Air Force, San Diego State, and BYU each beat all of the four bottom feeders in the conference. What San Diego State, BYU, and Air Force could not do was beat TCU or Utah, and that is what made them all “middle’uns” in 2010. AFA and SDSU would tell you they also both beat BYU, but the record book indicates only the Falcons did; the mini-scandal surrounding BYU’s victory over the Aztecs has largely faded away, aided by the “makeup” replay miss in the Holy War that may or may not have cost the Cougars a final conference victory over the Utes. What came around, went around, and more or less the score evened out.
The Mountain West came this close to two major non-conference wins in Columbus and Norman. Missouri Tiger T.J. Moe sprung free (aided by a badly missed call) for a last-minute 68 yard scoring run to secure the win against the surprisingly punchy Aztecs. Earlier that afternoon, Air Force out-gained, out-ran, out-held, and in the end, out-mistaked Oklahoma to lose by three-points. These losses (add SDSU’s heart-breaker in Provo) kept AFA and SDSU out of the polls, and dinged the MWC’s reputation just enough to keep TCU out of the national championship discussion two months later. (more…)