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2008 Mountain West Preview - Unit Rankings
UNLV WR Casey Flair
UNLV WR Casey Flair
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jun 20, 2008


2008 CFN Preview - Mountain West Unit Rankings from top to bottom

2008 CFN Mountain West Preview

Unit Rankings

Team Previews & Predictions
Air Force | BYU | Colorado State | New Mexico
San Diego State
| TCU | UNLV | Utah | Wyoming

- 2008 CFN Mountain West Preview
- CFN All-Mountain West Team & Top 30 Players
- Mountain West Team-by-Team Capsules

- Mountain West Schedules & Predictions

Offenses
1. BYU
The offense might not have been as explosive as its reputation, but it was good enough to lead the Mountain West in every major category except for rushing offense. There will be plenty of passing, lots of points, at least more than last year when the Cougars averaged 30 per game, and more balance. Nine starters return, and one of the losses, Manase Tonga, will be replaced by veteran Fui Vakapuna. It all starts up front as Dallas Reynolds and Ray Feinga lead a very big, very good line that'll give Mountain West Player of the Year candidate, QB Max Hall, plenty of time to work. WR Austin Collie and TE Dennis Pitta will combine for at least 100 catches again, while freshman sensation Harvey Unga is a superstar back ready for a bigger profile.

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

Quarterbacks  
1. BYU
Part system, part coaching, and part player, BYU has become quarterback central again. Max Hall is a tremendous passer with a consistency the offense can rely on, and enough accuracy to keep the mistakes to a minimum. He'll be allowed to bomb away even more now and he'll get to take a few more chances now that he has a year of experience to rely on. Kurt McEuen should be a capable backup if needed, while Brenden Gaskins could be a good one with a little more seasoning.

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

Running Backs
1. Utah
Hammer, hammer, hammer, hammer, hammer. With three big, pounding backs in Darrell Mack, Ray Stowers and Matt Asiata, the Utes are going to pound the ball as much as they want to. There's no outside threat and there's little proven speed, but whatever. This trio should combine for well over 2,000 yards and will leave everyone battered and bruised. 

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

Receivers
1. UNLV
This will be the Mountain West's best receiving corps, even if the stats don't necessarily show it. Ryan Wolfe and Casey Flair form a brilliant 1-2 punch, while Rodelin Anthony and Jerriman Robinson are exciting options who'll get more involved. It would be nice if there were more options to emerge in the mix, like Renan Saint Preux, but the passing game will work just fine with Wolfe and Flair.

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

Offensive Line
1. BYU
Three starters are back with Dallas Reynolds and Ray Feinga forming one of the better left sides in America, and a fourth starter, the injured Travis Bright, should be back at guard. There's promise among the reserves, there's talent all across the starting five, and there should be plenty of production from the league's best line.

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

Defenses
1. TCU
While the defense was hardly bad finishing 15th in the nation and tenth in scoring defense, it was a slight disappointment considering all the returning talent the Horned Frogs got back. This year's D should be rock-solid as long as the ends can shine in place of Chase Ortiz and Tommy Blake, who had a down year thanks to a variety of issues, and if there aren't a slew of early injuries. The 4-2-5 should be fantastic against the run with the linebacking punch of Jason Phillips and Robert Henson getting to everything the great tackles don't stuff. The corner tandem of Rafael Priest and Nick Sanders should be among the best in the Mountain West.

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

Defensive Lines
1. BYU
The three in the 3-4 alignment will be a brick wall against the run. There are plenty of huge bodies to rotate in and out of the middle, while Jan Jorgensen and Ian Dulan are experienced veterans who'll be every bit as good as they were last year. Jorgensen is special.

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

Linebackers
1. TCU
The linebacking corps loses the 84 tackles of David Hawthorne, but it fills in the gap by giving long-time backup Robert Henson a bigger role. With all-star tackling machine Jason Phillips already in place, production against the run won't be a problem. While TCU only uses two linebackers on a regular basis, there's room for production from several other options, like Daryl Washington, Phillips, Tank Carter and Chris Goodson, who'll all see meaningful action.

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

Defensive Backs
1. New Mexico
The corners are among the best around with DeAndre Wright and Glover Quin auditioning for the next level. The safeties should also be a strength with the tandem of Ian Clark and Clint McPeek combining at the all-important Lobo spot, while Blake Ligon and Frankie Solomon are solid. The depth is average, outside of corner Jerome Jenkins, and there will be big problems if injuries strike and if there's no pass rush, but this will be a good, sound secondary.

2.
Utah
3. TCU
4. BYU
5. Wyoming
6. Air Force
7. San Diego State
8. Colorado State
9. UNLV

Special Teams
1. Utah
As long as Louie Sakoda can hold up, Utah could have the best special teams in America. The coverage teams could stand to be tighter and Jereme Brooks has to prove he can be a solid punt returner, but that's nitpicking. Everything will be rock-solid.

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