Third edition of the MWC Power Rankings by AztecReport.com.
1. New Mexico (16-2, 3-0)
This week: Home vs. Colorado State (Wednesday) and at SDSU (Saturday).
The Lobos remain the lone unbeaten team in the Mountain West but they'll be extremely fortunate to continue that trend with this week's schedule.
"We have had a good start to a very difficult league. Very fortunate to go on the road an get a win," New Mexico head coach Steve Alford said. "…We have two huge challenges this week."
2. Colorado State (15-3, 2-1)
This week: At New Mexico (Wednesday) and at Fresno State (Saturday).
It was an impressive home stand for Colorado State who destroyed Air Force by 39 and a come from behind victory over UNLV. Next time is the "Pit."
"They [New Mexico] are extremely well coached," Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy said. "The place to play is obviously well known to say the least. They play the right way. It's going to be a monumental task. Been in there before and quite familiar with Steve [Alford] at Iowa State when he was at Iowa and he just does a terrific job."
3. UNLV (15-4, 2-2)
This week: Home vs. Wyoming (Thursday).
There was no taller task in the nation last week when the Rebels traveled to SDSU and CSU. It was a successful week to come out of that stretch still .500 in conference play.
"It has been a challenging schedule for us playing three out of four on the road to start conference play but we need to get our program to the point where it doesn't matter road/home," UNLV head coach Dave Rice explained. "We need to step up to all of those challenges."
4. San Diego State (14-4, 2-2)
This week: At Nevada (Wednesday) and vs. New Mexico (Saturday).
First losing streak of the season for the Aztecs with losses to UNLV and Wyoming. Fisher's squad will need to win both matches this week to have a shot at a conference championship. Already? Yes since SDSU has yet to play at UNM, UNLV and Colorado State.
"Not have too many back-to-backs but we had one," SDSU head coach Steve Fisher said. "The challenge will be to go on the road against a good Nevada team and find a way to get us a victory. This league is very unforgiving, if you don't play well you're probably not going to win and playing well doesn't guarantee that you're going to win, home or away."
5. Air Force (10-6, 2-2)
This week: Home vs. New Orleans (Wednesday) and at Wyoming (Saturday).
The surprising Air Force team will play their non-conference game of the season before traveling to Laramie. Falcons haven't faced a defensive team like Wyoming in conference play this year.
"We had an interesting week," Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich said. "We had the loss at Colorado State, gosh they were really good, and we weren't very good. it was a disappointing loss because of our effort. We were in the game for probably the first four-to-six minutes after that they set the tempo, extended their lead and eventually won big. We came back home and regrouped. We had our home game against Boise and came out with a different mindset and tone early in the game. Managed to score some points and Michael Lyons had a career-high of 37 points which he was very good."
6. Wyoming (15-2, 2-2)
This week: At UNLV (Thursday) and vs. Air Force (Saturday).
It's a tough week ahead for the Cowboys. Wyoming will play A.T. Thomas & Mack on Thursday then have to travel back to Laramie for a Saturday night contest. The team won't have much preparation for second game of the week.
"We had somewhat of a productive week," Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt said. "We really didn't shoot the ball well for three halves due to really good defense by Fresno and really good first half defense by San Diego State. Fortunately for us we finally found the hole in the second half against San Diego State. We look forward to game Thursday night in Vegas and we got a tall task ahead."
7. Boise State (13-4, 1-2)
This week: Home vs. Fresno State (Wednesday) and at Nevada (Saturday).
"It was tough week for us as we lost a heartbreaker to New Mexico," Boise State head coach Leon Rice explained. "They are just a terrific team. Obviously we knew that going in but it came down to making plays down the stretch. A lot of elite games are going to come down to that."
8. Nevada (10-7, 1-2)
This week: Home vs. SDSU (Wednesday) and vs. Boise State (Saturday).
Wolf Pack will a chance to prove themselves with two upcoming home games. They'll need a large week from Deonte Burton and Malik Story to come away with some wins.
9. Fresno State (7-10, 1-3)
This week: At Boise State (Wednesday) and vs. Colorado State (Saturday).
The Bulldogs are stuck in the cellar after falling to Nevada at home by seven.
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