Boise State Still Tops in a Quarterback’s League
Whether it’s the Mountain or West division, the Mountain West is a quarterback’s conference. Five quarterbacks ranked in the national top 17 of total offense in 2012.
Fresno State’s Derek Carr and San Jose State’s David Fales are top NFL prospects. Wyoming’s Brett Smith, Utah State’s Chuckie Keeton and Nevada’s Cody Fajardo could contend for all-conference credentials in many leagues.
In fact, Keeton already did. He was co-first team All-WAC when that league went out in a blaze of glory. And Fajardo, who had more total yards per game than any of them (325.6 per game) was second team All-Mountain West last year.
In any other year, a returning starter at Boise State (Joe Southwick) would merit all-conference consideration. Not in the 2013 Mountain West.
“It’s impressive. It makes it tough on defensive coordinators,” said Fresno State second-year coach Tim DeRuyter.
He credits the league with developing the two- and three-star recruits passed over by some of the usual college powers.
And, yes, something does look different this year.
The original eight-school loop now has a conference championship game and two six-school divisions. The MW swooped in on San Jose State and Utah State from the WAC, coincidentally having breakout years, when Boise State and San Diego State briefly plotted geographically outrageous Big East membership.
The immediate strength is in the West with Fresno State and San Jose State closely followed by San Diego State and Nevada. On the other side, it’s everyone chasing established Boise State.
“It’s cyclical,” Colorado State coach Jim McElwain said of the apparent division imbalance. “Coming from the SEC, there’s a certain side that maybe has the best teams, but five years ago it might not have been that way.”
Similarly, DeRuyter, with prior stints as an AFA player and assistant, said the Mountain division was the stronger one a decade ago.
Boise State has proven its staying power as the only FBS school to win at least 10 games a year since 2006. The blue-carpet boys are still drawing mostly two- or three-star prospects on Signing Day, but Chris Petersen cranks out NFL draft picks. Seven Broncos have been taken in the first two rounds since 2006.
In a rebuilding year on offense, Boise State stayed in the fray last season with defense. Even with all the star power at quarterback, DeRuyter said, “There are some quality defenses. It’s what Boise State has done. It’s what Rocky (Long) is doing at San Diego State. We’re making strides.”
All those quarterbacks will showcase their talents with the league marking its return to ESPN this fall.
|OFFENSE – FIRST TEAM||OFFENSE – SECOND TEAM|
|QB||Derek Carr||Sr.||Fresno State||QB||David Fales||Sr.||San Jose State|
|RB||Adam Muema||Jr.||San Diego State||RB||Jon Lee||Jr.||Air Force|
|RB||Kasey Carrier||Sr.||New Mexico||RB||Tim Cornett||Sr.||UNLV|
|WR||Davante Adams||So.||Fresno State||WR||Matt Miller||Jr.||Boise State|
|WR||Noel Grigsby||Sr.||San Jose State||WR||Brandon Wimberly||Sr.||Nevada|
|TE||Marcel Jensen||Sr..||Fresno State||TE||Crockett Gillmore||Sr.||Colorado State|
|C||Tyler Larsen||Sr.||Utah State||C||Weston Richburg||Sr.||Colorado State|
|OL||Austin Wentworth||Sr.||Fresno State||OL||Charles Leno||Sr.||Boise State|
|OL||Eric Schultz||Sr.||Utah State||OL||Joe Bitonio||Sr.||Nevada|
|OL||Matt Paradis||Sr.||Boise State||OL||Ben Clark||So.||Hawaii|
|OL||Nicholas Kaspa||Sr.||San Jose State||OL||Robert Waterman||Jr.||UNLV|
|AP||Colin Lockett||Sr.||San Diego State||AP||Chase Clayton||Jr.||New Mexico|
|PK||Nolan Kohorst||Sr.||UNLV||PK||Jared Roberts||Jr.||Colorado State|
|DEFENSE – FIRST TEAM||DEFENSE – SECOND TEAM|
|DL||Demarcus Lawrence||Jr.||Boise State||DL||Tavita Woodard||Sr.||Hawaii|
|DL||Tyeler Davison||Jr.||Fresno State||DL||Shaquil Barrett||Sr.||Colorado State|
|DL||Brock Hekking||Jr.||Nevada||DL||Sam Meredith||Jr.||San Diego State|
|DL||Travis Raciti||Jr.||San Jose State||DL||Andy Jennings||Sr.||Fresno State|
|LB||Jake Doughty||Sr.||Utah State||LB||Cory James||So.||Colorado State|
|LB||Jake Fely||Jr.||San Diego State||LB||Dallas Bollema||Sr.||New Mexico|
|LB||Keith Smith||Sr.||San Jose State||LB||Derek Largent||Jr.||San Diego State|
|DB||Derron Smith||Jr.||Fresno State||DB||Blair Burns||Jr.||Wyoming|
|DB||Bene Benwikere||Sr.||San Jose State||DB||Christian Spears||Jr.||Air Force|
|DB||Nate Berhe||Sr.||San Diego State||DB||Sean Alston||Jr.||Fresno State|
|DB||L.J. Jones||Sr.||Fresno State||DB||Jeremy Ioane||So.||Boise State|
|P||Ben Skaer||Sr.||New Mexico||P||Seamus McMorrow||So.||San Diego State|