Week 1 - Utah at Oregon State: A battle between two of the better under-the-radar, top 25-caliber teams around, this will be Ute QB Brian Johnson’s first game back after missing all of last year with a knee injury.
Week 2 - TCU at Texas: It’s dream shot time. TCU should have the Mountain West’s best team and should roll through the rest of its schedule. Don’t laugh; a win here might start legitimate national title talk.
Week 3 - UCLA at Utah: Utah had a chance to make a statement last year in L.A. and got blasted. This year, UCLA will be among the 10-to-15 best teams in America and the Utes get the game in Salt Lake City.
Week 4 - Air Force at BYU: The best in a bad week of games, this ends the murderer’s row of Mountain West games with a trip to Utah and a battle with TCU before the date in Provo.
Week 5 - BYU at New Mexico: The Lobos can’t afford to give away home games and might need to win its opening conference game with three road trips in the following four games.
Week 6 - Utah at Louisville: A terrific Friday night showdown, the Utes will get a chance to see just how good they really are against a legitimate national title contender.
Week 7 - New Mexico at Wyoming: Air Force at Colorado State will be interesting, but the Lobos and Cowboys should put on the better show with two of the league’s best young quarterbacks, UNM’s Donovan Porterie and UW’s Karsten Sween.
Week 8 - Utah at TCU: The first installment of the Mountain West title battle trilogy between the three superpowers, Utah can’t afford a loss with its date with BYU on the road.
Week 9 - Utah at Colorado State: Will Utah be flying high or down in the dumps after the date with TCU? This ends a nasty stretch of three road games in four weeks. BYU at San Diego State has the potential to be more interesting.
Week 10 - New Mexico at TCU: BYU at Wyoming will be a good enough game to go out of your way to watch, but this could be more important as TCU’s letdown sandwich game between Utah and BYU.
Week 11 - TCU at BYU:
Each team will only have four days to prepare for the Thursday night showdown. If TCU beats Utah on October 18th, it should effectively be able to wrap up the title with a win over the Cougars.
Week 12 - New Mexico at Utah: Utah can’t be looking ahead to BYU while New Mexico could close out the year on a run with UNLV at home to finish.
Week 13 - Utah at BYU: Even if TCU has the title won, this will still be worth watching if only to hope it’s half as good as last year’s last-second thriller. This might be the nation’s best unnoticed rivalry.