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2007 Mountain West Football Preview
The College Sports Fans 2007 college football previews continue with the Mountain West Conference (MWC) football preview. While TCU made national headlines in past years, it was BYU who emerged in 2006 as the Mountain West Conference Champions and enters 2007 with the nation's second-longest winning streak at 10 games. Be sure to keep checking back for updates throughout this great 2007 season of college football, and check out the 2008 NCAA football preview as well.
The Dash Fans Network of Independent Sports Fansites is currently looking for a MWC sports fan to cover Mountain West Conference football on our MWC sports blog. Email admin @ collegesports-fans.com if you have good writing skills and are interested in this writing opportunity.
MWC Football Preview & Predictions from MadduxSports.com
The Mountain West Conference is a top heavy league with 3 football teams all figuring to beat up on each other while pounding on the lower half of the conference. TCU, Utah, & BYU are all head and shoulders above the rest of the MWC schools and it wouldn’t surprise us to see any one of these teams finish 1 though 3 at seasons end. The rest of the conference teams will be fighting for minor bowl bids with Wyoming & New Mexico leading the charge.
1) TCU – How good was TCU last year? The horned frogs outgained conference opponents by 180 yards per game! After losing to BYU & Utah in back to back weeks, they finished the season with 8 straight wins including a 37-7 thrashing of Northern Illinois in the Poinsettia Bowl. TCU only gave up 12.3 ppg good for 3 rd best in the country, this year they return 9 of 11 starters and should actually improve on that side of the ball! The new quarterback is a concern, but TCU doesn’t face Utah or BYU until late October, enough time for Marcus Jackson to get his feet wet. Defense wins championships and TCU may be able to ride theirs all the way to a MWC title and BCS bowl bid.
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2) Utah – The Utes return 9 starters from a squad that posted 27.9 ppg in 06. They do have a new QB taking the snaps in Brian Johnson, but just has had previous game experience in 2005 and was recruited by Urban Meyer to run his complex offense. With a very good line and some above average weapons on running back and wide receiver, we rate Utah’s offense as the number 1 unit in the Mountain West. They do have to face both TCU & BYU on the road but they beat TCU last season and hung with BYU until blowing up late in the 4th quarter so have the ability to beat top competition.
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3) BYU – This is scary to be making a prediction that a team that won the conference title the year before, outscored conference opponents by over 25 points per game, outscored all opponents by 35 ppg (an NCAA record) is going to finish 3 rd the next year. That shows you how much we feel TCU & Utah have excelled from 2006. The Cougars do get both TCU & Utah at home and should be favored by the college football lines makers so it wouldn’t surprise us to see BYU leapfrog to the top of the MWC standings, but we will stand by our predictions of a 3 rd place finish.
4) New Mexico – Rocky Long’s Lobos return 18 starters including 10 on the defensive side of the ball making them the most experienced defense in the Mountain West. They will need to lean on that experience early as New Mexico has brought in new OC Dave Baldwin to install his high tech multiple attack offense. Starting tailback Rodney Ferguson may be the best running back in the conference and he has a veteran line to run behind. If the offense gels it together early the Lobos could move up even higher in the conference ladder.
5) Wyoming – The Cowboys lose 3 offensive line starters which could be a good thing as they allowed 40 sacks last season. Still QB Karsen Sween showed occasional moments of greatness and both of the running backs return. Joe Glenn is one of the most underrated coaches in America and you can expect him to have the Cowboys back in the post season.
6) Colorado State – The Rams were 4-1 to start the season and had a win in the bag at Air Force before the bottom fell out on their season. This year they get star running back Kyle Bell back after missing the entire 2006 season with an injury. This will vastly improve the 2.7 yards per rush Colorado State gained last year. With a senior quarterback, Bell back, and 18 returning starters, presume a rise in the MWC standings. The Rams are coming into this season losing 7 consecutive games and have an early 2007 schedule that could see them lose their first 4 games. If they don’t beat Colorado in the opener, track this team early. A bad start to the season could see the Rams lose all confidence, making them one great team to fade against the point spread all season long.
7) UNLV – There wasn’t many positive things that came out of the Rebels 2006 football season. A lot has to be attributed to UNLV being one of the unluckiest teams in the country. They were bit by the injury bug losing several starters including their starting QB Rocky Hinds. They were on the wrong side of the turnover table losing 11 more TO’s than their opponents. This season Mike Sanford enters his 3rd year as head coach and with some good fortune with injuries and turnovers, UNLV should at least double their win total of 2 they accomplished last season.
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8) Air Force – New offense normally equals a losing season. That is what is in store for the Falcons after the decision to go away from the wishbone. QB Shaun Carney should do well and reach his potential but there will be aches and pains along the way. The defense is still awful and if they can’t stop anybody it won’t matter how fast the offense progresses.
9) San Diego State – The Aztecs were outgained by almost 90 yards a game in 2006 and this year only return 4 starters on the defense so more of the same is in store for SD State. Most of their winnable games are on the road as they host BYU, New Mexico, & Utah in conference play.
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For more previews from Maddux Sports check out our list of college football previews for the 2007 season.
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