2022 Mountain West College Football Championship Prediction

@FresnoStateFB on Twitter

2022 Mountain West College Football Championship Prediction

Football

2022 Mountain West College Football Championship Prediction

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@FresnoStateFB on Twitter

The Mountain West is very top-heavy and two teams stand out quickly in Fresno State and Boise State. It’s honestly the two teams’ conference to lose but we could see San Diego State and Wyoming try to push one of them out and take a spot in the Mountain West Championship Game. Fresno State has some legitimate NFL Draft talent and so does Boise State. Both teams are going to be good and right now not only are they the powerhouses but they are also the clear front runners, as mentioned.

Fresno State: They are an elite offensive team. They had the number one offense in the Mountain West last year and remain pretty consistent with Jake Haener still leading the team and Jordan Mims in the backfield. The Bulldogs have an elite wide receiver core with Jalen Cropper coming off an 85 reception, 899 yards, 11 touchdown season and followed by big play threat Josh Kelly who had 778 yards and five touchdowns on only 52 receptions last year. They also bring in Nikko Remigio, who had 97 receptions for California last year rounding out the strong trio. Fresno State does have some questions on their offensive line but it’s mainly led by the fifth-year left tackle Dontae Bull, who has some great film vs top pass rushers in the nation. 

Defensively, not much stands out other than their secondary featuring Cale Sanders, Cam Lockridge, and Bralyn Lux at corner. Along with Elijah Gates and Evan Williams at safety, both of which will potentially be NFL Draft picks and form a great tandem deep. The pass rush does have some questions but it’s mainly built off experience with the current five projected starters all being graduate students. Fresno State has a good roster but there are questions, the defense isn’t going to win them games but their offense is strong enough to make up for it and should rank in the top 25 nationwide. 

Boise State: Boise State should probably be in the Pac-12 by now. They have a great roster led by senior quarterback Hank Bachmeier, who is drawing some NFL interest also. He has a great top tight end in Riley Smith. The receiving room that features Billy Bowens, Stefan Cobbs, and Davis Koetter is a question mark. Cobbs is the clear leader here coming off a season that saw him put up 421 yards and five touchdowns on 34 receptions, however, his biggest issue is when it comes to health as he only played in eight games last year. Their offensive line is great, featuring a ton of talent but they can’t make up for the lack of talent at wide receiver and running back. Boise State’s offense has some questions to answer and it’s likely going to rely on Bachmeier making a ton of plays, especially with Riley Smith at tight end. Despite this, the Broncos’ best area is easily the defense. 

Cortez Hogans is trending up after an eight-sack season and an interior focus of Jackson Cravens and Scott Matlock is insane. Both ranked top 15 in the nation when it came to run stops and Matlock also added an impressive 4.5 sacks. At the second level, it’s headlined by Caleb Biggers who’s coming off a season that saw him record 34 tackles, two sacks, and five pass breakups in 10 games. The biggest focus comes in their secondary, with Tyric LeBeauf allowing only a 34.5% completion rate. In addition, the safety duo of Tyreque Jones and JL Skinner are great all-around safeties that can defend the run insanely well. 

The Mountain West is fun, there are really only four teams that can compete, and we’ll have to see how it works out. Fresno State has an impressive offense that has a ton of upside to keep growing and only get better while Boise State has a lot of talent on defense. I think Fresno State pulls away this year and not only finds themselves in the top 25 in the nation but also easily wins the conference. 

Winner: Fresno State

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