Old Mountain West rivals meet in the Poinsettia Bowl.
Former conference rivals meet up again in what should be a matchup of contrasting styles between BYU and San Diego State. The Cougars earned a trip to their eighth straight bowl game in as many seasons under head coach Bronco Mendenhall on the strength of the defense, which is ranked No. 3 in the nation and has given up only 14.7 points per game.
Herschel Walker vaulted Georgia over the top long before Johnny Football took home the Heisman.
A freshman claimed college football’s most prestigious award for the first time ever this season when Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy. But Johnny Football is nowhere near the first frosh to make a splash on the national scene during his rookie season. These are the 10 freshmen — of both the true and redshirt variety — who made the biggest impact in college football history.
Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins is in for a big sophomore season.
The tight end position has been lacking in recent years, but there's a good crop of players ready to emerge in 2012. Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert ranks as Athlon's No. 1 tight end for this season, while Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins will only get better after a solid freshman campaign in 2011. Ohio State's Jake Stoneburner and Iowa's C.J. Fiedorowicz are two players who should easily surpass last year's totals, while non-BCS standouts Jack Doyle, Ryan Otten and Gavin Escobar should not be overlooked.
Wyoming's Brett Smith looks to challenge Boise State for the Mountain West title.
The Mountain West will have yet another new look in 2012. The ever-changing conference lost TCU — which went 48–7 during its seven-year stay — to the Big 12 and added Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii from the WAC.