COLORADO SPRINGS — The Air Force football team was picked to finish third in the Mountain West Conference's Mountain Division Tuesday afternoon, following reigning champion Boise State and Wyoming. The Falcons did not receive any first-place votes.
"If you would have told me Air Force was picked No. 1, wouldn't have been shocked," lead MWC broadcaster Jesse Kurtz said. "Two, wouldn't have been shocked. Three, maybe but the teams picked ahead of them are very good teams."
It marks the eighth season for the league's divisional format. The Mountain Division predicted order of finish went Boise State, Wyoming, Air Force, Utah State, Colorado State and New Mexico.
The West side was San Diego State, Nevada, Hawaii, Fresno State, San Jose State and UNLV.
Part of the reason Troy Calhoun's team may have fallen in the polls is due to the uncertain status of star senior quarterback Donald Hammond III. The dual-threat standout is currently "not in good standing" with the Academy.
However, the Falcons return a great deal on both sides of the football and could surprise again in 2020 after an 11-2 campaign and Cheez-It Bowl victory last year.
"I think this team has what it takes from a production standpoint and skill standpoint, to certainly be in a bowl, certainly contend for a Mountain Division championship," Kurtz said. "You've got Boise State at home that's always a good thing. There was a time you beat Boise State three straight years, so I think the makings are there, the question is how do you replace the leadership?"
The divisional winners are scheduled to meet in the conference’s title game on Dec. 5 at the home stadium of the champion with the highest winning percentage in conference games.
On Monday, the Mountain West announced a postponement of its football virtual media days, which were scheduled for July 27-29. Several Mountain West teams had scheduled strong Power-5 opponents to kick off the nonconference portion of their schedules only to see those games get canceled.
Earlier this month, league Commissioner Craig Thompson said in regard to the conference's fall sports campaign: "We are fully engaged with our membership and advisors on a nearly daily basis exploring the myriad of potential scenarios around returning to competition.”