Mountain West: Power Rankings

Jamaal Franklin with a huge week

The Aztecs remain at the No. 1 spot in the second edition of the Mountain West Conference Power Rankings by AztecReport.com...

Second edition of the MWC Power Rankings by AztecReport.com.

1. San Diego State (14-2, 2-0)

This week: Home vs. UNLV (Wednesday) and at Wyoming (Saturday).

This past week the Aztecs started conference play with victories over Fresno State (3) and Colorado State (7 in OT). It doesn't get any easier for SDSU with the Runnin' Rebels coming into Viejas then make the long journey to Laramie, Wyoming.

"It will be as hard as any two game swing in the country," SDSU head coach Steve Fisher said of the two games this week.

SDSU forward Jamaal Franklin was named Mountain West co-Player of the Week along with New Mexico big man Alex Kirk.

2. New Mexico (15-2, 2-0)

This week: At Boise State (Wednesday).

No one in the Mountain West had a more impressive week than the Lobos. New Mexico defeated UNLV then blew out Fresno State. Large reason for their success was Alex Kirk.

"He [Alex Kirk] has been tremendous obviously," New Mexico head coach Steve Alford said. "You watch him on tape you see him continue to get better and better. Him and Bairstow both give us legit threats in that four-five position. Not just on the perimeter but in the post. Their development has been essential and big part of the reason why we are 15-2."

3. UNLV (14-3, 1-1)

This week: At San Diego State (Wednesday) and at Colorado State (Saturday).

Struggle. Best way to describe the first week of conference play for the Rebels. UNLV lost at New Mexico then squeaked away with an overtime victory against Air Force. Things don't get any easier. The team will travel to SDSU and CSU; both teams are a combined 17-0 at home this season.

"I think it's just a matter of defensive boards and valuing the ball," UNLV head coach Dave Rice said. "I think the formula for winning games on the road is quite frankly no different than it is at home."

4. Boise State (13-2, 1-0)

This week: Home vs. New Mexico (Wednesday) and at Air Force (Saturday).

What a roller coaster week for the Broncos as they had four of their top seven players suspended. The four were reinstated after the buzzer beater victory at Wyoming. Things are looking up for a team that challenged Michigan State in East Lansing and won at Creighton.

"I think they are healthy," Steve Alford explained the improvement of Boise State. "Leon [Rice] and his staff have done a terrific job with this team. The more I watch them on tape, the more and more concerns I have. They play extremely hard on both ends of the floor. They obviously shoot the ball as well as anyone in our league."

5. Colorado State (13-3, 0-1)

This week: Home vs. Air Force (Wednesday) and vs. UNLV (Saturday).

Colorado State had one game last week an overtime loss to SDSU that the Rams had a chance to win but couldn't get over the hump. They'll play at home twice this week.

"We have to change the culture here at Colorado State, I'm not sure if the players expected to come out here [SDSU] and win or not, but not being able to finish out the game is not how we're going to win games," Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy said after the loss to SDSU on Saturday. "We're used to this and this is what we've accepted and it's no longer acceptable. It starts with me obviously – I haven't been able to get the team over the hump."

6. Wyoming (14-1, 1-1)

This week: At Fresno State (Wednesday) and vs. San Diego State (Saturday).

It will be a challenging week for the Cowboys who lost second leading scorer Luke Martinez to suspension. The indefinite ruling came from a bar fight incident that broke the hand of the senior.

7. Air Force (9-5, 1-1)

This week: At Colorado State (Wednesday) and vs. Boise State (Saturday).

Litmus test for the Falcons with two large challenges upcoming. First they will have to recover from the heartbreaking loss to UNLV.

"I think discouraged because it was a game that you had an opportunity to win," Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich said of the overtime loss to UNLV. "We had the ball both in regulation and overtime to win the game but it just didn't happen. We talked about one more play. If we just would have made one more play… We would have left Vegas with a win."

8. Nevada (9-7, 0-2)

This week: At Fresno State (Saturday).

The Wolf Pack got off to a bad start in conference play with non-competitive loss at Air Force and a home loss against Wyoming. Expectations were high for Nevada coming into the season but the lack of size inside has hurt. Road game at Fresno State is already a must win game for UNR.

9. Fresno State (6-9, 0-2)

This week: Home vs. Wyoming (Wednesday) and vs. Nevada (Saturday).

The Bulldogs did not bounce back well after the close loss to SDSU by losing to New Mexico by 27. They will welcome in Wyoming and Nevada this week. Would be a hell of week if Fresno State can move to .500 in conference play by weeks end.

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