All-Conference Teams and Preseason Picks



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BYU leads the way at Mountain West Conference Media Days.

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BYU is picked to win the league, while 7 Cougars are named to the All-Conference Team, and QB Max Hall receives individual honors.

By my calculation, of the five pollsters who did not pick BYU in 1st place, three picked BYU in 2nd place, and two had BYU in 3rd. It is also mathematcally possible that four pollsters had BYU in 2nd, with one picking BYU 4th.

The releases from the Mountain West Conference are as follows:

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Two-time defending Mountain West Conference football champion BYU was predicted to capture its third consecutive title in 2008 in a poll of media members. The Cougars made their second straight undefeated run in conference play in 2007, compiling an 8-0 mark against league opponents en route to an 11-2 overall record and a Top 20 ranking in the final USA Today Coaches (t-14), Associated Press (14) and Harris (18) polls. BYU returns 10 starters from an offensive unit that ranked among the top 25 nationally in passing and total offense a year ago. The Cougars are led by first-team all-MWC honorees Max Hall (QB), Dennis Pitta (TE), Ray Feinga (OL) and Dallas Reynolds (OL). Three starters also return on defense for BYU, which ranked among the top 10 nationally in scoring, rushing and total defense. BYU, which enters the 2008 season with the nation's longest win streak at 10 games, received 29 first-place votes and a total of 299 points.

Utah was chosen second with 274 points and five first-place votes. The Utes tied for third place (5-3) in Conference play in 2007, winning eight of their last nine games and ending the season with a 9-4 mark overall. Utah, which enters the season with the nation's second-longest bowl win streak at seven games, returns six starters from a defense that ranked among the top 20 nationally in scoring, pass and total defense last season.

TCU was picked to finish third after posting an 8-5 record (4-4 MWC) and winning its third consecutive bowl game last season. The Horned Frogs, who return eight starters on offense and six on defense, totaled 239 points in the poll.

New Mexico was chosen fourth with 197 points, followed by Wyoming (5th - 156 points), Air Force (6th - 141 points), San Diego State (7th - 92 points), Colorado State (8th - 73 points) and UNLV (9th - 59 points).

2008 Mountain West Conference

Preseason Football Poll

Rk. Team (first place votes) Points

1. BYU (29) 299

2. Utah (5) 274

3. TCU 239

4. New Mexico 197

5. Wyoming 156

6. Air Force 141

7. San Diego State 92

8. Colorado State 73

9. UNLV 59

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The Mountain West Conference announced its 2008 preseason all-conference team today as selected by members of the league's media. Max Hall (BYU) was named Preseason MWC Offensive Player of the Year, Jason Phillips (TCU) was selected Preseason MWC Defensive Player of the Year, Louie Sakoda (Utah) was chosen Preseason MWC Special Teams Player of the Year and Braylon Broughton (TCU) was tabbed Preseason MWC Freshman of the Year. Hall, a first-team all-MWC honoree last season, passed for league-highs of 3,848 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2007, ranking as the top sophomore quarterback nationally. His passing and total yardage (3,862) numbers set MWC records for a sophomore signal-caller.

Phillips, a 2008 preseason All-American, was a second-team all-MWC selection on defense a year ago after collecting a team-high 87 tackles while ranking ninth in the league with 11.0 tackles for loss in 13 games played.

Sakoda, a 2008 preseason All-American, led the league with a 44.3 punting average and was 38-of-40 in point-after attempts last season while leading Utah in scoring for the second consecutive year with 95 points.

Broughton was a two-time all-District selection in high school, recording 50 tackles and three sacks as a junior and ranking as the nation's No. 59 defensive end following his senior year in 2006.

The 2008 preseason team is loaded with experience, featuring 18 players that were all-Conference selections in 2007, including six first-team honorees. Fifteen seniors, eight juniors and two sophomores comprise the 25-member squad.

2008 Preseason All-Mountain West Football Team

Position Student-Athlete Class School

OFFENSE

WR Austin Collie** Jr. BYU

WR Ryan Wolfe Jr. UNLV

OL Nick Charles** Jr. Air Force

OL Ray Feinga* Sr. BYU

OL Dallas Reynolds* Sr. BYU

OL Blake Schlueter** Sr. TCU

OL Robert Conley** Sr. Utah

TE Dennis Pitta* Jr. BYU

QB Max Hall* Jr. BYU

RB Harvey Unga** So. BYU

RB Rodney Ferguson* Sr. New Mexico

DEFENSE

DL Jan Jorgensen* Jr. BYU

DL Paul Kruger So. Utah

DL John Fletcher** Jr. Wyoming

DL/LB Ryan Kemp Sr. Air Force

LB Ward Dobbs** Sr. Wyoming

LB Russell Allen Sr. San Diego State

LB Jason Phillips** Sr. TCU

DB Brice McCain** Sr. Utah

DB DeAndre Wright* Sr. New Mexico

DB Stephen Hodge** Sr. TCU

DB Robert Johnson Jr. Utah

SPECIALISTS

P Louie Sakoda* Sr. Utah

PK Louie Sakoda** Sr. Utah

Ret. Devin Moore Sr. Wyoming

* member of the 2007 All-Mountain West Conference first-team.

** member of the 2007 All-Mountain West Conference second-team.

Offensive Player of the Year:

Max Hall, Jr., QB, BYU

Defensive Player of the Year:

Jason Phillips, Sr., LB, TCU

Special Teams Player of the Year:

Louie Sakoda, Sr., PK/P, Utah

Freshman of the Year:

Braylon Broughton, DE, TCU

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