National media predicting middle-of-the-pack finish for USU football | Sports

Preseason rankings and predictions are gradually coming out, with preseason all-conference team season already underway and awards watch list season visible on the horizon.

To that end, it’s worth taking a look at what some of the national outlets predict for the order of finish in the Mountain West and Utah State specifically. The three examined here from Kelley Ford, Phil Steele, and Bill Connelly.

All three project USU roughly in the middle but with some variance, none actually have the Aggies in the exact same spot in a projected order of finish. The theme is the same though, Utah State is not expected to be among the best and has a lot of room to improve in the eyes of the national media.

Kelley Ford (K-Ford Ratings)

This is the projected order of finish in the MW standings from Kelley Ford, the number in parenthesis is the average number of conference wins (out of seven possible) according to the model used.

  1. Boise State (5.9)
  2. Fresno State (5.2)
  3. Air Force (4.3)
  4. Wyoming (4.0)
  5. UNLV (3.8)
  6. Utah State (3.3)
  7. San Diego State (3.2)
  8. Colorado State (3.2)
  9. San Jose State (3.0)
  10. Hawaii (2.9)
  11. Nevada (1.7)
  12. New Mexico (1.6)

Ford’s model also produced percent chances at various conference win totals. Here are the various percent chances at each conference record, from 0-7 up to 7-0.

  • 7-0: 0%
  • 6-1: 3%
  • 5-2: 12%
  • 4-3: 27%
  • 3-4: 31%
  • 2-5: 20%
  • 1-6: 6%
  • 0-7: 1%

Phil Steele

Steele’s annual preseason preview magazine has recently gone to press and with it the release of his predicted order of finish. Although Steele often lists his prediction to include ties (for instance he has four teams in the Mountain West tied at fourth), there is still a 1-12 ranking and this will be a reflection of that.

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

The Aggies come in one spot lower as Steele is a little more optimistic about Colorado State than Ford is, though for what it’s worth this is where the aforementioned four-team tie is found. Steele lists Fresno State, Wyoming, Colorado State and Utah State all as T-4th.


While ESPN does not have a specific prediction for order of finish, one can be extrapolated from Bill Connely’s SP+ rankings, though this shouldn’t be taken as a true prediction (case in point, the above K-Ford Ratings have UNLV as the third-best team in a vacuum, but have them finishing fifth due to strength of schedule).

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

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