No. 16: San Fresno Boise

Geronimo! This is a rip-cord bailout choice but I just couldn’t differentiate a No. 16 from among the deep Mountain West pool of San Diego State\ Fresno State\Boise State. I like ONE of these schools, however, to supplant Central Florida as this year’s Group of 5 conference darlings.

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I suppose this is how Neapolitan ice cream got started.

Let’s consider: these schools combined to finish 31-10 record in 2017 with a 3-2 record against the Pac 12, one of those defeats being Boise State’s triple OT loss at Washington State.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

San Diego State swept Stanford AND Arizona State last year and has a chance to double up against the same schools again. Boise State avenged its nasty Wazzu defeat by taking down Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl. The only stinker performance against the Pac was Fresno State’s 48-16 loss at Washington (no shame there).

Here’s where it gets tricky: San Diego State lost at home to Boise last year, while Fresno State split with the Shiny Blue Turfs in consecutive weekend meetings on Nov. 25 and Dec. 2 (don’t ask).

Privately, in my darkest hour, I think San Diego State rates best among the three schools but the Aztecs have to play at Boise and Fresno this year.

Our mighty MW amalgam returns all of its starting coaches (Rocky Long, Jeff Tedford, Bryan Harsin) and quarterbacks (Christian Chapman, Marcus McMaryion, Brett Rypien).

San Diego State loses star tailback Rashaad Penny but simply inserts plug-and-play junior Juwan Washington, who has quietly gained 1,200 yards in his career.

What I like most about Murder West Inc. is the early non-conference firepower that could propel one, two or three of the schools into the early water-cooler conversation.

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San Diego State opens at Stanford on Aug. 31 and hosts Arizona State on Sept. 15; Fresno plays at Minnesota and UCLA before summer officially ends while Boise State could set off a wild-cat strike with a win at Oklahoma State on Sept. 15.

Our Sgt. mid-majors will need to make national hay early before the resumption of Mountain West play emasculates their collective worthiness as it sucks the life out of their computer rankings and SOS (es). Imagine the conference-room snickers as the College Football Selection examines SD State’s schedule stretch of San Jose State, at Nevada, at New Mexico and UNLV?

It will be at precisely that moment the committee moves Mississippi State into the ranking in appreciation of Hail State holding Alabama to 55 in a 45-point loss.[/membership]

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