Las Vegas Sun

August 20, 2014

Currently: 94° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Predicting this weekend’s Mountain West football slate

Trivia question ...

In the last four weeks, how many times has ESPN's College Game Day crew done its show from a Mountain West Conference campus?

Well, I guess it's pointless to call it trivia. I'm going to give you the answer, anyway.

It's three.

On Oct. 24, Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard headed to Provo, where TCU slugged BYU (and that's putting it nicely).

Last week, in honor of Veteran's Day, the guys were in Colorado Springs, where Air Force pasted Army.

This time around, they're in Fort Worth, as TCU is just three small wins away from the college football holy land — the BCS.

That said, on with the predictions!

Utah (8-1 overall, 5-0 Mountain West) at TCU (9-0, 5-0), 4:30 p.m. (The line: TCU -19.5)

If you read this site — and particularly this blog — with any regularity, you know by now that I'm convinced TCU is on a war path toward that aforementioned BCS berth. Utah is the last challenge the Horned Frogs face of any kind. After this weekend, they have Wyoming and New Mexico (Sidenote: A potentially undefeated TCU team at home against a potentially winless New Mexico team to close out the season. Can you say biggest spread of this college football season???) The Utes gave freshman phenom quarterback Jordan Wynn his first collegiate start last weekend, as as predicted, he was solid in routing the punchless Lobos. This weekend, it's a whole other story. BYU's Max Hall has been embarrassed by the TCU defense in each of the last two seasons. Something tells me that a freshman won't fare much better than the most heralded QB to come through the league in recent years. Utah's strong defense could keep it close, but not close enough. Plus, the sweet Nike Pro Combat uniforms the Horned Frogs are busting out have grown on me this week ... except for the pants. Prediction: TCU 38, Utah 14

BYU (7-2, 4-1) at New Mexico (0-9, 0-5), 11 a.m. (The line: BYU -27.5)

No matter who New Mexico starts at QB — senior Donovan Porterie or redshirt freshman B.R. Holbrook — the Cougars are gonna get pretty fat and happy on the Lobos. That's kind of like predicting that the sun will rise in the morning. Prediction: BYU 55, New Mexico 10

UNLV (4-6, 2-4) at Air Force (6-4, 4-2), 3 p.m. (The line: Air Force -17)

Do I think UNLV wins this game? No. Even though the Rebels had moderate success against the Falcons' run game a year ago, Air Force has a deadly combination in its arsenal — it runs the ball too well and it plays even better defense. The Falcons have given up more than 20 points only one time this season, and it took Utah overtime to accomplish that feat. If TCU couldn't do it, it's hard to see the Rebels doing so. They'll fight hard, but come up short. Prediction: Air Force 24, UNLV 14

Wyoming (4-5, 2-3) at San Diego State (4-5, 2-3), 7 p.m. (The line: SDSU -7)

Believe it or not, this might be the second most intriguing game this weekend on the league slate behind TCU-Utah. Why? Because it could turn out being an elimination game for both. Along with UNLV, both SDSU and Wyoming are competing down the stretch for one of the MWC's last two bowl slots, assuming TCU lands a BCS bid. If TCU does, then the three are competing for spots in the New Mexico Bowl and Humanitarian Bowl. After this week, Wyoming hosts TCU and is at Colorado State. SDSU is at Utah and at UNLV. That said, both teams need this one in the worst way. I'm going to say that the Aztecs have an advantage not only because they're at home, but the Cowboys' offense has gone back in the toilet here late in the season. SDSU QB Ryan Lindley is beyond dangerous at home against weaker defenses. I say he has a field day. Prediction: SDSU 42, Wyoming 20

Bonus Prediction: Pacquiao wins by decision

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy