This year, there is definitely a new sheriff in charge of the Mountain West in the form of the Boise State Broncos (Current Mountain West Odds: 1 to 2.80 at 5Dimes Sportsbook). Simply put, the Broncos have the best team in this conference, and the only game that really should have any chance of tripping them up is the home date with TCU late in the season. Of course, Boise State’s eyes aren’t on winning the MWC. They’re on winning the National Championship. Many forget that the Broncos did not win their last season in the WAC last year; Nevada did. That being said, there is definitely some unfinished business for QB Kellen Moore and company, and though the team might take a bit of a step back in terms of talent from a year ago when it was a one-loss team, there’s no doubt that Head Coach Chris Peterson and company have themselves a legitimate shot at an undefeated season this year.
The bad news here is that the TCU Horned Frogs (2011 Mountain West Lines: 4.50 to 1 at 5Dimes Sportsbook) probably aren’t going to be contending for anything but perhaps an MWC title in their final season in this conference before heading to the Big East. Head Coach Gary Patterson knows that this is a very, very important season for recruiting purposes for next year’s jump to the big time, but after last year’s Rose Bowl performance, the team this season has a ton of hurdles to climb. We know that TCU is going to have a tremendous defense, something that has become a staple of a Gary Patterson team. However, missing QB Andy Dalton, the winningest signal caller in TCU history, is going to be a bit of a problem.
About the only other team that we could see making any noise out of this conference is the San Diego State Aztecs (Current Mountain West Odds: 12.25 to 1 at 5Dimes Sportsbook). Head Coach Brady Hoke has moved on to the Michigan Wolverines, but he definitely hasn’t left the cupboard dry. QB Ryan Lindley is going to be on the short list for conference player of the year honors after throwing for 3,830 yards and 28 TDs last year, and RB Ronnie Hillman is coming off of a freshman campaign in which he rushed for 1,532 yards. Both TCU and Boise State are home games, but the Aztecs are going to be major underdogs in both outings.
Boise State Broncos 1 to 2.80
TCU Horned Frogs 4.50 to 1
San Diego State Aztecs 12.25 to 1
Air Force Falcons 16 to 1
Colorado State Rams 26 to 1
Wyoming Cowboys 36 to 1
UNLV Runnin’ Rebels 81 to 1
New Mexico Lobos 165 to 1
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