Rams Picked Second by Street & Smith

The preseason magazine, which hits newsstands this week, picks BYU to win the league title, followed by the Rams and New Mexico. Utah is picked to finish fourth, UNLV fifth, followed by Air Force, San Diego State and Wyoming.

The magazine also calls Rams' coach Sonny Lubick the league's top coaching strategist. Bradlee Van Pelt, who started the team's final nine games a season ago and led the Rams to a 6-3 record and New Orleans Bowl win, is dubbed the league's top performer under pressure.

Colorado State's recruiting class is judged to be the second best in the league.

Several players earned preseason honors by the magazine. Running back Cecil Sapp returns after missing last season with a left heel ailment that required surgery. Sapp, tight end Joel Dreessen and return specialist Dexter Wynn were selected to the magazine's preseason all-conference team.

Junior linebackers Eric Pauly and Drew Wood were named to the all-league team on defense, as was punter Joey Huber. Pauly led the MWC last year in tackles and Wood was second. Huber was a first-team all-conference performer a year ago and remains on the watch list for the 2002 Ray Guy Award, presented to the nation's top punter. He was a finalist for the award last season.

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