Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sorting the MWC: bottom feeders

MWC teams can be categorized into three groups heading into 2007: teams for whom 2nd place will feel like a let-down (TCU, BYU, Utah); teams for whom missing a bowl will feel like a letdown (Wyoming, New Mexico, and maybe Colorado State), and teams hoping to avoid last-place (Air Force, San Diego State, UNLV).

UNLV and SDSU have grovelled at the bottom of the league since its foundation. Second-year coach Tom Craft's Aztecs appear lively, and may surprise Arizona State or Cincinnati, and enter conference play with a .500 record. UNLV, on the other hand, seems likely to start conference play with only one win, against Utah State. Once conference play is underway, SDSU appears more likely to cull a few wins and may flirt with bowl eligibility.

Air Force and Colorado State both ended last season in a tailspin. Runningback Kyle Bell returns to the Rams, however, making it more likely that Colorado State will produce an upswing than Air Force, which has the league's only new coach, and is installing a new offense.

The Wimple predicts SDSU, Air Force, and UNLV will fill out the bottom three in 2007.

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