Boise State, San Diego State favored in Mountain West preseason poll
LAS VEGAS -- Defending Mountain West champion Boise State was predicted to win the 2015 Mountain Division title, while San Diego State was chosen to finish atop the West Division, announced Tuesday by the Mountain West at its annual Media Days, being held at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
This marks the third season of divisional play for the Conference, which moved to the two, six-team divisional format in 2013 following the additions of San Jose State and Utah State. The Mountain Division is comprised of Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, New Mexico, Utah State and Wyoming, while Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, San Diego State, San Jose State and UNLV making up the West Division. The two divisional winners will meet in the MW Championship Game on Dec. 5, 2015 at the home stadium of the divisional champion with the highest College Football Playoff Committee ranking.
The Broncos posted a 7-1 league record in 2014 to capture the Mountain Division. They defeated West Division Champion Fresno State 28-14 in the 2014 Sports Authority Mountain West Football Championship Game. Boise State concluded the year with a 38-30 victory against then-No. 10 Arizona in the VIZIO Fiesta Bowl to end the year with a 12-2 overall record and a No. 16 ranking in both The Associated Press and USA Today coaches final polls. The Broncos received 28 of a possible 30 first-place votes and earned a total of 177 points. Second-year head coach Bryan Harsin returns 17 starters from 2014; nine on offense and eight on defense.
San Diego State garnered 27 first-place votes and 177 points to claim the top spot in the West Division. The Aztecs tied for first in the West Division standings in 2014 with a 5-3 record and earned their fifth consecutive bowl invitation with a 7-5 regular season record. San Diego State dropped a 17-16 decision to Navy in the 2014 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl to end the year at 7-6. Eighteen starters from 2014 return, including junior running back Donnel Pumphrey, a 2014 first-team All-MW honoree who led the Conference and was fourth in the nation in rushing yards with 1,867. His 20 rushing TDs were good for ninth-best in the FBS.
Utah State received two first-place votes and 150 points for second place in the Mountain Division, with Colorado State's 108 points good for third place. Air Force (90), Wyoming (64) and New Mexico (41) round out the Mountain Division poll.
Fresno State, winners of the West Division each of the past two years, claimed three first-place votes and its 141 points were enough to place second behind the Aztecs in the West Division. Nevada is third with 113 points, followed by San Jose State (91), Hawaii (70) and UNLV (38).
|MOUNTAIN DIVISION||WEST DIVISION|
|1.||Boise State (28)||177||1.||San Diego State (27)||177|
|2.||Utah State (2)||150||2.||Fresno State (3)||141|
|4.||Air Force||90||4.||San Jose State||91|