Matt Gade, Deseret News
Utah State Aggies quarterback Darell Garretson (6) delivers a pass during warmups during the Mountain West Football Championship game at Bulldog Stadium in Fresno, Calif. on Saturday, December 7, 2013.
Utah State football has been picked second in the Mountain Division of the 2014 Mountain West Conference preseason polls, as announced Tuesday at the league's annual Media Days held at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Boise State was tabbed as the preseason favorite in the Mountain Division as it garnered 20 first-place votes and 183 points after finishing the 2013 season with a 6-2 MW mark (8-5 overall) and playing in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. USU received 12 first-place votes and 176 points for second place in the Mountain Division, followed by Colorado State, which received one first-place vote and 135 points. Wyoming was picked fourth with 90 points, followed by New Mexico (56 points) and Air Force (53 points).
Defending league champion Fresno State was the preseason favorite in the West Division with 15 first-place votes and 174 points after finishing 2013 with a 7-1 MW mark (11-2 overall) and playing in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. San Diego State was second with 15 first-place votes and 172 points, while Nevada was tabbed third with three first-place votes and 130 points. UNLV was picked fourth with 95 points, followed by San Jose State (87 points) and Hawai’i (35 points).
This marks the second season of divisional play for the conference, which moved to the two, six-team divisional format in 2013 following the additions of San José State and Utah State. The two divisional winners will meet in the MW Championship Game on Dec. 6, 2014, at the home stadium of the divisional champion with the highest College Football Playoff Committee ranking.
Utah State opens its 2014 season on Sunday, Aug. 31, at Tennessee and plays its first home game the following weekend against Idaho State on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.