MWC Football Power Poll: Week 11

Very little movement this week as the top teams took care of business. Colorado State may be the best one loss team West of the Mississippi that doesn't currently control its own destiny in its conference race. Still, despite the loss to Boise State early in the season, the Rams are clearly playing the best football at the moment and deserve their number one ranking.

MWC Football Power Poll, Week 11

  1. Colorado State (9-1, 5-1)
    This week: BYE
    Last week: vs. Hawai'i, W 49-22
    Previously: #1
    The Rams rolled over the Warriors in Fort Collins with a balanced offensive attack, piling up 287 yards passing and 293 yards rushing. Colorado State was without star receiver Rashard Higgins, the nations leading receiver, who was injured the previous week against New Mexico. Higgins is expected back after the bye week.

  2. Boise State (7-2, 4-1)
    This week: vs. San Diego State
    Last week: at New Mexico, W 60-49
    Previously:  #2
    If watching good defense is soul food for you, your soul went hungry in Albequerque this weekend. Boise State and New Mexico combined for 1,301 yards of total offense in route to a 60-49 shootout. The Lobos took a 42-35 lead into HALFTIME and pushed their lead to 49-38 late in the 3rd quarter but saw the Bronco score the final 22 points of the game. Next up for Boise is a San Diego State Aztec team that is desperate for a win in order to stay in the hunt for a Western division title.

  3. Nevada (6-3, 3-2)
    This week: at Air Force
    Last week: BYE
    Previously: #3
    The Wolf Pack took it a little easy during the bye week in order to get several key players healthy, especially on the offensive line and the receiver corps. Nevada has it's eyes on a Western division title, it's best chance for achieving that goal lies in beating Air Force in Colorado Springs this weekend. The Falcons always present a tough challenge with their triple option defense and never quit attitude. The weather could be a factor in this game as gametime temperatures are expected to be in the mid to low 30's.

  4. Utah State (7-3, 4-1)
    This week: vs. New Mexico
    Last week: at Wyoming, W 20-3
    Previously: #4
    It would be hard to argue that Utah State head coach Matt Wells doesn't deserve MWC coach of the year. The Aggies have lost 3 quarterbacks to injury this season and currently start a true freshman, Kent Myers, at the position, yet the Aggies keep winning. They do it with hard nosed defense, arguably the best in the conference, and that defense was on display against Wyoming this weekend.

  5. Air Force (7-2, 3-2)
    This week: vs. Nevada
    Last week: at UNLV, W 48-21
    Previously: #5
    The Falcons ran all over UNLV, and ran, and ran, and ran. Air Force ran 78 times for 386 yards, at 4.9 yards per carry. It's a familiar script that Wolf Pack fans had better hope doesn't repeat itself this coming weekend. Air Force has one of the stingier defenses in the country and it's complimented well by their ball control offense. The Falcons win the award for this year's most improved and surprising team. If Colorado State or Boise stumbles, the cadets could be ready to pounce.

  6. San Diego State (5-4, 3-2)
    This week: at Boise State
    Last week: vs. Idaho, W 35-21
    Previously: #6
    The Aztecs took a break from conference play to mix it up with an old WAC foe of Nevada's, the Idaho Vandals now of the Sunbelt conference. Donnel Pumphrey led the Aztecs with 142 yards on 26 carries. San Diego State's schedule doesn't get any easier as they travel to the blue turf to take on the Broncos of Boise State. The Aztecs have won their last two games against Boise, but they have struggled mightily this season so a third straight win appears unlikely.

  7. Fresno State (4-6, 3-3)
    This week: BYE
    Last week: vs. San Jose State, W 38-24
    Previously: #10
    Fresno State is clinging to bowl eligibility but must win out if it hopes to continue playing after Nov. 29th. The Bulldogs broke a three game losing streak with a home win over San Jose State. They are also still in contention for the Western division title, but will need some help from Nevada or San Diego State to make that happen. The Bulldogs are on a bye week heading into their very important matchup with Nevada in Reno on Nov. 22nd.

  8. San Jose State (3-6, 2-3)
    This week: vs. Hawai'i
    Last week: at Fresno State, L 38-24
    Previously: #7
    The Spartan's bowl hopes look slim with just three games remaining, two on the road against Utah State and San Diego State, two of the tougher teams in the conference. San Jose State lost a rivalry game of sorts this past week against Fresno State, 38-24. The Spartans gave up 21 points in the 2nd quarter and were unable to overcome two interceptions by Joe Gray. They have a decent shot at moving to .500 in conference play this week as they travel to play a Hawaii team that is unraveling.

  9. New Mexico (3-6, 1-4)
    This week: at Utah State
    Last week: vs. Boise State, L 60-49
    Previously: #8
    The meltdown in Bronco land would've been so glorious had the Lobos been able to pull over the upset this past week. Late in the second half that's exactly what it looked to be happening as the Lobos looked unstoppable on offense. Alas, it was no to be as New Mexico ran out of steam late in the game and watched as the Broncos scored 22 unanswered points to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Next up, the Lobos travel to Logan, UT to take on the Aggies of Utah State.

  10. Wyoming (4-6, 2-4)
    This week: BYE
    Last week: vs. Utah State, L 20-3
    Previously: #9
    The Cowboys had to have entered this game feeling pretty good about themselves, fresh off a shellacking of Fresno State, Utah State's defense brought them back down to Earth. Wyoming just couldn't get anything going, squandering two late drives with interceptions deep in Aggie territory. Wyoming heads into a bye week before hosting Boise State on Nov. 22nd.

  11. Hawaii (2-8, 1-4)
    This week: at San Jose State
    Last week: at Colorado State, L 49-22
    Previously: #11
    The Warriors have shown flashes of improvement this season but they were no match for what is arguably the best team in the MWC at the moment, especially not on the road. The Cowboys held Warrior QB Ikaika Woolsey to a dismall 16-of-47 passing for 192 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Next up for Hawaii is another road game at San Jose State. There don't appear to be many winnable games on the Warriors schedule, outside of a home game against rivals UNLV. The Norm Chow era at Hawaii may be coming to a blessed end for Warrior fans.

  12. UNLV (2-8, 1-5)
    This week: at BYU
    Last week: vs. Air Force, L 48-21
    Previously: #12
    UNLV looked completely powerless to stop the Air Force option run game this past weekend. Nevada fans can sympathize, the Wolf Pack have struggled to contain the Falcons the past two years as well. Reports from the Rebel sideline would seem to indicate the frustration of this season is starting to boil over. Next up for the Rebels is a road game against a diminished BYU squad that will still likely be favored by double digits.

Neil Henderson can be reached via Twitter.

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