The unofficial start of the 2016 football season kicks off Tuesday morning at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Mountain West Football Media Days begin at 9 a.m. MT with the unveiling of the preseason all-conference team, players of the year and predicted order of finish. Boise State has been the preseason favorite every year since joining in 2011, either conference-wide or in the Mountain Division.
Boise State senior receiver Thomas Sperbeck and senior linebacker Ben Weaver will speak with print reporters from 10 to 11:15 a.m., and coach Bryan Harsin will speak from 2 to 3:15 p.m. The teams from the Mountain Division appear Tuesday, the West Division on Wednesday. Commissioner Craig Thompson will address the media from 5 to 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Follow along at idahostatesman.com, via Twitter @IDS_BroncoBeat or on our Facebook page (facebook.com/boisestatefootball). Videos and stories will be posted throughout the day.
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Harsin will join me for a Facebook Live chat at approximately 5:45 p.m. MT Tuesday. Questions for coach? Tweet them or put them on our Facebook page!
In previous years, a preliminary depth chart is provided by each team at media days, but that won’t be the case this year. The league did not include them in its preseason media guide.
The results of the preseason poll could be interesting, with Air Force potentially having its most talented team in years and having won two straight against Boise State. Boise State sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien will probably get some Preseason Offensive Player of the Year votes, but it’s hard to see it going to anyone but San Diego State senior running back Donnel Pumphrey.
Here’s how I voted:
Order of finish (Mountain): Boise State, Air Force, Utah State, New Mexico, Colorado State, Wyoming
Order of finish (West): San Diego State, San Jose State, Nevada, UNLV, Fresno State, Hawaii
Players of the year: Donnel Pumphrey, SDSU (offense); Damontae Kazee, SDSU (defense); Hayden Hunt, Colorado State (special teams)
Quarterback: Brett Rypien, Boise State
Running back: Donnel Pumphrey, SDSU; Jeremy McNichols, Boise State
Receiver: Thomas Sperbeck, Boise State; Devonte Boyd, UNLV
Tight end: Billy Freeman, San Jose State
Offensive line: Nico Siragusa, SDSU; Austin Stephens, Utah State; Mario Yakoo, Boise State; Fred Zerblis, Colorado State; Jake Bennett, Colorado State
Defensive line: Alex Barrett, San Diego State; Nik D’Avanzo, New Mexico; Ricky Ali’ifua, Utah State; Kory Rasmussen, Hawaii
Linebacker: Calvin Munson, San Diego State; Dakota Cox, New Mexico; Tanner Vallejo, Boise State
Defensive back: Weston Steelhammer, Air Force; Damontae Kazee, San Diego State; Andrew Wingard, Wyoming; Roland Ladipo, Air Force
Punter: Hayden Hunt, Colorado State
Kicker: Tyler Rausa, Boise State
Returner: Rashaad Penny, San Diego State