2012 NCAA Football Betting Futures- MWC Preview
It has been a bit of a revolving door in the Mountain West in light of all the recent realignment of teams in the conference.
This season, Nevada, Fresno State, and Hawaii will begin play in the MWC after leaving the Western Athletic Conference, but last season’s defending champion, TCU has moved onto the Big 12.
There are now 10 teams in the conference left to battle it out for the 2012 MWC title. The following is a look at a few of the top contenders to win this season’s crown.
Boise State -300
The Boise State Broncos will also be exciting the MWC to join the Big East for football starting with the 2013 season.
They come into their final season as prohibitive favorites to win this year’s title after losing a 36-35 heartbreaker to TCU last season to fall just short. The Broncos ended 2011 with a 12-1 record overall and a 6-1 record in conference play.
The primary challenge for this team will be replacing 13 starters from last year’s squad including quarterback Kellen Moore. Junior Joe Southwick appears to be the heir apparent but he will obviously have some huge shoes to fill.
Nevada Wolf Pack +550
The Nevada Wolf Pack will look to make an immediate impact in their new conference as distant second favorites after wrapping-up their final season in the WAC with an overall record of 7-6.
The good news is that the Wolf Pack went 6-3 to close-out the year and fully expect to pick-up where they left off. Nevada’s biggest task will be to replace running backs Lampford Mark and Mike Ball, who helped the team finish last season with the eighth-best rushing attack in the nation.
Look for Stefphon Jefferson and Nick Hale to be the primary backs to fill this void. Defense could also be an issue for Nevada with a secondary that remains basically intact but a front seven that has a number of holes that need to be filled.
Fresno State Bulldogs +600
Another team from the WAC that will try and make its presence felt right away is the Fresno State Bulldogs. They are coming off a disappointing 4-9 overall record last season that included a 3-4 mark in conference play. Tim DeRuyter takes over the program as the Bullfrogs new head coach after spending some time at Texas A&M as the Aggies’ defensive coordinator.
One of the main reasons that DeRuyter believes he can quickly turn things around is the return of Derek Carr at quarterback. Last season he threw for 3,544 yards and 26 touchdowns while completing 62.6 percent of his passes.
The reality is that Fresno State’s defense will need to dramatically improve to have any chance at a winning record after finishing last season ranked 106th in the country in points allowed.
Wyoming Cowboys +1200
The Wyoming Cowboys may be moderate longshots to win the MWC this season, but they are coming off a 5-2 record in conference play last season and an 8-5 record overall. The Cowboys are counting heavily on sophomore quarterback Brett Smith to lead the way. He passed for 2,622 yards and 20 touchdowns after assuming the starting role last season as a true freshman.
This is another team that needs to fix a defense that struggled to keep opponents out of the end zone. It gave-up an average of 27.8 points a game; ranking the unit 67th in the nation in points allowed. Adding to its issues on defense, Wyoming will need to replace its top two tacklers from last year’s squad.
The odds to win the conference for the rest of the teams in the Mountain West are Air Force and San Diego State at +2000, Colorado State +2500, Hawaii +3000, UNLV +5000, and New Mexico +7500
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