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Mountain West Conference

One of the few conferences in the nation to expand by only one team or not lose several teams to other conferences, the Mountain West Conference will provide excellent football. However, even with the addition of Texas Christian, the conference will have great difficulty to match last years first BCS Bowl game. Utah had an impressive win the Fiesta Bowl and enters this years contest with one of the longest win streaks.2005 Predicted Order to Finish.

1. NEW MEXICO
With the return of the all time rushing leader, Dontrell Moore and the top quarterback, Kole Mckamey, the lobos should win the conference. Also taken into consideration is the return of six defensive starters. Leading the conference with seven sacks last season, nose tackle Marcus Parker is planning on continuing to lead the defense.

2. UTAH
Utah returns six offensive unit starters and five defensive players. The offensive will be led by quarterback Brian Johnson with Quinton Ganther the main target for Brian. Three outstanding returning defensive unit players are defensive lineman Steve Fifita, linebacker Spencer Toone and defensive back Eric Weddle. Even with all this returning talent, the Utes have a lot of gaps to fill.3.

WYOMING
With a 2004 victory over UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl and a 7-5 season, the Cowboys want to duplicate 2004. They are counting on returning quarterback Corey Bramlet and wide receiver Jovon Bouknight. They might even be able to gain the conference title.4.

BRIGNAM YOUNG
There are several gaps in the Cougars' team that need to be filled. They do have a steady quarterback in John Beck with wide receiver Todd Watkins to help shore up the offense. On defense, linebacker Camerson Jensen will lead an improving defensive unit. With good effort by all the players, not just the stars, they may be in the top half of their conference.5.

SAN DEGIO STATE
With Matt Dlugolecki and Kelvin O'Connell sharing the quarterback duties and Jeff Webb as their target at wide receiver, the Aztecs will have a good start on the offensive unit. Jeff had at least one reception in the last 21 games. Also, coming off injuries will be Lynell Hamilton to help get the team rolling in the right direction.6. TEXAS CHRISTIAN
New comer TCU hopes to improve on their 2004 season and might have decent chance of doing that. They have Cory Rodgers, an impressive receiver and kick return specialist, with the ability to be a member of the All-Conference team.

Running back Lonta Hobbs is back and if he can stay healthy, will be another impresive clog in the offensive machine.7. COLORADO STATE
With quarterback Justin Holland leading 18 returning starters, the offense looks to be solid. Justin seems to be the key to the success of the offense. After his injury in the seventh game last season, the whole offense fell apart. The main area of concern for 2005 is the defense, even though safety Ben Straton will be outstanding at his position.

8. AIR FORCE
The Falcons have one reason for optimism in quarterback Shaun Carney. He set the single-season record for completion percentage of 61.

1 as a freshman. Depending on how well he recovered from off season knee surgery, Denny Polland is a top notch defensive player.9.

UNLV
The Rebels have a long way to go. Alvin Marshall is the team's top receiver and player on offense, but the quarterback, Shane Steichen, has been less than accurate at all times. Defensive back Joe Miklos is a stand fast defensive back but like Marshall can't handle the entire job without help.

.

Garth Belkins is the senior sports writer for 365SportsNews.com.

By: Garth Belkin



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