Boise State enters its first season in the Mountain West as the favorite to win the 2011 football title, the league announced today at its annual Media Days being held at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas. The Broncos garnered 28 first-place votes, and earned a total of 236 points in a poll of media members. Boise State posted a 12-1 overall mark in 2010, en route to Top 10 rankings in the final USA Today Coaches' (7) and Associated Press (10) polls.
The Broncos return six starters from an offensive unit that ranked second in the nation last year in both total offense (521.3 yards per game) and points per game (45.1). Seven starters return for the Boise State defense, which ranked second nationally in both total defense (254.7 ypg) and points allowed (12.8 ppg). The Broncos are led by preseason all-MW performers Thomas Byrd (OL), George Iloka (DB), Doug Martin (RB), Shea McClellin (DL), Kellen Moore (QB), Nate Porter (OL), Billy Winn (DL).
Defending MW Champion TCU was chosen second with 208 points. The Horned Frogs posted a first-place finish (8-0) in Conference play in 2010 and ended the season with a perfect 13-0 mark. Following a 21-19 victory over Wisconsin in the 2011 Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO, TCU finished last season ranked second in both the USA Today Coaches' and Associated Press polls.
Air Force was picked third with 176 points. The Falcons tied for third-place (5-3) in Conference play in 2010 and concluded the season with a 9-4 overall record. Air Force returns eight starters from a defensive that ranked second in the nation in passing yards per game (147.8) and four starters from an offense that ranked second in the NCAA with 306.5 rushing yards per game.
San Diego State was chosen fourth with 160 points, followed by Colorado State (5th - 104 points), Wyoming (6th - 80 points), UNLV (7th - 77 points) and New Mexico (8th - 39 points).
2011 Mountain West Football Preseason Poll
1. Boise State
3. Air Force
4. San Diego State
5. Colorado State
8. New Mexico