Mountain West Football Press Release Week No. 2
WEEK 2 AT A GLANCE
Eight Mountain West teams will take the field on Saturday, Sept. 8, with three games against Top 25 opponents and six televised contests. The day's schedule begins as Air Force vistis #19 Michigan at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN2. Nevada has its first home opener as a member of the MW, entertaining South Florida at 12:30 p.m. PT on CBS Sports Network, while Wyoming makes its 2012 home debut against Toledo at 2 p.m. MT. Fresno State makes its first road trip of the year at #4 Oregon, which will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks beginning at 3:30 p.m. PT. Both Colorado State and San Diego State will open the home portions of their schedules, as the Rams take on North Dakota State (KDVR, 5 p.m. MT) and the Aztecs battle Army (NBC Sports Network, 4:30 p.m. PT). For the second straight week, a MW squad will visit #15/17 Texas, as New Mexico makes the trip to Austin. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT on the Longhorn Network. Week 2 wraps up as UNLV hosts Northern Arizona at 7 p.m. PT. #25 Boise State and Hawai'i are both idle this week.
FRESNO STATE'S ROUSE EYEING TWO BULLDOG RECORDS
Fresno State senior tailback Robbie Rouse is approaching two school records. After rushing 22 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener, he now is tied with Ryan Mathews (2007-09) for second place on the school's all-time rushing list. Rouse needs 194 more rushing yards to surpass Ron Rivers, who has been Fresno State's career rushing leader since 1993. Rouse also only needs 10 more carries to move ahead of Michael Pittman (1993-97) for the most rushing attempts in school history. An impressive note for Rouse is that he has only lost one fumble in the 688 times he has touched the ball in his career (638 rushes, 50 receptions).
His 123-yard game against Weber State last weekend was the 13th 100-yard game of his career, which ties him for the third-most in school history. It was also the 250th 100-yard rushing game in Fresno State history. He scored two touchdowns on the ground vs. Weber State, giving him nine career games with two rushing TDs. He now has 27 career rushing touchdowns. Currently he is tied for seventh on that school record list, but with two more rushing TDs he can move all the way up into a tie for third.
MW TEAMS IN SEASON OPENERS
Mountain West teams are 68-52 in season openers since the inception of the league in 1999. MW teams are 49-16 at home and 13-28 on the road. Below is an all-time breakdown of the Mountain West in season openers.
|San Diego State||5-9||5-5||0-4||0-0|
|^Boise State became a member of the MW in July 2011.
~Fresno State, Hawai`i and Nevada became members of the MW in July 2012.
*TCU: MW member from 2005-2011.
#BYU and Utah: MW members from 1999-2010.
Heading into the 2012 season, Colorado State, leads the Mountain West with 16 returning starters. Below is a breakdown of key returnees.
|San Diego State||13||7||6||0|
BRONCOS CONTINUE RUN IN USA TODAY / COACHES' TOP 25
Boise State, who dropped a 17-13 decision at #13 Michigan State on Friday, moved down three spots to No. 25 in the second week of the USA Today/Coaches' Top 25. The Broncos fell out of the Associated Press rankings for the first time since Sept. 14, 2008.
Despite falling out of the AP poll this week, the Broncos own the nation's second-longest streak of 63 consecutive weeks ranked in the top 25 of the Coaches' rankings, trailing Alabama by three weeks.
|Nation's Current Longest Streak in USA Today / Coaches' Top 25|
|1.||Alabama||66||Aug. 31, 2008|
|2.||Boise State||63||Sept. 21, 2008|
|4.||Oregon||46||Sept. 27, 2009|
|5.||Nebraska||37||Nov. 29, 2009|
The Mountain West has had at least one team ranked in the Coaches' Top 25 for 71 straight weeks, dating back to Nov. 18, 2007.
BOISE STATE PICKED TO CAPTURE MW TITLE
Boise State is predicted to capture the 2012 Mountain West football title. The Broncos garnered 27 first-place votes, and earned a total of 296 points in a poll of media members. Boise State posted a 12-1 overall mark in 2011, en route to top 10 rankings in the final USA Today/Coaches' (6) and Associated Press (8) polls. The Broncos return five starters from an offensive unit that ranked fifth nationally in scoring offense (44.23 ppg) last year and ninth in total offense (481.3 yards per game). Three starters return for the Boise State defense, which ranked 12th nationally in scoring defense (18.7 points per game) and 16th in total defense (320.85 yards per game) in 2011. The Broncos are led by preseason all-MW performers Mike Atkinson (DL), Mitch Burroughs (RS), Joe Kellogg (OL), Matt Miller (WR) and Jamar Taylor (DB).
|2012 Mountain West Football Predicted Order of Finish|
|Rk.||Team (first place votes)||Points|
|1.||Boise State (27)||296|
|3.||Fresno State (2)||231|
|5.||San Diego State (1)||173|
A LOOK AT THE PRESEASON PREDICTIONS
Since the MW began play in 1999, only five teams chosen by the league media to win the conference crown have actually done so. Below is a look at how the preseason poll favorite has fared in regular-season play.
|Year||Predicted Champion||Predicted Champ Finish||Actual Champion||Bowl Game|
|2011||Boise State||2nd||TCU||Las Vegas|
|2003||Colorado State||3rd||Utah||San Francisco|
|2002||Colorado State||1st||Colorado State||Liberty|
|2001||Colorado State||2nd||BYU||New Orleans|
|1999||BYU||T-1st||BYU/Colorado State/Utah||Motor City|
A LOOK AT THE 2012 MOUNTAIN WEST SCHEDULE
The 2012 Mountain West football schedule is comprised of 82 games, including 40 Conference matchups. The 2012 schedule plays out over 14 weeks and concludes Saturday, December 1.
The non-conference schedule features 15 games against teams that earned bowl berths in 2011, including BYU (two games), California, Louisiana Tech, Oregon, Michigan, Michigan State, Southern Miss, Texas (two games), Toledo, Tulsa, Utah State (two games) and Washington. Five non-conference opponents began the 2012 season ranked in the Top 25 (Coaches'/AP) - #4/1 USC, #5/5 Oregon, #8/8 Michigan, #13/13 Michigan State, and #15/15 Texas.
|Big 12:||Texas (2), Texas Tech|
|Big Ten:||Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota|
|C-USA:||Tulsa, Southern Miss|
|MAC:||Toledo, Miami (Ohio)|
|Pac-12:||California, Colorado (2), Oregon, USC, Washington, Washington State|
|Sun Belt:||South Alabama|
|WAC:||Idaho, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State, San Jose State (2), Texas State (2), Utah State (2)|
|Independent:||Army (2), BYU (2), Navy|
|FCS:||Cal Poly, Idaho State, Lamar, North Dakota, North Dakota State, Northern Arizona, Northwestern State, Southern, Weber State|
2012 MOUNTAIN WEST BOWL ARRANGEMENTS
The Mountain West has agreements to send five teams to bowl games in 2012. Since the league's inception in 1999, the Mountain West has posted a 31-20 bowl record and has captured the Bowl Challenge Cup four times in the last eight years. Over the past eight seasons, the MW owns the best win percentage in bowl games among the 11 FBS conferences with a 24-12 mark (.667). The SEC is second with a 42-22 (.656) record, followed by the Big East at 24-16 (.600) and the Big 12 at 34-28 (.548).
Below is a schedule of the Mountain West's 2012 bowl schedule:
|MAACO Las Vegas||Pac-12||Dec. 22|
|San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia||BYU||Dec. 20|
|Bell Helicopter Armed Forces||C-USA||Dec. 29|
|Gildan New Mexico||Pac-12||Dec. 15|
|Sheraton Hawai`i||C-USA||Dec. 24|
BSU IS WINNINGEST TEAM IN FBS SINCE 2002
Boise State has amassed 118 wins since the start of the 2002 season, making the Broncos the winningest team at the FBS level during that time. Below is a breakdown of the top five leaders nationally:
|MOST WINS OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS (2002-PRESENT)|
|BEST HOME RECORD SINCE 2003|
|BEST ROAD/NEUTRAL WINNING PERCENTAGE SINCE 2003|
FOUR NEW HEAD COACHES JOIN MW RANKS IN 2012
The Mountain West welcomes four new head football coaches in 2012, including three who take charge of a program for the first time in their coaching careers. Colorado State is under the direction of first-year head coach Jim McElwain, who recently completed a four-year stint as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Alabama. McElwain, a 27-year veteran of the coaching ranks, helped lead Alabama to national championships in two of the previous three seasons. Prior to overseeing the Alabama offense, McElwain served on the staffs of Fresno State (2007), Oakland Raiders (2006), Michigan State (2003-05), Louisville (2000-02), Montana State (1995-99) and Eastern Washington (1985-94). Bob Davie, who had worked as a college football analyst for ABC and ESPN since 2002, returns to the sideline at New Mexico. Prior to his television career, Davie served as defensive coordinator at Notre Dame for three years (1994-96) before taking over the program from 1997-2001. Davie went 35-25 during his five years as the Fighting Irish's head coach, leading Notre Dame to three bowl games, including the program's first-ever BCS bowl (2001 Fiesta Bowl). Tennessee Titans.
Two of the MW's three newest members are also under the guidance of first-year head coaches in Fresno State's Tim DeRuyter and Hawai`i's Norm Chow. DeRuyter comes to Fresno State with 22 years of experience, including 16 seasons as a defensive coordinator. He takes over the Bulldogs after serving the past two seasons as the assistant head coach/defensive coordinator at Texas A&M. Before coaching the Aggie defense, DeRuyter spent three years as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach at his alma mater, the Air Force Academy, and from 2005-06 was the co-defensive coordinator at Nevada. Tennessee Titans.
Chow brings 39 years of coaching experience to Hawai`i. Among his 36 years at the collegiate level, Chow spent 27 seasons at BYU, four at USC, three at UCLA, one at North Carolina State and one at his alma mater, Utah. He also spent three years at the professional level as offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans.
FIRST-YEAR COACHES IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST
Colorado State's Jim McElwain, Fresno State's Tim DeRuyter and New Mexico's Bob Davie each led their respective programs to victories in their first outings as MW head coaches. Overall, 10 coaches have secured wins in the season opener of their MW debuts, including UNLV's John Robinson (1999), BYU's Gary Crowton (2001), Utah's Urban Meyer (2003), Wyoming's Joe Glenn (2003), Utah's Kyle Whittingham (2005), Air Force's Troy Calhoun (2007) and Wyoming's Dave Christensen (2009).
The Mountain West has welcomed 16 new head coaches over the last 13 seasons. Former BYU head coach Gary Crowton posted the most wins and highest win percentage among the group with 12 victories and an .860 win percentage in his inaugural year in 2001. Seven of the 16 participated in a bowl game their first season, with Dave Christensen (2009), Steve Fairchild (2008), Kyle Whittingham (2005) and Urban Meyer (2003) earning victories in their debuts.
|Year||Name, Team||Record||Pct.||Bowl Game|
|2001||Gary Crowton, BYU||12-2||.860||Liberty|
|2003||Urban Meyer, Utah||10-2||.830||Liberty|
|2007||Troy Calhoun, Air Force||9-4||.692||Armed Forces|
|2005||Kyle Whittingham, Utah||7-5||.583||Emerald|
|2009||Dave Christensen, Wyoming||7-6||.539||New Mexico|
|2008||Steve Fairchild, Colorado State||7-6||.539||New Mexico|
|2005||Bronco Mendenhall, BYU||6-6||.500||Las Vegas|
|2009||Brady Hoke, San Diego State||4-8||.333||-|
|2003||Joe Glenn, Wyoming||4-8||.333||-|
|2002||Tom Craft, San Diego State||4-9||.310||-|
|1999||John Robinson, UNLV||3-8||.270||-|
|2006||Chuck Long, San Diego State||3-9||.250||-|
|2005||Mike Sanford, UNLV||2-9||.182||-|
|2000||Vic Koenning, Wyoming||1-10||.090||-|
|2009||Michael Locksley, New Mexico||1-11||.083||-|
|2010||Bobby Hauck, UNLV||2-11||.154||-|