Mountain West Football Press Release Week No. 2

air force Air Force at #8/8 Michigan
Saturday, Sept. 8 | 3:30 p.m. ET
Michigan Stadium (109,901) | Ann Arbor, Mich.
TV: ABC/ESPN2 | Satellite Radio: SIRIUS & XM 85; American Forces Network
Series: MICH - 1-0 | Last meeting: 1964, MICH 24-7

USF South Florida at Nevada
Saturday, Sept. 8 | 12:30 p.m. PT
Mackay Stadium (29,993) | Reno, Nev.
TV: CBS Sports Network
Series: First meeting

Toledo Toledo at Wyoming
Saturday, Sept. 8 | 2 p.m MT
War Memorial Stadium (29,181) | Laramie, Wyo.
Series: WYO - 1-0 | Last meeting: 2010, WYO 20-15

Fresno State Fresno State at #5/5 Oregon
Saturday, Sept. 8 | 3:30 p.m. PT
Autzen Stadium (54,000) | Eugene, Ore.
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Series: ORE - 6-2 | Last meeting: 2007, ORE 52-21

North Dakota State North Dakota State at Colorado State
Saturday, Sept. 8 | 5 p.m. MT
Hughes Stadium (32,500) | Fort Collins, Colo.
Series: First meeting
colorado state

Army Army at San Diego State
Saturday, Sept. 8 | 4:30 p.m. PT
Qualcomm Stadium (54,000 | San Diego, Calif.
TV: NBC Sports Network
Series: SDSU - 1-0 | Last meeting: 2011, SDSU 23-20
san diego state

new mexico New Mexico at #15/15 Texas
Saturday, Sept. 8 | 7 p.m. CT
Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (100,119) | Austin, Texas
TV: Longhorn Network | Satellite Radio: SIRIUS 93 / XM 197
Series: UT - 2-0 | Last meeting: 1988, UT 47-0

Northern Arizona Northern Arizona at UNLV
Saturday, Sept. 8 | 7 p.m. PT
Sam Boyd Stadium (36,800) | Las Vegas, Nev.
Series: UNLV - 5-2 | Last meeting: 1992, UNLV 40-7

Boise State Idle: #25/RV Boise State
Next game: Sat., Sept. 15 vs. Miami (Ohio)
2 p.m. MT | NBC Sports Network

Hawai`i Idle: Hawai`i
Next game: Sat., Sept. 15 vs. Lamar
6 p.m. HT | Oceanic PPV/ROOT SPORTS

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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 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.

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.

Team Overall Home Road Neutral
Air Force 10-4 10-2 0-1 0-1
Boise State^ 1-1 0-0 0-1 1-0
Colorado State 7-7 1-0 3-2 3-5
Fresno State~ 1-0 1-0 0-0 0-0
Hawai`i~ 0-1 0-0 0-1 0-0
Nevada~ 1-0 0-0 1-0 0-0
New Mexico 4-10 4-4 0-6 0-0
San Diego State 5-9 5-5 0-4 0-0
UNLV 6-8 4-3 2-5 0-0
Wyoming 9-5 9-0 0-4 0-1
BYU# 9-3 8-1 0-1 1-1
TCU* 6-1 1-0 4-1 1-0
Utah# 9-3 6-1 3-2 0-0
Totals 68-52 49-16 13-28 6-8
^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.

Team Total Off. Def. Spec.
Air Force 7 3 2 2
Boise State 11 5 3 3
Colorado State 16 8 8 0
Fresno State 15 7 7 1
Hawai`i 13 6 4 3
Nevada 13 6 6 1
New Mexico 15 8 5 2
San Diego State 13 7 6 0
UNLV 15 8 5 2
Wyoming 13 5 7 1

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
Rk. Team Weeks Ranked Started
1. Alabama 66 Aug. 31, 2008
2. Boise State 63 Sept. 21, 2008
3. LSU 50 Preseason 2009
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 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
2. Nevada 244
3. Fresno State (2) 231
4. Wyoming 213
5. San Diego State (1) 173
6. Air Force 170
7. Hawai`i 116
8. Colorado State 111
9. UNLV 63
10. New Mexico 33

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
2012 Boise State ??? ??? ???
2011 Boise State 2nd TCU Las Vegas
2010 TCU 1st TCU Rose
2009 TCU 1st TCU Fiesta
2008 BYU 3rd Utah Las Vegas
2007 TCU 5th BYU Las Vegas
2006 TCU 2nd BYU Las Vegas
2005 Utah T-5th TCU Houston
2004 Utah 1st Utah Fiesta
2003 Colorado State 3rd Utah San Francisco
2002 Colorado State 1st Colorado State Liberty
2001 Colorado State 2nd BYU New Orleans
2000 Utah T-5th Colorado State None
1999 BYU T-1st BYU/Colorado State/Utah Motor City

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 East: USF
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

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:

Bowl vs. Date
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

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:

Rk. Team Wins
1. Boise State 118
2. USC 110
3. Oklahoma 109
4. LSU 106
5. TCU 103

Rk. Team W-L Pct.
1. Boise State 54-2 .964
  Oklahoma 54-2 .964
3. TCU 48-5 .906
4. Ohio State 58-7 .892
5. USC 49-6 .891
  LSU 57-7 .891

Rk. Team W-L Pct.
1. USC 50-10 .833
2. Boise State 48-12 .800
3. Texas 46-13 .780
4. TCU 45-15 .750
  LSU 42-14 .750

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.

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 -