Boise State Football

Boise State football is in its usual preseason place. These teams will challenge.

The Boise State football team faces some big questions in 2019, but that hasn’t changed the perception of the Broncos as a team to beat in the Mountain West.

The Broncos were picked to finish first in the Mountain Division in the conference preseason poll, which was released Tuesday in conjunction with Mountain West media days. Boise State has been the preseason pick to win its conference or division for 12 straight years, dating to the Broncos’ final three years in the WAC.

The Broncos received 15 of 21 first-place votes and 120 points from the media. Utah State was second with six first-place votes and 108 points.

Safety Kekoa Nawahine and offensive lineman John Molchon, who are representing the team at media days, credited the Broncos’ history of success for the top preseason billing.

“It really is an honor to be a part of that tradition,” Molchon said. “... It’s really up to us to make sure that continues.”

[Related: Boise State star named Mountain West preseason Defensive Player of the Year; Boise State will retain TV perks]

Fresno State is the West Division favorite with 17 of 21 first-place votes. Fresno State has won the division each of the past two years and four of six years overall. San Diego State won the other two years. San Diego State (three) and Hawaii (one) also received first-place votes.

Boise State has a 50-50 history of living up to its Mountain Division expectation — the Broncos have won the division three times, including the past two years, and come up short three times (Utah State, Air Force and Wyoming won once each).

Last year, the Broncos beat Utah State 33-24 in the regular-season finale at Albertsons Stadium to hold off the Aggies for the division title and lost to Fresno State in overtime in the championship game.

“We’ve got a lot to prove,” Nawahine said.

The Mountain West finished last season with three ranked teams: No. 18 Fresno State (12-2), No. 22 Utah State (11-2) and No. 23 Boise State (10-3). Boise State returns 13 starters — six on offense and seven on defense. Fresno State returns 12 starters. Utah State has Mountain West preseason Offensive Player of the Year Jordan Love at quarterback but a new coach in Gary Andersen, who also coached the Aggies from 2009 to 2012.

Boise State opens the season Aug. 31 against Florida State in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Mountain West championship game is Dec. 7, hosted by the division champ with the highest winning percentage in conference games.

2019 Mountain West Football Predicted Order of Finish

Mountain Division

Rank Team (First-Place Votes) Points

1. Boise State (15) 120

2. Utah State (6) 108

3. Air Force 73

4. Wyoming 66

5. Colorado State 52

6. New Mexico 22

West Division

Rank Team (First-Place Votes) Points

1. Fresno State (17) 122

2. San Diego State (3) 106

3. Nevada 74

4. Hawaii (1) 67

5. UNLV 51

6. San Jose State 21

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