Having finished my previews of the BCS conferences, I’ll be tackling the non-AQs in MWC, MAC and C-USA, starting with the Mountain West Conference. It’s a season of transition for the conference, with Boise State joining this season and TCU leaving next year for the Big East. Boise State’s massive matchup with Georgia next Saturday will be one of those classic AQ vs Non-AQ games and could be do wonders for Boise State’s program if they win and also the conference as a whole. The November game between them and TCU will more then likely be the de facto championship game.

Other Previews: SEC, ACC, Big 12, Pac 12, Big Ten

1) Boise State
Kellen Moore is an obvious Heisman favorite and one of the best QBs in the nation, but he will miss Titus Young and Austin Pettis at WR. Tyler Shoemaker will help with that loss, as will 1,200+ yard rusher Doug Martin. A very strong O-line will set the stage for this prolific offense. The offense might be matched by the defense, with sack artist DEs Tyrone Crawford and Shea McClellin and big tackling LBs JC Percy and Aaron Tevis to go along with a secondary that was among the best in pass defense last season.

2) TCU
Casey Pachall has a difficult task replacing Andy Dalton at QB, but has a stable of RBs and WRs to help take off some pressure, with RB Ed Wesley and WR Josh Boyce leading the way. G Kyle Dooley is the only returning starter on the O-line. DE Stansly Maponga and DT DJ Yendrey lead an incredibly tough run defense and the team returns MWC Defensive MVP LB Tank Carder. The secondary and pass defense are no slouches either.

3) Air Force
Tim Jefferson is a true dual threat QB gaining 2,200+ total yards and 25 total TDs, while RB Asher Clark gained over 1,000 yards and 5 TDs. A stout O-line paved the way for the running game. Given the run first offense, the Falcons don’t throw that often, but there is talent in the receiver group. On the flip side the team was 103rd in run defense last season. There are no real productive returners on the D-line, but a solid trio of LBs and a secondary that was 1st in pass defense will make up for that.

4) San Diego State
A team that could be a sleeper this season, the Aztecs have some offensive weapons. QB Ryan Lindley is in his 4th year as a starter, RB Ronnie Hillman ran for 1,500+ yards as a freshman and a veteran O-line will more then make up for the loss of star WRs Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson and a lack of depth at the position. LB Miles Burris and CB Leon McFadden will be all-MWC players at the end of the season, but there will be some new starters in their 3-3-5 scheme.

5) Colorado State
QB Pete Thomas and RBs Chris Nwoke and Raymond Carter are solid with room to improve, but the receiving corps and the offensive line must step up in order for the offense to be productive. That must happen because the defense will struggle. DEs CJ James and Broderick Sargent are productive and LB Mychal Sisson has all-conference talent, but the rest is questionable, including a pass defense that was among the worst in the nation.

6) Wyoming
RB Alvester Alexander is the lone bright spot on an offense that will struggle heavily with a new QB needing to be broken in and a group of unproven receivers and an unproductive O-line will not help. The D-line returns 4 starters, but did not rank well in run defense, sacks and tackles for loss. The linebackers and secondary have a few talents but will have several new starters to break in.

7) UNLV
Caleb Herring is the presumed starter at QB, but was inefficient as a backup last season, but will have a talented duo to throw to in WRs Michael Johnson and Phillip Payne. The talent of RB Tim Cornett will be mitigated by an ineffective offensive line. The defense will be among the worst in the conference and the D-line worst in the nation. There is a solid duo at CB, but no returning starters at LB.

8 ) New Mexico
The Lobos will battle UNLV for cellar dweller status in the MWC. Unproductive QB candidates BR Holbrook and Tarean Austin will battle for the starting spot. The running game and offensive line are no better, but the offense does have Lucas Reed, one of the best receiving TEs in the country. Tackling machine LB Carmen Messina is a star, but the rest of the defense isn’t. The unit was last in the nation in run defense and only slightly better in pass defense.