MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL MEDIA SUMMIT, DAY 1: BSU, SDSU picked to win divisions; three Broncos honored; Allen is top QB/offensive player

LAS VEGAS

The 2017 Mountain West Football Media Summit in Las Vegas has ended for Tuesday. The event continues Wednesday at The Cosmopolitan, featuring live interviews on KTIK 93.1 FM The Ticket with Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien (1:15 p.m. MT), defensive lineman David Moa (1:30 p.m.) and head coach Bryan Harsin (2 p.m.). Follow KTIK.com starting Wednesday morning for all the day’s news and interviews as Jeff Caves and Bob Behler focus on coaches and players in the MW Mountain Division (BSU, Colorado State, Wyoming, Air Force, New Mexico and Utah State).

2:30 P.M. TUESDAY: BONUS INTERVIEWS WITH RYPIEN/MOA, CRAIG THOMPSON, THE CFP BOSS AND KELLY STOUFFER

  • Boise State’s official day with the media is Wednesday in Las Vegas, but Caves and Behler caught up with junior quarterback Brett Rypien (left) and junior defensive tackle David Moa (right) on Tuesday. Rypien said he isn’t concerned that Wyoming’s Josh Allen was named preseason Offensive Player of the Year. “It’s just a preseason watch list,” he said. Interview here
  • Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson on bowl games, baseball at Boise State and how streaming platforms can affect media rights in the future. Interview here
  • College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock said the CFP board of directors has no desire to expand beyond four teams. Interview here
  • ESPN/ABC analyst Kelly Stouffer thinks year three could be a special season for Brett Rypien. Interview here

3:45 P.M.: LINKS TO PLAYER INTERVIEWS WITH CAVES & BEHLER

  • Fresno State senior defensive end Nathan Madsen (pictured above, left) and junior wide receiver KeeSean Johnson (right) discuss the change in attitude under new coach Jeff Tedford. Interview here
  • San Diego State senior running back/return specialist Rashaad Penny and senior cornerback Kameron Kelly talk about playing with expectations of winning another Mountain West title. Interview here
  • San Jose State senior cornerback Andre Chachere, senior offensive lineman Nate Velichko and the Spartans’ plans to run the ball down opponents throats and throw it downfield. Listen here

1:30 P.M.: LINKS TO COACH INTERVIEWS WITH CAVES & BEHLER

  • Hawaii coach Nick Rolovich (pictured above) has never beaten Boise State as a player or coach: Interview here
  • Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford admits that he’s not a patient person. Interview here
  • UNLV coach Tony Sanchez says the Rebels have not started a season 2-0 since 1999 – “that’s a long time.” Interview here
  • San Diego State coach Rocky Long says Aztecs will have a big target on their back this season. Interview here
  • San Jose State coach Brent Brennan has opened practices to the public and even brings in a DJ for entertainment. Interview here
  • Nevada coach Jay Norvell has run the no-huddle offense for more than a decade. Expect an uptempo Wolf Pack offense this season. Interview here

11 A.M.: COMMISSIONER ON THE STATE OF THE MOUNTAIN WEST

Five observations from Craig Thompson’s address …

  • League will focus on student-athlete discipline and sportsmanship in 2017-18. “Maybe we change. Maybe we become more lenient. We probably lead the country in the number of public and private reprimands. … Is that enough?”
  • Disappointed men’s basketball season in 2016-17 leads to conversations about better scheduling. “We’ve been disappointed in our results the last couple years.” He wants multiple NCAA bids. The conference board is now involved in men’s basketball scheduling.
  • Thompson welcomed Boise State baseball to the league, once it becomes official.
  • No plans to expand conference membership.
  • Working on improving the league’s bowl situation after the loss of the Poinsettia.
  • Complete interview here: https://www.facebook.com/MountainWestConference/

9 A.M.: BOISE STATE UPDATE: THREE BRONCOS HONORED

Boise State was picked to win the Mountain West’s Mountain Division for the seventh consecutive year, and the Broncos had three players voted to the Preseason All-Mountain West Team, the conference announced Tuesday in Las Vegas.

The Broncos received 21-of-28 first-place votes to top the six Mountain Division programs with 161 points. Colorado State got six first-place votes and 135 points to come second while Wyoming tallied the remaining first-place vote and came out with 114 points. Air Force (82 points), New Mexico (68) and Utah State (28) rounded out the division poll.

San Diego State is the unanimous pick to top the West Division, followed by Hawaii (135), UNLV (105), Nevada (79), San Jose State (54) and Fresno State (47).

Redshirt senior center Mason Hampton, a Mountain West honorable mention player last year, was the lone Bronco voted by the conference’s media contingent to the preseason all-conference team offense. On the defensive side, redshirt junior defensive tackle David Moa (pictured above), a first-team all-conference selection a year ago, was joined by junior cornerback Tyler Horton.

Boise State, which went 10-3 overall and 6-2 in conference play last season, opens Saturday, Sept. 2 at 1:45 p.m. against Troy at Albertsons Stadium.

8:15 A.M.: TWO WYOMING COWBOYS ARE PRESEASON PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

Wyoming junior quarterback Josh Allen was named Preseason Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, and teammate Andrew Wingard, a junior defensive back, is the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny, a two-time MW Special Teams Player of the Year (2015-16), garnered Preseason MW Special Teams Player of the Year honors.

The All-Mountain West Team was announced Tuesday at the league’s annual Media Summit at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The team, as selected by members of the media, features 14 student-athletes who were All-MW selections in 2016. The 25-member squad is comprised of 14 seniors, 10 juniors and one sophomore.

Allen enters the 2017 campaign as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. In his first full season with the Cowboys, he threw for 3,203 yards and 28 touchdowns, while rushing for 523 yards, on his way to earning second team All-MW honors. The 28 passing touchdowns led the conference and ranked 20th nationally. Allen led Wyoming to the 2016 Mountain West Championship Game and an appearance in the Poinsettia Bowl. During the past week, Allen has been named to the preseason watch lists for the Maxwell Award and Davey O’Brien Award.

Wingard, who earned first-team all-conference honors in 2016, enters his junior season as the nation’s leader in career solo tackles per game (6.08). Last year, he led the MW and was tied for fourth nationally with 131 tackles. Wingard also registered 7.5 tackles for loss, including two sacks, and had two interceptions. Last week, Wingard was named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Paycom Jim Thorpe Award and Bednarik Award preseason watch lists.

Penny returned 20 kicks in 2016 for an average of 31.2 yards despite being kicked away from most of the year. This average ranked fourth in the nation and led the league. He also ranked No. 2 nationally in kick return touchdowns with two. Last week, Penny was named to the Paul Hornung Award watch List.

2017 Mountain West Football Preseason All-Conference Team
OFFENSE
QB Josh Allen** Jr. Wyoming
WR Michael Gallup* Sr. Colorado State
WR Devonte Boyd Sr. UNLV
RB Rashaad Penny* Sr. San Diego State
RB Tyrone Owens Jr. New Mexico
OL Jake Bennett** Sr. Colorado State
OL Austin Corbett** Sr. Nevada
OL Dejon Allen** Sr. Hawaii
OL Aaron Jenkins Jr. New Mexico
OL Mason Hampton Sr. Boise State
TE David Wells** Sr. San Diego State
DEFENSE
DL David Moa* Jr. Boise State
DL Malik Reed** Jr. Nevada
DL Garrett Hughes* Sr. New Mexico
DL Mike Hughes, Jr. Sr. UNLV
LB Jahlani Tavai* Jr. Hawaii
LB Logan Wilson So. Wyoming
LB Frank Ginda Jr. San Jose State
DB Andrew Wingard* Jr. Wyoming
DB Andre Chachere* Sr. San Jose State
DB Tyler Horton Jr. Boise State
DB Trayvon Henderson Sr. Hawaii
SPECIALISTS
P Michael Carrizosa Sr. San Jose State
PK John Baron II* Jr. San Diego State
RET Rashaad Penny* Sr. San Diego State
Offensive Player of the Year:
Josh Allen, Jr., QB, Wyoming
Defensive Player of the Year:
Andrew Wingard, Jr., DB, Wyoming
Special Teams Player of the Year:
Rashaad Penny, Sr., KR, San Diego State
*Member of the 2016 All-Mountain West first team
** Member of the 2016 All-Mountain West second team

8 A.M.: PREDICTED TEAM FINISH: BSU, SDSU WILL WIN DIVISION TITLES

Boise State is predicted to win the Mountain Division, and two-time defending Mountain West champion San Diego State is predicted to win the West Division title, based on preseason polls announced Tuesday at the annual Mountain West Football Media Summit at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Boise State, which has been predicted to win the Mountain Division the last four seasons, finished 2016 with a 6-2 conference record. The Broncos received 21 of a possible 28 first-place votes and earned 161 points. Fourth-year head coach Bryan Harsin returns nine starters, including five on offense and four on defense.

San Diego State is a unanimous first-place pick in the West Division for the second consecutive year, garnering all 28 first-place votes and 168 total points. The Aztecs are the first team in MW history to be selected as a unanimous divisional champion in back-to-back seasons. SDSU posted a 6-2 league record in 2016 to capture the West Division. They defeated Wyoming in the 2016 Mountain West Football Championship Game, 27-24, before defeating Houston 34-10 in the Las Vegas Bowl. Coach Rocky Long returns 14 starters, including 1,000-yard rusher and one of the nation’s top returners in Rashaad Penny.

Colorado State received six first-place votes and 135 points for second place in the Mountain Division, with Wyoming’s 114 total points and one first-place vote good for third place. Air Force (82), New Mexico (68) and Utah State (28) round out the Mountain Division poll.

This is the first time since 2005 that Wyoming has earned a first-place vote in the preseason media poll.

Hawaii picked up 135 total points, good for second place in the West Division. UNLV was third with 105 points, followed by Nevada (79), San Jose State (54) and Fresno State (47).

The two divisional winners will meet in the MW Championship Game on Dec. 2, 2017 at the home stadium of the divisional champion with the highest College Football Playoff Committee ranking.

Mountain Division
RANK TEAM (FIRST-PLACE VOTES) POINTS
1. Boise State (21) 161
2. Colorado State (6) 135
3. Wyoming (1) 114
4. Air Force 82
5. New Mexico 68
6. Utah State 28
West Division
RANK TEAM (FIRST-PLACE VOTES) POINTS
1. San Diego State (28) 168
2. Hawaii 135
3. UNLV 105
4. Nevada 79
5. San Jose State 54
6. Fresno State 47

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