Air Force coach Troy Calhoun has spoken several times about how the competition in the Mountain West Conference is far superior to the competition the Falcons faced in the Western Athletic Conference when he was a player and then an assistant coach.
First-year Colorado State coach Steve Fairchild has a similar assessment of the MWC.
“When I first started in the early 90s (as an assistant at CSU), you could almost count a win or two on your schedule, and you can’t do that anymore,” he said. “It’s a pretty solid league. … BYU is obviously back and on top like they were for so many years. They’re up and running, and they’re clearly an elite program right now. Utah and TCU have obviously recruited well because they’re very athletic teams. Those are the teams – New Mexico’s good as well – but those are the teams that we’ve got to catch. We’ve got to go get those teams, and CSU’s been one of those teams in the past, and hopefully we’ll close that ground pretty quick.”