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2011 Mountain West Preview - Unit Rankings
Wyoming RB Alvester Alexander
Wyoming RB Alvester Alexander
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 30, 2011


CollegeFootballNews.com 2011 Mountain West Preview - Unit Rankings


Preview 2011

Mountain West Unit Rankings


- 2011 Air Force Preview | 2011 Boise State Preview 
- 2011 Colorado State Preview2011 New Mexico Preview
- 2011 San Diego State Preview | 2011 TCU Preview
- 2011 UNLV Preview | 2011 Wyoming Preview

- 2011 Mountain West Preview
- CFN Thoughts on the Mountain West | 2011 Mountain West Unit Rankings
- 2011 CFN All-Mountain West Team & Top 30 Players
- 2011 Mountain West Schedules & Picks
- 2011 Mountain West Team By Team Looks & Predicted Finish 
- 2010 Mountain West Preview

Mountain West Overall

Based on how good each team is and NOT the predicted finish

1. TCU
2. Boise State
3. Air Force
4. San Diego State
5. Colorado State
6. New Mexico
7. UNLV
8. Wyoming

Offenses

1. Boise State
This should be an interesting test to see if the Boise State system is the Boise State system after finishing second in the nation in yards and scoring. Gone is offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin to Texas and in comes Brent Pease after spending the last few years as an assistant and a receivers coach. The problem will be those receivers with Austin Pettis and Titus Young gone, leaving a gaping talent hole. However, Heisman-caliber QB Kellen Moore is good enough make everyone look good, and while there might not be the big plays of last year, all will be fine as long as the receivers run precise routes. The running game will be strong as long as Doug Martin is healthy, but a reliable No. 2 back is a must in case D.J. Harper gets hurt again. The line is a work in progress with lots of shuffling and plenty of question marks, but three starters are back including Nate Potter, who’ll be a top 50 NFL pick next year, and Thomas Bryd, an undersized but talented center.

2. TCU
3. Air Force
4. San Diego State
5. Colorado State
6. New Mexico
7. UNLV
8. Wyoming

Quarterbacks

1. Boise State
The stats won’t be as good without the top receivers to throw to, but it’s not like the cupboard is totally bare. Kellen Moore will continue to spread the ball around, he’ll continue to be deadly accurate, and he’ll continue to be foot-on-the-throat nasty in key situations as the steady leader of the high-octane attack. As much as Moore will be celebrated and highlighted, the storyline could be the backup situation as everyone wonders who’ll be next.

2. San Diego State
3. Air Force
4. TCU
5. Colorado State
6. New Mexico
7. UNLV
8. Wyoming

Running Backs

1. TCU
TCU might not have the brand name running backs that other top programs do, but it can boast one of the deepest rotations in college football with the three top runners back and a slew of tremendous prospects waiting in the wings to show what they can do. The team ran for 3,415 yards and 41 touchdowns last year, and while the quarterbacks will be a factor in the equation, there’s enough depth and talent at running back to do most of the heavy lifting. Consider it a stunner if Ed Wesley, Matthew Tucker and Waymon James don’t combine for over 2,000 yards.

2. Air Force
3. Boise State
4. San Diego State
5. New Mexico
6. Wyoming
7. Colorado State
8. UNLV

Receivers

1. TCU
Even with Jeremy Kerley shining throughout last year, TCU still spread the ball around with four receivers finishing with 31 catches or more. The offense will revolve around the running game while the goal of the passing attack will simply to be efficient and effective, but if the freshmen can shine right away, the talent will be there for an explosive year. Josh Boyce is explosive, and Antoine Hicks and Skye Dawson will provide the veteran leadership.

2. Boise State
3. UNLV
4. San Diego State
5. Colorado State
6. New Mexico
7. Air Force
8. Wyoming

Offensive Lines

1. Boise State
With an NFL talent in OT Nate Potter to work around, and with a rock at center in Thomas Byrd, the line has its anchors. Now it’s a matter of filling in the pieces. Potter could work at right tackle to protect Kellen Moore’s backside, and there will be several players tried out in several spots, but the production will be there no matter what the starting five configuration turns out to be. It doesn’t matter who’s thrown out there, Boise State always gets big-time blocking production. Last year’s line wasn’t exactly full of stars, but no one got a finger on Moore and the ground game was terrific.

2. TCU
3. San Diego State
4. Air Force
5. Colorado State
6. UNLV
7. New Mexico
8. Wyoming

Defenses

1. TCU
The TCU defense had to move on after losing some phenomenal NFL-caliber players in Jerry Hughes and Daryl Washington, and everything turned out more than fine. The defense finished first in the nation in both points and yards allowed, so you’ll have to forgive everyone around the program if no one appears too worried about another year with some major holes to fill. Tank Carder and Tanner Brock form a devastating linebacking tandem in the 4-2-5 alignment, and they should do a little bit of everything to eat up tackles. The defensive front should have a nice rotation on the inside, while Stansly Maponga has the potential to be the next great pass rusher on the outside. The secondary that led the nation in passing yards allowed has the most work to do, but Greg McCoy is a terrific corner to build around and, as usual, TCU is loaded with very big, very smart, very athletic safeties who won’t miss a stop.

2. Boise State
3. Air Force
4. San Diego State
5. Colorado State
6. New Mexico
7. UNLV
8. Wyoming

Defensive Lines

1. Boise State
The Broncos came up with a dominant season up front stuffing Virginia Tech for 128 rushing yards and allowing over 200 yards just twice, with both games coming late against Nevada and Utah State. Billy Winn, Chase Baker, Tyrone Crawford, and Shae McClellin are all going to be all-stars, and Tjong-A-Tjoe is good enough to be a star with more time. The line will do everything right in another great season.

2. TCU
3. San Diego State
4. Air Force
5. Colorado State
6. Wyoming
7. New Mexico
8. UNLV

Linebackers

1. TCU
There was a concern that the linebacking corps would struggle a bit after losing hitting machine Daryl Washington. Instead, Tank Carder was the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year and running mate Tanner Brock was a First Team all-star. With good depth and the return of the two stars, TCU’s two in the 4-2-5 is loaded. The Horned Frog stars should be among the most productive defenders in America and should be the rock of another fantastic defensive front six (and occasionally seven).

2. Boise State
3. Air Force
4. San Diego State
5. Colorado State
6. New Mexico
7. UNLV
8. Wyoming

Secondaries

1. TCU
The TCU pass defense was No. 1 in the nation in yards allowed and No. 1 in pass efficiency defense. Granted, it’s not like it played against a slew of top quarterbacks, and Wisconsin’s Scott Tolzien and San Diego State’s Ryan Lindley didn’t have too many problems, but for the most part the secondary was a brick wall allowing a mere ten touchdown passes, and just four over the final nine games and only gave more than 170 yards twice. While there’s some turnover to deal with, enough good players are back to hope for another top ten national finish. This will once again be a very athletic, very tough group that’ll keep the yards after the catch to a minimum, and it should finish among the top ten in the nation in pass defense once the starting five is figured out.

2. Air Force
3. Boise State
4. San Diego State
5. Colorado State
6. UNLV
7.New Mexico
8. Wyoming

Special Teams

1. TCU
The Horned Frogs will once again have some of the best special teams in America. The coverage teams are solid, the kicking game is terrific, and even without Jeremy Kerley, the return game will be a major positive. PK Ross Evans is ultra-reliable anywhere inside the 45, while P Anson Kelton is a weapon who can air it out when needed and is also strong at putting it inside the 20.

2. Colorado State
3. Boise State
4. Air Force
5. San Diego State
6. UNLV
7. Wyoming
8. New Mexico

- 2011 Air Force Preview | 2011 Boise State Preview 
- 2011 Colorado State Preview2011 New Mexico Preview
- 2011 San Diego State Preview | 2011 TCU Preview
- 2011 UNLV Preview | 2011 Wyoming Preview

- 2011 Mountain West Preview
- CFN Thoughts on the Mountain West | 2011 Mountain West Unit Rankings
- 2011 CFN All-Mountain West Team & Top 30 Players
- 2011 Mountain West Schedules & Picks
- 2011 Mountain West Team By Team Looks & Predicted Finish 
- 2010 Mountain West Preview