Did Mountain West Error In Postponing Fall Football Too Soon?

There is an argument that the Mountain West could have waited to make a choice to play or not play the football season.

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Did Mountain West Error In Postponing Fall Football Too Soon?


Could the league have waited a bit to make a decision?


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

Could the league have waited?

The Big Ten has had a lot of issues and very little uniformity when it came to not playing college football this fall. The Mountain West, Pac-12, and MAC have overwhelmingly been on the same page and not threatening to play a season on its own like Nebraska has suggested.

The one minor exception is Air Force where their athletics director Nathan Pine suggested that in tradition, the Falcons would attempt to play Army and Navy in fall sports that have been pushed back.

That is a far cry from how the Big Ten has handled it, including the adults who are threatening lawsuits and protesting at the doorstep of the Big Ten offices.

This does bring up a bigger question that did the Mountain West, and other leagues make a decision too soon?

The answer is complicated and the right answer is probably maybe.

Beyond the fact that six other conferences are playing this fall, there are also a number of high school football programs that are playing. Plus, there are plenty with a delayed or even a spring start.

So, there is a case to play college football in the Mountain West or at least wait and see since the original schedule called for a Sept. 26 start to the season. This could have allowed for more time to check out the landscape of COVID-19.

The virus literally is changing week-by-week, if not daily and one of latest updates that give reason for some optimism is a new kind of testing which is a saliva test that is being backed by the NBA with Yale doing the research and is a very inexpensive alternative, around $15-$20, and a return time of hours.

Then there is the hope of even cheaper tests with a quick turnaround. If these super cheap and quick tests are reliable this is a game-changer.

Waiting may not ultimately make a difference for the leagues that are playing now because there have been many teams that have had practices postponed or pushed back. However, it would have been nice for the Mountain West to hold off and practice to see how things go.

During fall camp there is time to recover and adjust practices to COVID-19 positive tests but now that the season is within a few weeks of happening, it could really impact the season and cause games to be postponed or pushed back.

Here is a small update of teams that have at some point this month had a delay in practices.

That is just a small sample of how this virus is impacting college football programs. So far, the leagues that are playing are going forward and with this assumed risk of knowing some of their team, staff, and personnel will test positive.

It is tough to see other leagues going forward while the Mountain West made an early call to shut down the season. Patience may not have mattered at all because it still seems like the upcoming season is a crapshoot to go on as scheduled. There will be games played but odds are high that games will be canceled and never made up.

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PODCAST: What Teams Should Mountain West Fans Root For?

Since there is no Mountain West football, who will you be cheering on?

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PODCAST: What Teams Should Mountain West Fans Root For?


Bigger question should you?


Contact/Follow @MWCwire

How will you watch college football this fall?

Matt and Jeremy are back to take a look at some comparisons of teams that are similar in style, play and historical for the upcoming season. We run through the teams and do our best to comp Group of 5 and Power 5 teams to get on the bandwagon now.

We also go through some news with transfer portal updates and who could go where, plus could the league see seniors pass on their final year if a spring season is not really in their best interest.

You can find the Mountain West Wire podcast below or subscribe to the show via AnchorStitcher RadioTuneInSpotifyiTunes, and more. Listen in, subscribe and rate it and let us know what you think!

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2020 Air Force Non-Conference Preview: The Army Black Knights

Will They Play? The Falcons looking for 38th Win vs. Army Contact/Follow @Sean or @MWCWire Lets Get to Know Army Record vs. Air Force: 16 wins- 37 losses- 1 tie Head Coach: Jeff Monken Conference: Independent Offensive Philosophy: Triple Option …

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Will They Play?


The Falcons looking for 38th Win vs. Army


Contact/Follow @Sean or @MWCWire

Lets Get to Know Army

Record vs. Air Force: 16 wins- 37 losses- 1 tie

Head Coach: Jeff Monken

Conference: Independent

Offensive Philosophy: Triple Option

Defensive Philosophy: 3-4

Mascot: Army Mules

Location: West Point, NY

2019 Record: 5-8

A Little History

Since its inception in 1972, Air Force has won the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy 20 times. Compare that to their rivals from West Point, who have only possessed the sacred hardware eight times, and its easy to bury the lead.

Even though the Falcons have dominated the battle for the CIC Trophy over its history, Army has laid claim to the hardware two of the last three years, with Navy earning it last season. So Air Force could be experiencing separation anxiety from the ultimate spoils of Military Football competition.

The Black Knights earned wins against the Falcons along their conquest to the CIC Trophy in 2017 and 2018. Last season, Air Force narrowly escaped with a victory in Colorado Springs. What type of ballistics will 2020 have in the chamber?

The Hypothetical Game

First things first; the Mountain West Conference has already pulled the plug on the fall football season. However, there is a Dumb and Dumber like hope “so your sayin’ there’s a chance” that Air Force will be able to play Army and Navy, keeping the battle for the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy alive.

As is the case for nearly every school clinging to hope of playing a game this fall, nothing is guaranteed. This preview is hinged completely on the hopes of an exemption for the Air Force Academy to squeeze these two games in, despite the Conference closing up shop for the fall.

The Army Offense

When it came to putting up points, the Army offense was in the bottom half of the nation which consists of 130 teams. As a team that wants to control the clock and limit possessions, points scored can be a bit of a deceptive statistic for the Military Academies, which run the triple option offense.

At just over 28 points per game, the offense was serviceable, but surely looking to improve. For perspective, compare that to the 32 points per game in 2018, and that delta of five points would have made the difference in three of their losses last season, and any potential for bowl eligibility.

To their credit, Army still featured the third ranked rushing offense, averaging just under 300 yards per game on the ground. This was accomplished after replacing all but one starter on the offensive line, and their leading rusher from the year prior. The Cadets from West Point also took a page from the Air Force playbook, and had to start three different quarterbacks throughout the year. That in itself is usually not a recipe for success.

One of the positive things to come from last years struggles was valuable game experience at quarterback. Jabari Laws and Christian Anderson both got spot starts in 2019 for the oft injured Kelvin Hopkins Jr. Both Laws and Anderson amassed 400 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Where Laws separates himself is in the passing game. Even though Army rarely throws the ball, Jabari Laws completed 80% of his passes, averaging 15.6 yards per attempt. In case you’re wondering, the one-time MW Wire Player of the Year candidate, Donald Hammond III averaged 11.9 per attempt.

The Falcons would be wise to learn from last year, Jabari Laws is a threat with his arm and his legs. In his start against Air Force, Laws played very well finishing with over 200 yards passing and a passer rating of 275. The key  will be if he can remain healthy.

Also returning for 2020 are Sandon McCoy and his 500+ yards and 10 touchdowns, do-it-all back Artice Hobbs IV and leading pass catcher Camden Harrison. Whether its Laws or Anderson who take over the reigns of the Army offense, there will be some experienced parts around them.

The Army Defense and Special Teams

The Army defense featured some very good players in 2019. This was reflected in their 30th rank in total defense, and surrendering 23 points per game was good enough for 41st in the nation. All very respectable marks.

Air Force won’t have to reckon with inside linebacker Cole Christiansen for the first time in four years, which is an absolute relief. Also gone are stalwarts Ron Stoddard from the interior of the defensive line and Elijah Riley and Jaylon McClinton from the secondary. All key pieces to the Army defensive corp.

Even with all that talent departing, the Black Knights are still bringing back a couple studs, particularly in their front seven. Kwabena Bonsu and Edriece Patterson will be back to disrupt the line of scrimmage. And keeping with what seems like a decade long run of talented linebackers, Arik Smith will be an anchor.

On special teams, Army should be pretty comfortable returning their primary kick and punt returners in Artice Hobbs IV and Akyah Miranda. The punting game particularly shined as Zach Harding averaged 48 yards per punt as a sophomore. Kicking duties should be with Cole Talley who was very reliable on extra points as a freshman in 2019, but was just 1 for 3 on field goal attempts.

What To Expect

If Air Force wants to sing second again in 2020, they had better not expect to enjoy the type of fortune that befell them in 2019. The game ended the same way that it started, with a 4th down goal-line stop. Even more astonishing was how their defense held Army to zero points on 12 goal to go downs. In a game whose final score was 17- 13 in favor of the Falcons, the timely stands from the defense cannot be overstated.

Hopefully this game is played, as you will be hard pressed to find a more competitive match-up all season. This game doesn’t get the same endorsement that ‘Army-Navy’ does, but its just as bloody, and every bit the battle, regardless of what Jeff Monken may say to dig at Troy Calhoun. Consider the significance this match-up weighs on who captures the Commander-In-Chief’s, and there is no hype necessary.

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Who Should Mountain West Fans Root For This Fall?

Who Should Mountain West Fans Root For This Fall? What are the best comparisons like your team? Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire Who plays like my Mountian West team? Yes, the Mountain West football season is not going to happen but that does …

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Who Should Mountain West Fans Root For This Fall?


What are the best comparisons like your team?


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

Who plays like my Mountian West team?

Yes, the Mountain West football season is not going to happen but that does not mean everyone needs just pack up shop until this league is back up and playing this spring, or maybe even in the fall of 2021.

This list will be a rooting guide for what team closely aligns with your Mountain West team in terms of success, playing style, coach, and anything else we can think of.

We will mix in some Power 5 and Group of 5 teams. As a reminder the leagues that are playing, as of today, SEC, Big 12, ACC, C-USA, Sun Belt, AAC, Army, and BYU.

Take this list for what it is and adopt the team or tell us who you are going with this fall or if we completely missed the mark. Shout out to us on Twitter. @MWCWire.

Air Force – Navy and Army.

Maybe these are the easy opt-out comparisons due to being a branch of the armed services in this country, plus they run the triple-option. There is no Power 5 team that fits this mark because Georgia Tech has moved away from the triple-option and Paul Johnson. The Midshipman might be the better comparison as they win at a clip closer to the Falcons than the Black Knights.

Boise State – Oklahoma.

This one is too easy to compare. The Broncos have played in four of six Mountain West title games, winning three of them but the Broncos have only been to just a single New Year’s Six bowl appearance. Oklahoma has been to the past three College Football Playoffs but they have lost in the semifinals each time.

The Sooners make sense as they have had amazing success but haven’t gotten over the hump in the big picture of college football. Boise State fits that by not going to a big-time bowl game since 2014.

Colorado State – North Texas and Boston College.

These teams are chosen due to success about a decade or two ago and have just been OK ever since. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Sonny Lubick was winning and competing for WAC and Mountain West titles, but over the past handful of years there have been bowl games but the records have been either just above or below bowl eligibility.

Boston College is a bit on the nose since new Rams coach Steve Addazio came from there. Those Eagles teams had six wins last year and the three prior just seven wins. Former Rams coach Mike Bobo had three-straight years of going 7-6. Also, digging deep into Eagles history they had multi-year stretches of being ranked in the mid-2010s and mid-1990s.

As for North Texas, they were successful in the early 2000s with four straight Sun Belt titles but since then have had some up and down successes there in Denton, Texas.

Fresno State – Houston.

Houston has been close to conference titles and just a few times have come out on top over the past decade. The Cougars have had a Heisman trophy winner in Andre Ware whereas Fresno State had David Carr who was a Heisman finalist and selected No. 1 overall pick by the then-expansion Houston Texans. The downs for Fresno State are not as bad nor as long as Houston, but they have been there including the tail end of the Tim DeRuyter era which saw the Bulldogs go 2-10 in his final year.

Hawaii – Memphis and Washington State.

This one is more on the style of play than the records really. One is a Mike Leach which team saw a lot of passing attacks and not the best of defense. However, the Warriors have had their share of quality defenders of the years. It does help that former Warrior coach Nick Rolovich is overseeing the Cougars program.

If you want to watch an offense that will put up a lot of points and be exciting to watch then go with Washington State. Also, Memphis is a great choice as they also have a great and exciting offense and put up points. The Tigers are a bit more balanced but still very explosive. Plus, both of these defenses are not all that great which lines up with Hawaii’s.

Mountain West Football Transfer List

We are tracking what Mountain West players are leaving the league to continue their football career elsewhere.

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Mountain West Football Transfer List


Tracking the football players who are leaving and entering the league.


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

Who is the league losing?

Normally, this list would come out during the offseason but with COVID-19 stopping the Mountain West players from playing this fall, there are already players on their way out. So, this list is starting earlier than normal as we track what Mountain West football players are looking to play this year.

Players Out

Colorado State

Warren Jackson, WR – Declared for NFL Draft

Manny Jones, DL – Entered Portal

Trey McBride, TE – Entered Portal

Fresno State

Justin Rice, LB – Transferred to Arkansas State [Twitter]

Players In

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Senior Bowl Releases Top 250: Five Mountain West Players Make Cut

The Senior Bowl released its list of 250 players it is considering. There are five Mountain West players who made the cut.

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Senior Bowl Releases Top 250: Five Mountain West Players Make Cut


Four teams and five players from the Mountain.


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

Senior Bowl recognizes the MW

The Senior Bowl is the best and most recognizable postseason bowl game for college seniors. The bowl game is doing something a bit different this time around and released its list of 250 seniors to be in the pool to pick from for its showcase event.

The Mountain West routinely gets players drafted in the NFL including 10 last year and in 2018, there were three taken in the first round. While the Senior Bowl is not the end all be all for the draft picks, because for one, this is only for seniors but it is a good indicator of players being on the radar of the NFL Draft.

This initial list has five Mountain West players.

  • Air Force DE Jordan Jackson
  • Boise State CB Avery Williams
  • Colorado State WR Warren Jackson
  • Colorado State DL Manny Jones (reportedly transferring)
  • Hawaii WR Rico Bussey, Jr.

The inclusion of Jackson is a nice one since the service academies are able to push back or alter its commitment to its branch of government. This should lead to more from Air Force, Army, Navy, and other military-focused schools to get a chance at going pro.

Jackson was heading into his senior season and was named to MWWire’s preseason second-team heading into this year, and last year he was an honorable mention after his junior year.

Boise State’s Williams has a lot going for him as he is not only a great cornerback but he is an exceptional returner as well. Being a versatile player in which one player can be used in one or more positions is valuable.

The Rams Jackson is likely to be the highest taken player in the upcoming NFL Draft and he has already declared to move on and will not play whenever the Mountain West gets back to playing football nor will transfer.

He continues the tradition of players like Rashard Higgins and the more established Michael Gallup of Colorado State having wide receivers get drafted.

Jones has entered the portal so he may no longer be a Colorado State Ram. With the Rams having a subpar defense over the past few years but Jones is one of the few bright spots on that side of the ball.

He was on the path to be a potential first-team all-league player, and in his time he has nine sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss.

Bussey might seem like an odd choice but his time at North Texas was exceptional with 68 catches for 1,017 yards and 12 touchdowns back in 2018. He sat out last year by transferring from the Mean Green and worked alongside some really good wide receivers in Cedric Byrd, Jojo Smart and others.

This is not the final roster by any means as this list will be cut in half.

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PODCAST: How Has Recruiting Changed During COVID-19?

Jeremy is joined by Brandon Huffman of 247Sports to discuss the challenges and differences in recruiting during a pandemic.

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PODCAST: How Has Recruiting Changed During COVID-19?


Recruiting will not be the same for a few years?


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

2021 will be an interesting cycle

Jeremy is joined by Brandon Huffman who is the national recruiting editor for 247Sports to discuss how recruiting is impacted by COVID-19. There are not only four FBS conferences not playing this fall, including the Mountain West, but a good number of states that are pushing back high school football into the spring. We discuss how offering these athletes is becoming different, especially for the 2022 class, and how limited high school football will likely prevent poaching from Power 5 programs at the last second.

There also is the discussion about transfer athletes and if there will be a place to play for some of even the top FBS talent who want to play this fall. Then there is the aspect of negative recruiting from schools and leagues that are saying they value football more and other leagues that are saying we value your health.

You can find the Mountain West Wire podcast below or subscribe to the show via AnchorStitcher RadioTuneInSpotifyiTunes, and more. Listen in, subscribe and rate it and let us know what you think!

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Colorado State TE Trey McBride Enters Transfer Portal, Per Report

Colorado State could be losing another playmaker?

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Colorado State TE Tre McBride Enters Transfer Portal


Rams are now down two playmakers.


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

All-conference tight end gone?

Add Colorado State tight end, Trey McBride, to the latest Mountain West player moving on. 247Sports is reporting that the first-team all-Mountain West tight end is looking to play elsewhere.

McBride still has two years of eligibility and probably will have to sit out but could easily request a waiver to play this year due to COVID-19.

However, there is nothing official about him leaving the Rams program.

McBride was named as the league’s best tight end in MWWire’s preseason all-conference team. Last year, he caught 45 passes for 560 yards and four touchdowns.

McBride is an NFL prospect and assuming he is transferring, would join wide receiver Warren Jackson who declared for the NFL Draft.

There are six leagues that are scheduled to play college football this fall and it would make sense that McBride would attempt to go to those conferences which include: Big 12, SEC, ACC, C-USA, Sun Belt and the American

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MAC, Mountain West Teaming Up For Spring Football?

MAC, Mountain West Teaming Up For Spring Football? Who wants a MAC vs. Mountain West postseason football challenge? Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire The two G5 leagues meeting up? The Mountain West is looking toward a spring football season …

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MAC, Mountain West Teaming Up For Spring Football?


Who wants a MAC vs. Mountain West postseason football challenge?


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

The two G5 leagues meeting up?

The Mountain West is looking toward a spring football season but the details are currently non-exist – yet, we have a few ideas. The MAC which was the first league to give up playing football in the fall into the spring and they are trying to create a plan.

The “regular season” plan for the MAC is being debated between the six and eight games, but the key tidbit from Yahoo’s Pete Thamel who is reporting a possible post-season agreement between the MAC and Mountain West.

The interesting part is not the type of MAC schedule but they are talking with the Mountain West for some sort of postseason type of contest. An interesting idea that could go on would be for all 12 from each league to get one more game in and play in a postseason event regardless of record.

It could be based on order of finish to have teams with similar success play each other for one out of league game. This would have to be something that the Mountain West would want to agree to, and while playing a Big Ten or Pac-12 school would be better, it would not be surprising to see those two leagues with their Rose Bowl ties to meet up for their own postseason.

Planning is still early but it is good to see at least one league is trying to figure out what its spring football season will look like.

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PODCAST: What Could A Spring Mountain West Football Season Look Like?

We discuss how a Mountain West season could happen this spring.

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PODCAST: What Could A Spring Mountain West Football Season Look Like?


Will there be games in the spring?


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

No football really sucks.

Jeremy and Matt are back to discuss the decision that the Mountain West made which was to cancel football in the fall with the plan to push it back in the spring. We dive into why that decision was made. Losing the season is a gut punch even if it was expected by a lot of people.

There is a petition to get college football back for the Big Ten but that seems to be short-sighted with the medical evidence we know and a lot we do not know.

You can find the Mountain West Wire podcast below or subscribe to the show via AnchorStitcher RadioTuneInSpotifyiTunes, and more. Listen in, subscribe and rate it and let us know what you think!

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