2011 M-West Spring Preview
The Spring Attitude
Click on each team for the 2011 Spring Preview
Force | Boise State
Colorado State |
Diego State |
2011 Mountain West Spring Preview
Mountain West Team-By-Team Schedules
Mountain West Composite Schedule & Week Rankings
Mountain West Spring Attitudes
Mountain West Big Spring Questions
Mountain West Early Buzz
Mountain West Positions To Watch
Mountain West Spring Rankings
Win the Mountain West. The defense has enough playmakers returning to expect another strong season, and the offense should rock if QB Tim Jefferson can stay healthy and a few receivers can emerge. Now the goal has to be to win the conference title and come up with the upsets needed to improve upon a great 2010 season. 9-4 and a bowl win over Georgia Tech were nice, but the Falcons were in the game against Oklahoma, should’ve beaten San Diego State, and battled with Utah. A ten win season is possible, and the attitude has to be that this really can be the year to win the conference championship.
- Boise State
Georgia, Georgia, Georgia, Georgia, Georgia. Much will be made about the move to the Mountain West, and the showdown against TCU will be one of college football’s biggest games of the year, but the Bronco dreams, goals, and season will all go up in a puff without a win over the Bulldogs n Atlanta on September 3rd. For a program used to being in the argument for the national championship, being out of it in the first week of September will sting.
Do what Fairchild was hoping for and get nasty. Fairchild wants his team to be intimidating and he wants it to flatten opponents on both sides of the ball, but there hasn’t been anything to worry about when facing the Rams over the last few seasons. CSU has to find one thing it can do well on a regular basis, and if it’s up to Fairchild, it would be to run the ball down someone’s throat.
Time to take a step up. There aren’t any excuses at this point with 18 starters back and with Locksley getting two years to work his recruiting magic. With former head coach Rocky Long taking over at San Diego State, to remind Lobo fans of the recent good old days of winning seasons, Locksley has to show that he can at least make New Mexico competitive. He has his players in place and this is his program. This spring, the urgency will be there and the production has to follow.
Keep winning the games you’re supposed to. The bowl win over Navy was big, and it was also one of the few wins over a team with a pulse. Air Force was a strong victory, but the other seven wins came against Nicholls State, New Mexico State, Utah State, New Mexico, Wyoming, Colorado, and UNLV. That’s fine, but now the Aztecs can’t blow the layups. Under Long, the idea this spring has to be to keep the same confidence of last year against the mediocre teams, while taking the nobody-believes-in-us rant when it comes to battling for the Mountain West title.
And welcome to the holding pattern. Things couldn’t be better right now for the program coming off a cheeky Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin, a perfect season and the respect that came with it, and a clean slate from the recent Sports Illustrated article pointing out all the criminal records of the top college football teams. But it’s all about 2012 for TCU as it gets to go big-time with a move to the Big East, and now, this spring, head coach Gary Patterson is going to try to keep the positive we-can-hang-with-anyone attitude while still working and doing the things that go TCU to the lofty status it’s currently at.
Get things moving. Second-year head coach Bobby Hauck wanted to quicken up the tempo and the pace when he took over last year, but the problem with doing that when you can’t produce on offense is that the possessions are very, very short. This year, Hauck is going to push his team a bit more after trying spending last spring just trying to get everyone in place and implementing his systems. This spring, UNLV is going to try to do things with more energy, but with so many new players entering the mix, the pace will be dictated by production.
Keep on building. Experience has to translate into production with eight starters coming back on each side of the ball, and while Christensen is looking for results right not, the team has light years to go before it can be any sort of a challenger for the Mountain West title. However, of the nine losses last year, the Cowboys lost three by six points or fewer and hung around with San Diego State. You don’t lose to New Mexico and UNLV and have a good season, and if UW can beat the dregs of the league, they’ll be in the hunt for a bowl game if the team can find its leaders and some playmakers early on in spring.