2024 Mountain West Power Rankings: Boise State Once Again the Team To Beat

    The conference has a strong case to be the best in the Group of Five, and our Mountain West Power Rankings show a familiar face at the top.

    It’s been quite a ride for the Mountain West, and now they have their sights set on the expanded College Football Playoff. The Group of Five has undergone major changes over the past two years, and this conference has a strong case for being the best of the bunch.

    Our 2024 Mountain West Power Rankings look at a deep conference full of talented teams, though a familiar face sits at the top.

    2024 Mountain West Power Rankings

    12) Nevada Wolfpack

    Jeff Choate understands what it takes to win at a place with plenty of challenges, but this will be his toughest test to date. Nevada’s coming off of a 2-10 season, and the road doesn’t get smoother, unfortunately.

    The non-conference schedule features SMU, Troy, Georgia Southern, Minnesota, and Eastern Washington, and conference play starts with Boise State. If the Brenden Lewis-Sean Dollars combination in the backfield can take a step, this will be an interesting team to watch in 2024.

    11) New Mexico Lobos

    Bronco Mendenhall brings a great track record to New Mexico, but it might take some time to see the results. The first three games feature Montana State, Arizona, and Auburn before they travel to New Mexico State. The conference schedule also includes Washington State, so don’t get hopes too high this year.

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    Still, fans should be excited about Mendenhall’s arrival. He knows how to get the most out of the talent on his roster, and that should also apply to the Lobos. This is a program that’s struggled for so long, so you can’t expect the turnaround to happen overnight.

    10) Wyoming Cowboys

    Craig Bohl’s retirement will affect the program, but new head coach Jay Sawvell will determine how much.

    The first-time head coach brings plenty of experience from his coaching career, serving under seven head coaches who have accumulated over 1,200 wins. He knows what winning programs look like, and it comes down to applying it to the Cowboys.

    The defense should be a fun group once again. Up front, Jordan Bertagnole, DeVonne Harris, and Shae Suiaunoa lead the way. Wyett Ekeler and Wrook Brown highlight an underrated secondary, so the cupboard’s not completely bare.

    Elsewhere, the passing attack showed flashes at times last year but needs to find more consistency so the running game can truly have its full impact on games.

    9) San Jose State Spartans

    While the transfer portal hit the San Jose State Spartans hard when Brent Brennan left, a few remaining pieces will help them navigate Ken Niumatalolo’s first season here.

    Wide receiver Nick Nash decided to stay with the program and will lead the offense. Linebacker Jordan Pollard will do the same for the defense. The schedule starts off manageable with Sacramento State and Kennesaw State, but the intensity quickly ramps up with Washington State and Stanford.

    8) San Diego State Aztecs

    Sean Lewis will change the culture of San Diego State in many ways. He’s bringing his way out West, but he’s also giving the Aztecs an identity change. From the slow, methodical offense to one that will go at a blistering pace, fans might not recognize this team.

    Lewis brought in 15 transfers to start the process, and there will be growing pains along the way. The defense should still be important to this program, but they’ll have to adjust to the tempo of an offense that eventually will score quicker than normal.

    7) Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors

    Timmy Chang has his work cut out for him, but this year has a ton of potential to be fun. The schedule isn’t overbearing, and the offense returns several key pieces that could light up scoreboards this season.

    Brayden Schager returns for another year as the starting quarterback after throwing for 3,542 yards and 26 touchdowns.

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    His top two targets come back as well. Steven McBride came from Kansas last year and had a breakout season with 1,024 yards and nine touchdowns.

    Pofele Ashlock set himself up for a big year after catching 83 passes for 832 yards and nine touchdowns.

    6) Air Force Falcons

    It’s tough to bet against the Falcons and Troy Calhoun, but there’s a ton of work to do on both sides of the ball.

    The Falcons return the least amount of production from the 2023 seasons, meaning new faces must step up. Calhoun’s done a great job of building a strong foundation, but this feels like it will be tough.

    5) Colorado State Rams

    Jay Norvell’s track record at Nevada fuels this ranking, and it feels like the Rams are on the verge of a breakthrough. Quarterback Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi is a gunslinger who plays the game with a ton of confidence, and he should take a step forward this year with the talent around him.

    Tory Horton shocked the college football world twice this offseason. First, he decided to spurn the NFL to return to the Rams, and then he stuck with the team instead of transferring. Horton, Justus Ross-Simmons, and Dylan Goffney could be a dangerous trio this year.

    4) Utah State Aggies

    If the Cooper Legas-Jalen Royals combination takes a step, this Aggies offense could take things to another level in 2024. Legas has the arm talent to make big-time throws, though injuries have limited his time on the field.

    The beginning of the year is tough outside of Robert Morris. USC and Utah show up on the schedule in back-to-back weeks, and the Aggies make a cross-country trip to Temple the week after that.

    3) Fresno State Bulldogs

    Mikey Keene has a full year of experience under his belt, and he gets to throw passes to promising wide receiver Jalen Moss again. Malik Sherrod joins Keene in the backfield, and the offensive line returns a lot of talent, too.

    The defense goes through somewhat of a facelift, but players like Malachi Langley and lockdown corner Cam Lockridge are back.

    Jeff Tedford gave the program a scare last year, but appears healthy enough to keep coaching in 2024. He’s been instrumental in the Bulldogs’ success, and the team is glad to have him back for the upcoming season.

    The first month sandwiches Sacramento State and New Mexico State between games against Michigan and UCLA, so a 2-2 start is expected. The Bulldogs avoid Boise State this year but must face UNLV on the road and Washington State at home.

    2) UNLV Rebels

    One of the biggest wins for UNLV this offseason was keeping Brennan Marion. The offensive coordinator played a huge role in the Rebels’ turnaround last year, and he’s back to call plays again in 2024.

    Doug Brumfield regains control of the offense with Jayden Maiava off to the transfer portal, and the offense should still be electric with him running the show.

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    Star wide receiver Ricky White surprised the fanbase by returning in 2024 and should have another big year in Marion’s system.

    The surprise factor is gone for the Rebels. Thanks to Barry Odom, they’ve gained the attention of the rest of the conference, so they must play even better this year. Their nonconference schedule includes Houston, Kansas, and Syracuse, so the beginning of the season provides plenty of challenges.

    1) Boise State Broncos

    New head coach Spencer Danielson won over his team quickly, and his first year as a head coach is already building hype. From the return of Ashton Jeanty to the addition of USC transfer quarterback Malachi Nelson, the Broncos head into 2024 with a ton of confidence.

    Oregon hosts the Broncos in the second week of the season, which will be a good test for this team. The conference schedule isn’t overbearing, but trips to UNLV, Wyoming, and San Jose State will be tough. Oregon State also comes to town, and the Beavers won the last meeting convincingly.

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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