Despite beating UNLV at home last week, San Diego State is still second in the Mountain West pecking order behind the Rebels. UNLV does benefit from a marquee win against then-No. 1 North Carolina and a few other stellar victories like Illinois, a 17-point drubbing of Cal, an early-season victory over Nevada (15-3 overall, first in the WAC). San Diego State hangs their hat on two wins of teams that were ranked, and now are no longer contends like Arizona and the Cal Bears by just two points.
Regardless, the Aztecs are 2-0 and atop the Mountain West standings with the defeat of UNLV last week and most recent win over New Mexico at the Pit.
Losing four starters from the best team in program history, including a first-round draft pick in Kawhi Leonard has made no difference really. The Aztecs are still one of the Mountain West top teams and a top-15 squad nationally. Head coach Steve Alford deserves Coach of the Year praise for keeping San Diego State in the national picture. After losing Leonard and four seniors, the team was supposed to be well below average, not even at the line of mediocrity. Yet here SDSU is once again, a legitimate MWC contender.