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BYU leads the way at Mountain West Conference Media Days.
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:
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
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
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
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
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