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The Mountain West of primetime: Week 4 preview

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Good news if you like watching Mountain West football, which is about a hundred of us or so. Five of the conference's eight games this weekend will be on the ESPN family of networks, including one game on ABC. A sixth game will air on CBS Sports Network. A seventh game will air on Oceanic Pay-Per-View. An eighth game is UNLV versus Western Illinois.

That's a lot of primetime coverage for a conference with fewer wins over BCS schools than the FCS has. Craig Thompson is a wizard.


Recap: Tough nuts for Air Force being three games into the season and already on the outs of the conference race. Don't worry, they'll have Colorado State for company soon enough.

Remembering last week

Mountain West scoreboard.

Recap: The week's most interesting game was postponed due to water-water-everywhere, leaving us with a bunch of blowouts and a UNLV win. Hey, a UNLV win! (See below.)

Weekly Awards


Team of the Week

Wins don't come easily for the UNLV Runnin' Rebs. Case in point, UNLV won last weekend only after the biggest comeback in school history, down 21-0 to Central Michigan and scoring 31 unanswered to win 31-21. Beating a directional school might not be big news in many places, but note that a) Central Michigan was a bowl team last year (aren't we all?) and b) UNLV will absolutely take what it can get. Bobby Hauck's seat is enjoying a cool breeze for once.

Player of Last Week (PLOW)

(note: I am bad at acronyms.)

Colorado State linebacker Shaq Barrett blocked two field goals in the Rams' win over Cal Poly, and yes, it was that kind of weekend for the Mountain West when the most exciting stats were field goal blocks. Still, some people really get geeked up about field goal blocks, and those people write for The Examiner. The lead from The Examiner's story:

Shaq Barrett was ballin' out Saturday.

Holla! Don't hate the playa, hate the field goal protection scheme! Pop, pop!

This Week's Game of the Week of the Century

Utah State @ USC

The world had a good chortle at Lane Kiffin when his USC sad balloon lost 10-7 to Washington State. What is the world going to do when the Trojans get pantsed by the Chuckie Keeton All-Stars?

This one has "upset" written all over it, in permanent Sharpie. Vegas agrees and is only giving the Trojans a touchdown advantage - bettingspeak for Invest All Money Here. ABC will be carrying the game in the Western United States (ESPN elsewhere), so anyone this side of the Rockies with a TV set will be able to chortle along as Kiffin and Co. try to avoid the upset of the year.

The other games of the week

Impending blowout: Colorado State @ Alabama

Impending upset: San Jose State over Minnesota

Sneakily entertaining: Wyoming @ Air Force

Craig Thompson appointment television: Boise State @ Fresno State

Craig Thompson "guess I'll watch this if nothing else is on": Hawaii @ Nevada

Game of sighs: Oregon State @ San Diego State

Misc. games:

  • UNLV vs. Western Illinois


What the Gamecube says

At the request of nobody, I will be simulating the 2013 college football season using the best technology I have available: NCAA 08, the one with Zabransky on the cover. Expect to get some tasty nuggets of wisdom from this exercise.

This BYU team is pretty good! Harvey Unga ran roughshod over New Mexico, which was apparently a lot harder to do back in the 2000s. Game Genie update: Broken while trying to set a new high score on Crazy Taxi.

Oxymoronic Mountain West Power Poll

  1. Fresno State
  2. Utah State
  3. San Jose State
  4. Wyoming
  5. Boise State
  6. Nevada
  7. Air Force
  8. New Mexico
  9. San Diego State
  10. UNLV
  11. Hawaii
  12. Colorado State

Shaq Rankings

1. O'Neal

2. Love Shack by the B52s

3. Shake Shack

4. The Shack (a book, I'm told)

5. Shaq Thompson, UW player

6. Shaq Barrett, CSU player

Back Rankings

1. To the Future

2. The human back

3. Quarter

4. Running

5. Full

6. Factor

7. H

99. Back, back, back, back, back (Berman)

Snack Rankings

1. Churros

2. Cheez-Its

3. Nutella toast

4. Pudding

5. Nuts

1,001. Celery

Pack Rankings

1. Backpack

2. Green Bay Packers

3. SnackPack

Track Rankings

1. Fast

2. Inside

3. The right

Ack! Rankings

1. Cathy