted Record (for 2016): 2-11 (0-8)

10. Fresno State Bulldogs


Last Year’s Record: 3-9 (2-6)

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Head Coach: Tim DeRuyter (29-23 at Fresno State)

Top Returning Players: Jamire Jordan (WR), Aaron Mitchell (OG), Nathan Madsen (DE), Jeff Camilli (LB), DaQuawn Brown (DB)

Top Incoming Players: Quentin Davis (QB), Justin Rice (RB), Donte Coleman (TE), Jonny Rojas (TE), Austin Vaimili (DL)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Nebraska, @Toledo, @Nevada, San Diego State, @Utah State, Air Force

Predicted Record (for 2016): 2-10 (1-7)

9. San Jose State Spartans


Last Year’s Record: 6-7 (4-4)

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Cure Bowl vs. Georgia State

Head Coach: Ron Caragher (15-22 at San Jose State)

Top Returning Players: Tyler Winston (WR), Jeremiah Kolone (OG), Nate Velichko (OT), Keenan Sykes (DT), Isaiah Irving (DE), Christian Tago (LB), Jermaine Kelly (DB), Maurice McKnight (FS), Michael Carrizosa (P)

Top Incoming Players: Montel Aaron (QB), Cameron Woodard (TE), Blake Walls (LB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Utah, @New Mexico, Nevada, @San Diego State, @Boise State, Air Force

Predicted Record (for 2016): 5-7 (4-4)

8. Colorado State Rams


Last Year’s Record: 7-6 (5-3)

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Arizona Bowl vs. Nevada

Head Coach: Mike Bobo (7-6 at Colorado State)

Top Returning Players: Nick Stevens (QB), Dayln Dawkins (RB), Fred Zerblis (OG), Josh Lovingood (DT), Kevin Davis (LB), Hayden Hunt (P), Trent Sieg (LS)

Top Incoming Players: Colin Hill (QB), Rashaad Bodie (RB), Darneail Jenkins (TE), Dalton Fackrell (TE), Christian Colon (DL), Devron Davis (DB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Minnesota, Utah State, @Boise State, @Air Force, New Mexico, @San Diego State

Predicted Record (for 2016): 6-6 (4-4)

7. New Mexico Lobos


Last Year’s Record: 7-6 (5-3)

Last Year’s Bowl Game: New Mexico Bowl vs. Arizona

Head Coach: Bob Davie (18-32 at New Mexico)

Top Returning Players: Teriyon Gibson (RB), Reno Henderson (OT), Garrett Adcock (C), Nik D’Avanzo (DE), William Udeh (DT), Dakota Cox (LB), Kimmie Carson (LB), Steven Romero (LS)

Top Incoming Players: Gabriel Ortega (QB), Kameron Miller (QB), Daevon Vigilant (RB), Jonathan Brys (TE), Teton Saltes (DL)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Boise State, Air Force, Nevada, @Utah State

Predicted Record (for 2016): 7-5 (4-4)

6. Utah State Aggies


Last Year’s Record: 6-7 (5-3)

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Idaho Potato Bowl vs. Akron

Head Coach: Matt Wells (25-16 at Utah State)

Top Returning Players: Kent Myers (QB), Devante Mays (RB), Wyatt Houston (TE), Austin Stephens (C), Jake Simonich (OT), Austin Albrecht (OT), Travis Seefeldt (DT), Ricky Ali’Ifua (DE), Jalen Davis (DB), Dallin Leavitt (SS), Aaron Dalton (P), Andrew Rodriguez (PR)

Top Incoming Players: Jordan Love (QB), Morian Walker (RB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @USC, Arkansas State, Air Force, @Boise State, San Diego State, New Mexico, @Nevada, @BYU

Predicted Record (for 2016): 7-5 (5-3)

5. Nevada Wolfpack


Last Year’s Record: 7-6 (4-4)

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Arizona Bowl vs. Colorado State

Head Coach: Brian Polian (18-20 at Nevada)

Top Returning Players: James Butler (RB), Akeel Lynch (RB), Hasaan Henderson (WR), Jerico Richardson (WR), Jarred Gipson (TE), Austin Corbett (OT), Nathan Goltry (C), Salesa Faraimo (DT), Elijah Mitchell (DB), Dameon Baber (SS), Asauni Rufus (FS), Brent Zuzo (K), Alex Boy (P), Andrew Celis (PR), Wes Farnsworth (LS)

Top Incoming Players: Miles Beach (TE)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Notre Dame, Wyoming, @New Mexico, San Diego State, Utah State, @UNLV

Predicted Record (for 2016): 7-5 (5-3)

4. UNLV Rebels


Last Year’s Record: 3-9 (2-6)

Last Year’s Bowl Game: No bowl game

Head Coach: Tony Sanchez (3-9 at UNLV)

Top Returning Players: Kendall Keys (WR), Devonte Boyd (WR), Will Kreitler (C), Mike Hughes (DT), Tau Lotulelei (LB), Ryan McAleenan (LB)

Top Incoming Players: Johnny Stanton (QB), Armani Rogers (QB), Charles Williams (RB), Giovanni Fauolo (TE), Tim Holt (TE), David Tate (LB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @UCLA, @Central Michigan, @San Diego State, @Boise State, Nevada

Predicted Record (for 2016): 7-5 (5-3)

3. Boise State Broncos


Last Year’s Record: 9-4 (5-3)

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Poinsettia Bowl vs. Northern Illinois

Head Coach: Bryan Harsin (21-6 at Boise State)

Top Returning Players: Brett Rypien (QB), Jeremy McNichols (RB), Thomas Sperbeck (WR), Jake Roh (TE), Travis Averill (OG), Steven Baggett (OG), Mario Yakoo (OT), Gabe Perez (DE), Sam McCaskill (DE), Joe Martarano (LB), Ben Weaver (LB), Tanner Vallejo (LB), Jonathan Moxey (CB), Dylan Summer-Gardner (SS), Tyler Rausa (K)

Top Incoming Players: Jake Constantine (QB), Alexander Mattison (RB), Nick Crabtree (TE), Joel Velasquez (K), Curtis Weaver (DL)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Washington State, Utah State, @New Mexico, BYU, UNLV, @Air Force

Predicted Record (for 2016): 9-3 (6-2)

2. Air Force Falcons


Last Year’s Record: 8-6 (6-2)

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Armed Forces Bowl vs. California

Head Coach: Troy Calhoun (67-50 at Air Force)

Top Returning Players: Jacobi Owens (RB), Jalen Robinette (WR), Colin Sandor (OG), Lochlin Deeks (DT), D.J. Dunn (LB), Roland Lapido (CB), Jesse Washington (CB), Weston Steelhammer (SS), Luke Strebel (K)

Top Incoming Players: Military restrictions prohibit the names of recruited cadet athletes until they arrive on campus.

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Utah State, Navy, New Mexico, Boise State

Mountain West Championship Game: vs. San Diego State (L)

Predicted Record (for 2016): 9-4 (6-2)

1. San Diego State Aztecs


Last Year’s Record: 11-3 (8-0)

Last Year’s Bowl Game: Hawaii Bowl vs. Cincinnati

Head Coach: Rocky Long (43-23 at San Diego State)

Top Returning Players: Donnel Pumphrey (RB), Nico Siragusa (OG), Kwayde Miller (OT), Alex Barrett (DE), Kyle Kelley (DE), Calvin Munson (LB), Damontae Kazee (CB), Malik Smith (FS), Rashaad Penny (KR)

Top Incoming Players: Chase Jasmin (RB), Parie Dedeaux (RB), Parker Houston (TE), Turner Bernard (LS)

Toughest Games (for 2016): California, @Northern Illinois, UNLV, @Utah State, @Nevada

Mountain West Championship Game: vs. Air Force (W)

Predicted Record (for 2016): 12-1 (8-0)

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