Projection season is upon us in the college football world, and ESPN’s Bill Connelly has released his highly anticipated SP+ projections for the upcoming season. Here’s a look at the good, bad, and ugly projections for the Mountain West’s Mountain Division.
Starting with the good, Air Force is projected to have a strong season with 8.3 projected wins. Their defense is expected to be one of the best in the conference with a lot of production returning. Meanwhile, Colorado State is projected to finish in fourth place with 4.5 projected wins. The Rams are strong at the skill positions, but poor recruiting in the trenches will likely continue to plague the team.
The bad includes Boise State, which has a talented offense and is projected to have 7.5 wins. However, they have a tough out-of-conference schedule and could potentially exceed that total. Wyoming is projected to finish with 5.5 wins, which may not be too far off considering their consistent six to seven win season performance. On the other hand, New Mexico is projected to win only 3.6 games, which may be too generous. The team appears to be in a downward spiral and it’s not clear how they will be able to turn things around.
The ugly projection goes to Utah State, which is projected to win only 4.3 games and finish fifth in the conference. While the team is not likely to contend for a championship, they have a winning coach in Blake Anderson who will do enough to get the Aggies to bowl eligibility. The conference is not very deep this year, which should make it easier for Utah State to reach six wins.
Overall, Connelly’s projections reflect the strengths and weaknesses of each team in the conference. While some may disagree with particular projections, it is always interesting to see what the experts predict.