Chappy's Clipboard - 2003 Mountain West Breakdown
By Tim Chapman Writer/Analyst



1. Colorado State 10-2 (6-1)

2. BYU 9-3 (6-1)

3. New Mexico 8-4 (5-2)

4. Air Force 9-3 (4-3)

5. San Diego State 6-6 (3-4)

6. UNLV 3-8 (2-5)

7. Utah 2-9 (1-6)

8. Wyoming 4-8 (1-6)


Team most likely to surpriseWyoming… True, the Cowboys have been down in recent years, but they finally have a coach who knows how to win (since Tiller left), and has proven it at two different levels (Divisions II and I-AA). Joe Glenn inherits 13 starters, which includes a red-hot QB, some dynamite receivers, and experience on defense. He won’t win the MWC this season, but the bar will certainly be set higher.


Team most likely to disappointUtah… Everyone is expecting the Utes to take off with new head coach Urban Meyer and his spread offense. Well folks, you need the personnel to work with first, and Meyer doesn’t have it just yet. In a tougher MWC (than in years past), the Utes might find themselves grounded near the bottom while they establish team identity. Don’t expect them there for long though.





1. Air Force

2. Colorado State


4. San Diego State

5. BYU



1. New Mexico

2. Air Force

3. Colorado State

4. BYU

5. Wyoming


OFF BACKFIELD: Colorado State (QB Van Pelt, RB Sanders, *HB Dreessen… backups- RB Houston, RB T.Walker, QB Holland, *HB Alconcel)

* HB considered part of backfield when lined up for lead blocking purposes


RECEIVERS: Wyoming (WR McGuffey, WR Bouknight, WR Floyd, TE Robbins… backups- WR Pleasant, WR J.Grant, WR Barge, TE C.Cox)


O-LINE: Air Force (OT B.Waller, OG Huyser, C Maddox, OG Underbakke, OT Neufeld… backups- C Peel, OT Diehl, OT Terrazone, OG Jarratt, OG Crossetti)


D-LINE: New Mexico (DE Kegler, NG Renteria, DE Rupp… backups- NG Morrison, DE Coulter, NG Brittain, DE Easterly)


LINEBACKERS: New Mexico (OLB Strother, MLB Gawronski, OLB Strother… backups- OLB Kincaid, MLB C.Harris, OLB Fashola


DEFENSIVE BACKS: BYU (CB Heaney, CB Gilford, CGR Francisco, SAF Nielsen, SAF Burbidge… backups- CB Barney, CB Alba, CGR Hodgkiss, SAF W.Williams, SAF J.Brandon, SAF Meibos)


SPECIAL TEAMS: Colorado State (PK/P Babcock, P Powell, RS Wynn, RS D.Anderson)


Chappy’s 2003 All- Mountain West Team



QB  Adam Hall (sr)- SAN DIEGO ST

RB   Larry Croom (sr)- UNLV

RB   Rahsaan Sanders (sr)- COLORADO ST

FB   Steve Massie (sr)- AIR FORCE

WR  Toby Christensen (sr)- BYU

WR  Ryan McGuffey (sr)- WYOMING

TE   Adam Strecker (sr)- AIR FORCE

OT  Jason Lenzmeier (sr)- NEW MEXICO

OG Claude Terrell (jr)- NEW MEXICO

C     Scott Jackson (sr)- BYU

OG  Brett Huyser (sr)- AIR FORCE

OT  Erik Pears (jr)- COLORADO ST



DE   Jason Kaufusi (sr)- UTAH

DT   Ifo Pili (sr)- BYU

DT   Brook Miller (sr)- SDSU

DE   Daniel Kegler (sr)- NEW MEXICO

OLB Tyler Gottschalk (sr)- WYOMING

ILB   Paul Walkenhorst (sr)- BYU

ILB   Drew Wood (sr)- CSU

OLB Nick Speegle (jr)- NEW MEXICO

CB    Dexter Wynn (sr)- COLORADO ST

CB   Jeff Shoate (sr)- SDSU

FS    Aaron Francisco (jr)- BYU

SS    Jamaal Brimmer (jr)- NEW MEXICO



KO  Jeff Babcock (jr)- COLORADO ST

PK   Jeff Babcock (jr)- COLORADO ST

P     Matt Payne (jr)- BYU

KR  Bo Nagahi (jr)- UTAH

PR   Matt Ward (so)- AIR FORCE


OFFENSIVE MVP: QB Bradlee Van Pelt - CSU

DEFENSIVE MVP: MLB Paul Walkenhorst - BYU


OFFENSIVE NEWCOMER: RB Lynell Hamilton (fr) - SDSU

DEFENSIVE NEWCOMER: MLB Randy Tscharner (jr) - WYO



TOUGHEST SCHEDULE: BYU… The Cougars have non-conf. road games against USC and Notre Dame, as well as a home contest vs. Boise State. In conference, they travel to New Mexico and San Diego State, while playing host to Air Force and Colorado State. If the Cougars can get 10 wins from this schedule, it will be a big accomplishment.


WEAKEST SCHEDULE: Air Force… The Zoomies get off easy in non-confs with Wofford and Northwestern in their first two games, and Army and Navy sprinkled in later on. Conference games are a bit tougher, especially hitting the road to face BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico and San Diego State.


BEST COACHING STAFF: Air Force… In Fisher DeBerry’s 19 years at the Academy, his Falcons have finished 17 times at .500 or better. 12 of those seasons culminated in bowl games. They run the perfect offense for the players they have, and their defense is built around a discipline all can follow. OC Chuck Peterson is in his 14th season at the AFA, while DC Richard Bell is in his ninth. The coach with the most longevity has been OLB/Special Teams coach, Tom Miller. Miller’s 20 years alongside DeBerry shows you why the Falcons perennially carry one of the country’s best ST units.


MOST TO PROVE: New Mexico QB Casey Kelly. The Lobos are in a position to win their first ever Mountain West title. They have the defense to get them off the ground and the offense to soar; all they need is a QB to control the flight. Kelly should be the difference between Liberty and San Francisco.


MOST TO GAIN: San Diego State RB Lynell Hamilton. As a freshman, this kid should garner a lot of attention. In the offense that SDSU likes to run, a back like Hamilton fits perfectly. He’ll provide a great counter to the air-it-out attack Adam Hall will lead, and he’ll have the luxury of an experienced offensive line in front of him. With the passing game spreading out the defense, Hamilton should run for 1,000-plus.


OVERRATED: Utah RB Marty Johnson. The guy has talent, no doubt about it, but he’s rarely had the chance to display it. In two years at Utah, Mar-J has played in a combined three games. Injuries have kept this young man from playing a full season and proving he can make it against the big boys (his three games have come against Utah State, twice, and Indiana). A solid back he is, but let’s see if he can keep up the pace through 12 games against some stout competition.


UNDERRATED: San Diego State QB Adam Hall. Van Pelt and Harridge are two valuable QBs, but if you’re going to talk best pure quarterback, you’ll want to mention Hall. He averaged nearly 300 yards a game and completed 60 percent of his passes for a team that won only four games. He’s also every bit as fierce a competitor as the aforementioned pair. If you want a real darkhorse Heisman candidate, look at #14 for SDSU.


BEST PLAYER NOBODY KNOWS: Colorado State WR/RS David Anderson. Outside of Colorado, this guy is a relative obscurity. I liken him a lot to former Ram hero, Pete Rebstock - he is shifty, very quick, and extremely strong (bench presses over 300 pounds). He should be more involved in the Rams offense this season and could evolve into one of the conference’s best all-around special teams players as well. He’s a lot of fun to watch.



Oct 9th             COLORADO STATE at BYU

Sept. 13th            BYU at New Mexico

Nov. 7th          Colorado State at NEW MEXICO

Nov. 16th          Air Force at COLORADO STATE

Oct. 4th            BYU at San Diego State

(team in ITALICS-CAPS is Chappy’s pick to win)