BPN: Mountain West Conference Predictions

It's not usual for two teams to be playing their opener for first place in the conference, but that is the case in Alberque as TCU takes on New Mexico. In Ann Arbor, Utah will try spoil Rich Rodriguez's debut. BigPurpleNation.com will take a weekly look at games played by Mountain West Conference Teams. Go inside to get our thoughts on this week's match-ups.

Utah at Michigan

The Rich Rodriguez era has begun in Ann Arbor. Can his potent offense get off to a better start then June Jones'? Will Utah be able to move the ball against Michigan's great defense? Both are great questions and both answers are yes. Utah's offense will be just good enough to keep things close but Michigan will be tough to beat at home.

My prediction Michigan 27-24 over Utah

TCU at New Mexico

A win gets you first place in the Mountain West Conference for almost a month. A loss sets you already one game back of BYU and Utah. This is by far the biggest game in the Mountain West Conference this week. While TCU will be missing running back Aaron Brown, the New Mexico defensive line will struggle to shut down the combination of Christian and Turner. Don't expect TCU's running backs to go off, but expect enough out of them to give Dalton the capabilities of making some great throws.

My prediction TCU 31-20 over New Mexico

Northern Iowa at BYU

While many look at this to be the biggest blowout in the MWC this week, Northern Iowa isn't your average 1AA team. The Panthers return 12 starters from a team that went 12-1 and beat the Big 12's Iowa State a year ago. BYU is out to prove early that they are worthy of the BCS talk they have been getting. BYU will win, but it won't be a blowout.

My prediction BYU 35-17 over Northern Iowa

Southern Utah at Air Force

Can Troy Calhoun keep the momentum going after leading Air Force to nine wins and a bowl game? Or will losing 15 starters be too much for the coach in his second season at the helm. Unfortunately the coach won't get many answers against 1AA Southern Utah. Air Force will score early and often.

My prediction Air Force 38-10 over Southern Utah

Ohio at Wyoming

No coach might be more on the hot seat then Wyoming's John Glen. His answer for this was a new offense coordinator in the off-season to spark the Cowboy's horrible attack. Ohio is coming off of a disappointing .500 record, but return enough experience to be a true player in the Mountain West Conference. Wyoming is tough at home, but Ohio's secondary is one of the best they will see all year.

My prediction Ohio 27-23 over Wyoming

Cal State Poly at San Diego State

With a 4-8 record last season, you wonder how San Diego St. was good enough to yield four NFL draftees. Don't expect much again this year from the Aztecs. Once after being one of the most sought after assistant coaches in football, Chuck Long is starting to generate whispers. San Diego State should be able to hold a 1AA school, but expect a close one with Poly being in it towards the end.

My prediction San Diego State 27-24 over Cal State Poly

Utah State at UNLV

UNLV will be one of the lower teams in the Mountain West Conference, but Utah State is one of the lowest teams in all of college football. With a tough schedule, Utah State needs to get a victory against UNLV to assure themselves a win all season. Unfortunately it won't happen. Look for Utah State to once again not win a game this season. My prediction UNLV 31-17 over Utah State.

BigPurpleNation.com Publisher's note: BigPurpleNation.com will run a weekly prediction on all of the Mountain West Conference games with a running total of how many picks I get right each week. These predictions are those of BigPurpleNation.com and not those of Scout.com.

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