Football Picked Fifth in MWC Media Poll, Sixth in Coaches' Poll

July 27, 1999

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Brigham Young University is the preseason choice to win the inaugural Mountain West Conference football title, according to separate polls of coaches and the media on Monday.

In the coaches' poll, BYU received five first-place votes and 47 points, based on the awarding of eight points for a first-place vote, seven points for second, etc. Coaches could not vote for their own teams.

Air Force was a close second, receiving three first-place votes and 44 points.

San Diego State ranked third with 32 points, followed by Utah at 30, Colorado State at 29, Wyoming at 22, New Mexico at 13 and UNLV at 7.

In the media poll, BYU received 35 of the 49 first-place nods and 372 points. Air Force got one first-place vote and 282 points. San Diego State received four first-place votes and 253 points, Utah got four firsts and 252 points and Wyoming received five firsts and 248 points.

Colorado State ranked sixth at 206, followed by New Mexico at 81 and UNLV at 70.

The media also selected a pre-season All-MWC team.

The new conference boasts agreements with both the Liberty and Las Vegas bowls this season. The MWC champion will meet the Conference USA champion in the Liberty Bowl. A second MWC team will meet the WAC champion in the Las Vegas Bowl.

"We are very excited about both tie-ins," commissioner Craig Thompson said. "Those of you who have lived in the South know football is pretty important there. For us to have the exposure outside of the Mountain and Pacific time zones in that part of the world is, I think, really a plus for us. Memphis is a very traditional bowl with a 40-plus-year history. "And, of course, Las Vegas has become a wonderful home for us. Our basketball tournaments will be played there."

Thompson said the new conference might also be considered for two other bowls. The Humanitarian Bowl faces an uncertain future because of the impending breakup of the Big West Conference. "If there is no Big West, we'll have to see what happens with that bowl," Thompson said. The commissioner said a startup bowl scheduled to begin in 2000 in Houston "is talking about a Mountain West participant against a Big 12 participant. We're very strongly in the mix there, but the bowl hasn't been certified yet."

MWC Coaches' Poll

Place/Team                Pts.1. Brigham Young (5)       472. Air Force (3)           443. San Diego State         324. Utah                    305. Colorado State          296. Wyoming                 227. New Mexico              138. UNLV                     7

MWC Media Poll

Place/Team                 Pts.1. Brigham Young (35)      3722. Air Force (1)           2823. San Diego State (4)     2534. Utah (4)                2525. Wyoming (5)             2486. Colorado State          2067. New Mexico               818. UNLV                     70

PRESEASON ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE TEAM
(voted on by attending media)

Offense

WR Wendell Montgomery, WyomingWR Damon Gourdine, San Diego StateOL James Norman, Air ForceOL Mike Malano, San Diego StateOL Sam White, UtahOL Blane Saipaia, Colorado StateOL Dan Delcorio, WyomingTE Andy Kassotis, UtahQB Kevin Feterik, BYURB Mike Anderson, UtahRB Jonas Lewis, San Diego State

Defense

DL Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, San Diego StateDL John Frank, UtahDL Clark Haggans, Colorado StateDL Byron Frisch, BYULB Rob Morris, BYULB Craig Thorstenson, Air ForceLB Rick Crowell, Colorado StateDB Brian Urlacher, New MexicoDB Brian Gray, BYUDB Al Rich, WyomingDB Rico Curtis, San Diego State

Specialists

PK Owen Pochman, BYUP Deone Horinek, Colorado StatePR Damon Gourdine, San Diego StateKR Damon Gourdine, San Diego State

Player of the YearRob Morris, BYU

Offensive Player of the YearMike Anderson, Utah

Defensive Player of the YearRob Morris, BYU

Newcomer of the YearJeremi Rudolph, UNLV