Knudson: Predictions for 2011
By Mark Knudson, The Mtn. InsiderAugust 29, 2011
It’s finally here – the much-anticipated 2011 football season featuring a new look Mountain West. Once again, the Conference looks strong, especially at the top, and poised to bust the BCS party once again.
Boise State is the consensus favorite to win the Conference in their first year in the league. No argument here. On paper, the Broncos look to be the class of the league. But then again, they don’t play the games on paper, as they say.
Rather than simply pick the order of finish, here are eight predictions for the coming season in honor of the eight teams in the league for this year. Let the second-guessing begin…
8. New Mexico will win four games and Mike Locksley will remain as the head football coach of the Lobos. The season will be highlighted by a rout of in-state rival New Mexico State and an upset win over Texas Tech in Albuquerque.
7. Wyoming will play Nebraska close for the first half of their game in Laramie on September 24 before the Huskers pull away in the second half to win comfortably. Having already set a school record for season ticket sales, the expanded seating in War Memorial Stadium will allow for more than half the crowd in attendance to be dressed in red.
6. Colorado State will upset Colorado on September 17 and go on to finish the season with a 7-5 record and a spot in the Independence Bowl. Sophomore QB Pete Thomas will be unofficially recognized as the league’s most improved player.
5. San Diego State will upset Michigan in the Big House on September 24 as Brady Hoke’s recruits knock off Brady Hoke’s current team. Former Aztec Kyle Turley will be on the sidelines leading cheers for the Aztecs.
4. After a bumpy start to the season, TCU’s Casey Pachall will be voted the league’s newcomer of the year. The Frogs will not lead the nation in total defense again this season but will go on to post a 9-3 record and a spot in Poinsettia Bowl.
3. Air Force will upset TCU on September 10 and go on to post a 10-win season, good for a second place finish in the MW and a chance to host the Las Vegas Bowl on December 22.
2. Boise State will not only defeat Georgia in the season opener, but they’ll roll to another undefeated season and land in the Sugar Bowl opposite Alabama on January 3 and ultimately go 2-0 vs. the Southeastern Conference.
1. Kellen Moore will win the MW’s Offensive Player of the Year award after leading the Broncos to another unbeaten season but he will finish second in the Heisman balloting to Stanford’s Andrew Luck.
That’s how it’s going to go down.
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