The Mountain West has 49 non-conference games on the agenda for 2022. These ten games may pique your interest for a number of reasons.
Not the best, but interesting in its own right.
Our countdown of Mountain West football’s best non-conference games continues down the middle of the field. There’s a lot of potential for blowouts in this series of games, but in college football, you can never be quite sure what’s going to happen.
If you missed the first two parts of our ranking, here are numbers 49-40 and here are numbers 39-30.
29. Boise State Broncos at UTEP Miners
Why the game might be a drag: These two teams haven’t played very often, but it’s never been particularly close. Given Boise State’s talent advantage on paper, why would this opportunity exist in 2022?
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Although UTEP has declined somewhat in the second half of last year, overall miners are still much improved and should be able to fight a lot harder to switch.
Another player worth signing up for: UTEP DE Praise Amaewhule
28. North Texas Mean Green vs. UNLV Rebels
Why the game might be a drag: When Mean Green and Rebels emerge from the first half of last year, there might not be much to nudge.
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: If Mean Green and Rebels emerge from the second half of the year when both teams were much more competitive, this could be one of the most underrated G5 vs G5 clashes on the schedule.
A player worth signing up for: North Texas LB KD Davis
27. UNLV Rebels in Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Why the game might be a drag: The Irish have not lost to a Mountain West team since 2007 and the Rebels have too much uncertainty to seriously challenge a likely top-25 team down the road.
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Notre Dame is changing staff in so many key positions that the road team could present these Irishmen with an unexpected test if UNLV’s top young talent is after them.
A player worth signing up for: Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer
26. Western Michigan Broncos vs. San Jose State Spartans
Why the game might be a drag: The Broncos had one of the more exciting offenses in the Group of 5 last year, but they’re replacing their star quarterback and top wide receiver.
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Well, the Spartans flopped hard in this matchup a year ago, so revenge plays are always worth keeping an eye on.
A player worth signing up for: Western Michigan RB Sean Tyler
25. UNLV Rebels at California Golden Bears
Why the game might be a drag: In recent years, Cal hasn’t possessed what would be called a top-tier offense. However, the Bears might be able to put the young Rebels in a proverbial defensive stranglehold and win a low-scoring Snoozefest.
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Since Cal can struggle to score points, if offense can pull things together, UNLV might have a better chance of an upset bid than you’d suspect.
A player worth signing up for: CB Lu-Magia Hearns III
24. Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders vs. Colorado State Rams
Why the game might be a drag: Both teams will likely want to throw the ball a lot, but what happens when one or both offenses aren’t in full swing?
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: It could be a convincing contrast of styles when Fort Air Raid struggles with a defense that has a few players who can take on the quarterback.
A player worth signing up for: Middle State Tennessee DE Jordan Ferguson
23. Hawaiian Warriors at Michigan Wolverines
Why the game might be a drag: The Warriors are rebuilding after a trying early offseason and Michigan exits a berth for the college football playoffs. Needless to say, there are huge talent gaps.
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: Now that the Wolverines are replacing some high-end defensive talent like Aiden Hutchinson, what happens when the Warriors come out with momentum and are able to protect the quarterback?
A player worth signing up for: Michigan QB Cade McNamara
22. Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. Wyoming Cowboys
Why the game might be a drag: Concerns about the Cowboys’ offense may not be allayed even against a Tulsa defense that saw its best player leave via the transfer portal, and a rebuilt defense could struggle against what appears to be solid ground play.
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: The closer you look, the more you realize that these teams have a lot in common: strong running backs, a knack for developing talent, and tight defenses.
A player worth signing up for: Tulsa CB Tyon Davis
21. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs. Hawaii Warriors
Why the game might be a drag: WKU returned to the national stage last year with a record-breaking offensive line, but the offensive coordinator, quarterback and top two receivers are all gone. How big a drop can it be?
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: If there isn’t much regression and Hawaii goes on offense early, both teams could light the scoreboard in a defensively optional tilt.
A player worth signing up for: Western Kentucky WR Daewood Davis
20. Toledo missiles against the Aztecs of San Diego State
Why the game might be a drag: Do you like nudge? The Aztecs could be more than happy to fall back on their field position game while the Rockets replace their top running back and may not have enough elsewhere on offense to stop the home team from outplaying them in a rock fight.
Why the game might be more interesting than you think: do you like defense According to Bill Connelly’s recent SP+ prediction update, both the Rockets and Aztecs plan to have top 25 units this side of the ball this season, meaning this will be a whole new type of chess match between two excellent units could.
A player worth signing up for: Toledo LB Jamal Hines