2002 Mountain West Conference football season

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2002 Mountain West football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Colorado State $   6 1         10 4  
New Mexico   5 2         7 7  
Air Force   4 3         8 5  
San Diego State   4 3         4 9  
Utah   3 4         5 6  
UNLV   3 4         5 7  
BYU   2 5         5 7  
Wyoming   1 6         2 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2002 Mountain West Conference football season was the 4th since eight former members of the Western Athletic Conference banded together to form the MWC. Colorado State University won the conference championship in 2002, the Rams' 3rd MWC title since the league began in 1999.

Bowl Games[edit]

Bowl Date Stadium City Result
Las Vegas Bowl December 25, 2002 Sam Boyd Stadium Las Vegas, Nevada UCLA 27, New Mexico 13
Liberty Bowl December 31, 2002 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium Memphis, Tennessee TCU 17, Colorado State 3
San Francisco Bowl December 31, 2002 SBC Park San Francisco, California Virginia Tech 20, Air Force 13

In 2002, the Mountain West Conference had four contractual tie-ins with bowl games. In order, the Liberty Bowl, Las Vegas Bowl, San Francisco Bowl and Seattle Bowl had the first through fourth selections of bowl eligible MWC teams.[1] However, following the conclusion of the 2002 college football season, only three MWC teams had good enough records (six wins or more) to make them eligible for bowl games: Colorado State, New Mexico, and Air Force.[2]

The Liberty Bowl, with the first selection of eligible MWC teams, picked the MWC champion Colorado State Rams to represent the conference in its 2002 game. The Rams played the TCU Horned Frogs of Conference USA and lost, 17–3.[3] With the second pick, the Las Vegas Bowl selected the New Mexico Lobos. Though New Mexico lost to favored UCLA, 27–13, the Lobos featured the first female player to play in a Division I football game, Katie Hnida.[4] The third bowl with an MWC tie-in, the San Francisco Bowl, was thus forced to select the Air Force Academy Falcons, who were the sole remaining bowl-eligible MWC team. Facing the Falcons were the Virginia Tech Hokies, who earned a 20–13 victory over the Falcons.[5]


  • Coach of the Year: Rocky Long, New Mexico
  • Offensive Player of the Year: QB Bradlee Van Pelt, Jr, Colorado State
  • Defensive Player of the Year: CB Jamaal Brimmer, So, UNLV
  • Freshman of the Year: RB DonTrell Moore, New Mexico

All Conference Team[edit]

Quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt, Jr, Colorado State
Running back DonTrell Moore, Fr, New Mexico
Cecil Sapp, Sr, Colorado State
Wide receiver Kassim Osgood, Sr, San Diego State
J.R. Toliver, Sr, San Diego State
Tight end Joel Dreessen, So, Colorado State
Offensive Line Jordan Gross, Sr, Utah
Morgan Pears, Sr, Colorado State
Adam Goldberg, Sr, Wyoming
Dustin Rykert, Sr, BYU
Tony Terrell, Sr, UNLV
Kicker Joey Ashcroft, Jr, Air Force
Kick Returner Dexter Wynn, Jr, Colorado State
Defensive Line Peter Hogan, Sr, Colorado State
Jason Kaufusi, Jr, Utah
Brady Poppinga, So, BYU
Garrett Smith, Sr, Utah
Linebacker Kirk Morrison, So, San Diego State
Charles Moss, Sr, New Mexico
Anthony Schlegal, So, Air Force
Defensive back Jamaal Brimmer, So, UNLV
Wes Crawley, Sr, Air Force
Brandon Ratcliff, Sr, New Mexico
Antwoine Sanders, Jr, Utah
Punter Matt Payne, So, BYU


  1. ^ Ritchie, Jabari. "In the Mountain West, a lack of eligible teams for Seattle Bowl", the Seattle Times. November 6, 2002. Accessed September 26, 2008.
  2. ^ ESPN.com. 2002 Mountain West Conference Standings. Accessed September 26, 2008.
  3. ^ The Associated Press. "TCU controls from get-go vs. Colorado State", ESPN.com. December 31, 2002. Accessed September 26, 2008.
  4. ^ The Associated Press. "Hnida makes history, but New Mexico falls short", ESPN.com. December 25, 2002. Accessed September 26, 2008.
  5. ^ The Associated Press. "Suggs makes the most of his final VT game", ESPN.com. December 31, 2002. Accessed September 26, 2008.