Making The Rounds: Media Audio Version Day Two

Here is audio from day two of the Mountain West Conference media days, again give a shout out to 1280 The Zone.

BYU DL Jan Jorgenson:

BYU TE Dennis Pitta and Andrew Rich:

TCU DE Jerry Huges:

Colorado State Head Coach Steve Fairchild:

UNLV Head Coach Mike Sanford:

Wyoming Head Coach Dave Christenson:

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TCU Projected to win the Mountain West in 2009

TCU is picked to win the Mountain West for the 2009 year. Mountain West Conference preseason football poll and it is not as close as I would have thought.  TCU is a runaway favorite, which is a surprise because of the number of first place votes they received.  Besides that there is nothing too shocking, just remember it was here that you read it that UNLV is the darkhorse to screw things up.
2009 Mountain West Conference Football Preseason Poll
Rk. Team (first place votes) Points
1. TCU (15) 207
2. BYU (6) 190
3. Utah (3) 179
4. Air Force 130
5. UNLV 108
6. Colorado State 107
7. New Mexico 60
8. San Diego State 53
9. Wyoming 46

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2009 Media Preseason All-Conference Team

The 2009 preseason all-conference teams were announced earlier today.  There were only three unanimous decisions with Utah’s LB Stevenson Sylvester, TCU’s DE Jerry Hughes, and BYU’s TE Denis Pitta.

Somewhat odd that BYU QB Max Hall was not a unanimous choice and the only other options would be Andy Dalton from TCU, but that seems far fetched as Hall’s 2008 numbers dwarfed Dalton’s.

The only quasi selection comes from San Diego State in wide receiver Vincent Brown, because most of his yards came from the Aztecs trailing and having to throw the ball to catch up.

Besides that nothing to shocking here; TCU leads the way with seven total selections, BYU with five, and Utah also with five.

2009 Preseason All-Mountain West Football Team
Offense
QB Max Hall** Sr. BYU
WR Ryan Wolfe* Sr. UNLV
WR Rashaun Greer** Sr. Colorado State
WR Vincent Brown Jr. San Diego State
RB Harvey Unga** Jr. BYU
RB Matt Asiata Sr. Utah
OL Zane Beadles* Sr. Utah
OL Nick Charles** Sr. Air Force
OL Shelley Smith** Sr. Colorado State
OL Erik Cook** Sr. New Mexico
OL Marshall Newhouse** Sr. TCU
TE Dennis Pitta*# Sr. BYU
Note: Three wide receivers were selected due to a tie in the voting.
Defense
DL Jan Jorgensen* Sr. BYU
DL Jerry Hughes*# Sr. TCU
DL John Fletcher** Sr. Wyoming
DL Koa Misi** Sr. Utah
LB Daryl Washington Sr. TCU
LB Jason Beauchamp** Sr. UNLV
LB Stevenson Sylvester**# Sr. Utah
DB Chris Thomas** Sr. Air Force
DB Rafael Priest** Sr. TCU
DB Nick Sanders Sr. TCU
DB Robert Johnson Sr. Utah
Specialists
P Anson Kelton So. TCU
PK Mitch Payne Jr. BYU
Ret. Jeremy Kerley* Jr. TCU
Offensive Player of the Year:
Max Hall, Sr., QB, BYU
Defensive Player of the Year:
Jerry Hughes, Sr., DL, TCU
Special Teams Player of the Year:
Jeremy Kerley, Jr., KR/PR, TCU
Freshman of the Year:
Ed Wesley, RB, TCU
# – unanimous 2009 preseason selection.
* – member of the 2008 All-Mountain West Conference first-team.
** – member of the 2008 All-Mountain West Conference second-team.

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Stat Work: Very Early Lines

Football czar Phil Steele has posted the very early lines for big games in college football.   There is one discrepency from the Golden Nugger which is where Phil Steele got the info, and it is that they list the Colorado verse Colorado State game is listed to be played in Denver.  However, that game is being played in Boulder that is the home of Colorado.

Bold teams are the home teams

Colorado minus 13 -Colorado State   Have to take Colorado State this game has been close the past three years this one is in Boulder so that could make a difference.

Oklahoma minus 21 BYU   @ Arlington  This is tough but have to go with Oklahoma since last year they were able to score 35 against TCU last year.  I would go with Oklahoma to cover.

Oregon State minus 14 UNLV  This an interesing because UNLV should be better from last years team, and while the Rebels are at home they still may not win.  Oregon State plays poorly in the early part of the season, so in this early pick take UNLV

Utah – Oregon minus 7.5 Even though this is in Eugune 7.5 points seems like a lot, especially for a team that has a new head coach in Chip Kelly taking over.  Also, Oregon had numerous transfers, but the Ute QB should be settled and go with Utah.

Florida State- BYU minus 3 BYU rarely looses at home and FSU is pretty good but not like they were in the mid-nineties, so go with BYU.

Hawai’i-UNLV minus 7 Interesting matchup and this is a high scoring game, but I would take Hawai’i to cover because UNLV has a need for defense and Ilsanders can really put up points.

UNLV-Nevada minus 7 Interesting for Nevada to be favored, but in the Wolfpacks defense they return nearly everone on offense.  Take UNLV because both teams can score and it will back and forth and be close.

UNLV-BYU minus 13 Last year this game came down to the wire, and UNLV should be better, so the early pick is UNLV.

San Diego State-BYU minus 17 Easy take the Cougars

UNLV-Utah minus 10 Now this game is interesting becasue UNLV should be better, and the Utes have a new quarterback.  The revenge factor will be in since the Utes last visit to Vegas was an embarassing 27-0 loss, so take the Utes to cover.

 Utah-BYU minus 6  This one may seem easy to pick Utah because if you do not include last years route the three previous came down to a final play,  so the early pick is Utah.

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2009 Mountain West Conference Media Days

Only one week away from 2009 media days! That means football is inching ever so closer to the September 3rd kick off.  The MWC is one of the few leagues to keep media days alive, and besides who does not love the cattle call of players and coaches being interviewed by the local media.

This is when the big awards and preseason media poll is put out, and with that happening July 21st and 22nd I will make my predictions for offensive and defensive player of the year and the preseason predictions.

With the team predictions readers will have to wait for another month for indepth previews, and it is possible the order will change if there are any injuries in camp.  As with the players of the year a top three list will be there and in order.

Offensive Player of the Year:

1. Max Hall, QB BYU Pretty obvious choice to put Hall in the top three, but the winner most likely will come down to the quarterback of the champ; well unless someone like Air Force’s Chad Hall from 2007 who put up monster numbers and won the award.

2. Andy Dalton, QB TCU Ditto for Dalton here, he may not put up huge numbers like Max Hall but he may put up numbers more along the lines of 2008 MWC offensive POY in Utah’s Brian Johnson just as long as TCU wins the league.  Dalton is athletic enough to get some rushing yards, but he needs to stay healthy to lead the team to a league title.

3. Omar Clayton, QB UNLV People may call me crazy but Clayton may be the darkhorse here.  Last year in nine games he did quite well and did a great job in almost leading his team past BYU.  He did have three games over 250 yards passing, a 9/2 touchdown to interception ratio.  Clayton was not asked to run a lot last year, but with running back Frank Summers gone to the NFL Clayton may need to run more.

Defensive Player of the Year:

1. Jerry Hughes, DE TCU: Last year he had 15 sacks, 19.5 tackles for loss, and two picks.  It might be hard to reproduce, but he is the best defensive player in the league is the favorite.

2. Robert Johnson, DB Utah: Johnson has a knack for fighting the ball and making defensive plays.  Last year he had four interceptions, three passes broken up, and then had 41 tackles with eight for a loss

3.Stevenson Sylvester, LB Utah: The last image of of Sylvester is his three sacks in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama.  Even beyond that Sylvester was making plays all year.  He had 73 tackles, eight for a loss, and 3.5 sacks; he will be a player that opposing coaches game plan for in 2009.

Order of Finish

Again, not too much detail will be given on each team until late August, where I may or may not change this order.

1. TCU- Their offense finally has moved closer to the defense, and that is what puts them over the edge.

2. Utah- Defense is the reason Utah is here, and if they get a stable quarterback play they should finish right here.

3. BYU– Defense is why BYU is here, mainly their secondary that was exposed last year.  The offense should be fine, and possible could be even great if the coaches are not predictable like last year.

4. UNLV– The Rebels are my extreme dark horse to win the title.  They have the quarterback play with Omar Clayton and the receiver in Ryan Wolfe, but a running back and a better defense needs to step up.

5. Air Force – If the Falcons can find a quarterback they should be ok.  Currently Tim Jefferson is working on academic issues, and Asher Clark is recovering from an injury and is swtiching to quarterback from running back.

6.  Colorado State- The Rams are replacing a quarterback,  top two running backs, tight end, plus their top two linebackers are not playing in 2009.  The good news is that their offensive line returns and they will be the strength of the team.

7. San Diego State- They have the quarterback in Ryan Lindley, but they need to avoid the injury bug and show up on defense to improve.

8. New Mexico- This could be low because Rocky Long did not leave the cupboard bare, but it always seems that the Lobos never meet their potential.

9. Wyoming- The spread offense that Dave Christenson is bring over from Missouri will take time to gel in Laramie.  The defense should help them keep games close, but unless the offense learns the system it will be a long year.

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Stat Work: Preview Magazine Season

Lets see if this section takes off, I am implementing a Stat Work series during the summer.  It will highlight different stats which will attempt to predict who will win the league.

Things to include will be percentage of returning starters, letterman, total yards, and things along those lings, so stay tuned and enjoy the first one today.

They are all out Phil Steele, The Sporting News, Lindy’s, and Athlon with their top everything preview from best unit, bowl teams, and anything one would want to know.

During the offseason there is little news, but I went ahead and made up a chart by organizing how each mag predicted the Mountain West.

Rank Team Total Points Phil Steele Lindy’s Athlon TSN
1 Utah 7 3 2 1 1
2 TCU 8 2 1 2 2
3 BYU 9 1 3 3 3
4 Air Force 16½ 4 4 4
5 UNLV 21½ 5 6 6
6 Colorado State 23½ 7 5 5
7 San Diego State 28½ 6 8 8
8 New Mexico 32 9 9 7 7
9 Wyoming 34 8 8 9 9

It is pretty obvious what the consensus top four will be, and that any of the top three could win the league, a slight edge in my opinion is BYU since they have both Utah and TCU at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Phil Steele has historically been the most accurate, which is why BYU is number one, as everyone else has BYU at three.  The Cougars do lose four starters off the offensive line, but the new starters all have had playing experience within the back up role and some are returning from a two year mission.  So, that is where the number one spot from Phil Steele comes from, or at least that is what I think.

Interesting to note that the but three teams are the ones with a new head coach, but New Mexico in my opinion has the chance to be the best of those and be an outside bowl participate.  Former coach Rocky Long did not leave the cupboard bare.

The middle tier with Air Force, Colorado State, and UNLV could be interesting.  Air Force is having issues at quarterback, as is Colorado State plus the Rams replace Gatrell Johnson and Kyle Bell at running back.

UNLV looks to be the most stable with Omar Clayton coming on strong after his injury, plus if there are any issues back up Mike Clausen played well with his chance to start.

The top three will be interesting and more on that will come later, but my very early pick is BYU, because of who they get at home.

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TCU Super Regional Game Three Against Texas

Baseball has never been a topic over here, but tonight at 6PM central time TCU faces off at Texas in game three of the Super Regionals.  The game will be on ESPNU and the winner goes onto the College World Series in Omaha.

For great coverage of this go check out Burnt Orange Nation, as they have been covering this extensively and will have an open thread later today.

Yes it is the rivals team site, but it is a good place to catch up on the series and chat with others about tonight.

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