Mountain West rankings: Air Force seeking Colorado ‘championship’ |

Mountain West rankings: Air Force seeking Colorado ‘championship’

Joe Santoro
For the Nevada Appeal
Benjamin Waters during an NCAA football game on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019 in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Bart Young)
AP | FR171305 AP

The Air Force Falcons are one step closer to ruling the state of Colorado.

“We want to be the kings of Colorado,” Air Force running back Kadin Remsberg said after last Saturday’s 30-23 overtime win against the Colorado Buffaloes.

Remsberg scored on the first play of overtime, outracing the Colorado defense down the right sideline. Remsberg’s touchdown allowed the Falcons, now 2-0, to take the biggest jump in the Nevada Appeal Mountain West rankings this week, leaping five spots to No. 3.

“We viewed this (the win over Colorado) as a state championship game,” Air Force quarterback Donald Hammond said. “All we have to do now is beat Colorado State (on Nov. 16) and we run the state.”

Before this year all three major college football teams in the state of Colorado (Colorado, Colorado State, Air Force) have met each other in the same season only once. That was 1958 when Air Force beat Colorado (20-14) and Colorado State (36-6) and Colorado State beat Colorado 15-14. This past Saturday was the first game between Air Force and Colorado since 1974 while Colorado and Colorado State did not meet from 1959-1982.

Colorado beat Colorado State 52-31 two weeks to start this year’s mock Colorado state championship.

Air Force’s win over Colorado is its first win on the road against a Pac-12 team since it beat California in 2002

Remsberg, who rushed for 146 yards (Air force ran for 289 yards), had a good feeling on his touchdown run in overtime immediately after he took the pitch from Hammond.

“I knew,” Remsberg said. “Touchdown.”

The Air Force players dedicated Saturday’s win to all of the Air Force players who did not get a chance to play Colorado from 1975 through last year.

“It’s a brotherhood thing,” Air Force fullback Taven Birdow said. “Everybody’s going to feel this win, all the alumni that didn’t get this chance.”

The rest of the Nevada Appeal rankings did not change much this past week. Three teams (No. 5 Utah State, No. 8 Fresno State, No. 12 San Jose State) were idle this past weekend while No. 1 Boise State, No. 6 Nevada and No. 7 Wyoming beat Football Championship Subdivision teams.

Air Force was the only Mountain West team this past week to beat a school from a Power Five conference and No. 2 San Diego State was the only other Mountain West school (other than Air Force) to beat a Football Bowl Subdivision team (independent New Mexico State).

Boise State (3-0) was the only Mountain West team to beat an FCS team convincingly. The Broncos destroyed Portland State 45-10 as defensive end Curtis Weaver tied a school record with four sacks. Portland State is just the third FCS opponent for Boise State since 2010.

Boise State had nine different players catch a pass while seven ran the ball, three played quarterback and 21 had at least one tackle.

San Diego State (3-0) whipped New Mexico State 31-10. Jordan Byrd (128 yards, two touchdowns) and Chance Bell (116, 1) each went over 100 yards rushing.

Hawaii (2-1) dropped two spots to No. 4 after losing to Washington 52-20. Hawaii was looking to beat a Pac-12 team for the third time this season after beating Arizona and Arizona State to open the year. The Arizona and Arizona State games, though, were at Hawaii while the Rainbow Warriors had to travel to Washington.

Hawaii coach Nick Rolovich posted a picture of the Rose Bowl last week on Twitter before meeting Washington. “I don’t think we’re ready for the Rose Bowl,” admitted Rolovich after losing to Washington.

Nevada (2-1) stayed at No. 6 and Wyoming (3-0) fell two spots to No. 7 after both teams struggled to beat Big Sky Conference teams at home.

The Wolf Pack survived an upset scare from Weber State, 19-13, while Wyoming held off Idaho, 21-16. Nevada needed four field goals by freshman kicker Brandon Talton to beat Weber while Wyoming needed 152 yards and two touchdowns from running back Trey Smith to hold off Idaho.

Three of the four bottom teams in the rankings (No. 9 Colorado State, No. 10 UNLV, No. 11 New Mexico) all lost to FBS schools in one-sided games.

Colorado State (1-2) fell at Arkansas, 55-34, but did find itself in a 34-34 tie in the second half. Rams’ starting quarterback Collin Hill did not play in the second half because of a leg injury.

UNLV (1-2) lost at Northwestern, 30-14, after trailing just 16-14 at halftime. Rebels’ running back Charles Williams ran for 144 yards on just 16 carries and had touchdown runs of 65 and 37 yards.

New Mexico was run over at Notre Dame, 66-14. The Lobos, though, had the ball for just over 35 minutes and had just three fewer first downs (25-22) than the Irish. New Mexico also ran the ball for 212 yards and two touchdowns.

This weekend will feature the first two Mountain West conference games of the season. Air Force travels to Boise State for a Friday night meeting and Utah State is at San Diego State on Saturday.

The Nevada Appeal Mountain West football rankings for the week of Sept. 16-22:

1. BOISE STATE (3-0) – This week: vs. Air Force, Friday.

2. SAN DIEGO STATE (3-0) – This week: vs. Utah State, Saturday.

3. AIR FORCE (2-0) – This week: at Boise State, Friday.

4. HAWAII (2-1) – This week: vs. Central Arkansas, Saturday.

5. UTAH STATE (1-1) – This week: at San Diego State, Saturday.

6. NEVADA (2-1) – This week: at UTEP, Saturday.

7. WYOMING (3-0) – This week: at Tulsa, Saturday.

8. FRESNO STATE (0-2) – This week: vs. Sacramento State, Saturday.

9. COLORADO STATE (1-2) – This week: vs. Toledo, Saturday.

10. UNLV (1-2) – This week: Bye

11. NEW MEXICO (1-1) – This week: vs. New Mexico State, Saturday.

12. SAN JOSE STATE (1-1) – This week: at Arkansas, Saturday.