A look around the MWC

The Utes gave the Mountain West a national presence, a reason to be proud and about $1 million per school.

Originally Published: December 7, 2004
By Kevin Acee | Special to ESPN.com
Thank goodness for Utah. The Utes gave the Mountain West a national presence, a reason to be proud and about $1 million per school via its undefeated run and unprecedented Fiesta Bowl berth.

As for the rest of the conference, it was mediocre at best. Youth and injuries prevailed, and only two other teams (New Mexico and Wyoming) even got to six wins. The conference believes it was nothing more than a rebuilding year. As the Bowl Championship Series is in flux and open to invasion, the MWC must work for better results league-wide.

MVP: Alex Smith, Utah
The junior quarterback passed for 2,624 yards and 28 touchdowns and ran for 563 yards and another 10 TDs. More impressive, he seemed to always make the right decisions running the triple-option spread offense. Without him (and without him remaining healthy) the Utes do not have the best season in school history and are not headed to the Fiesta Bowl.


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