LAS VEGAS – Mountain West Football Media Days kicked off with the Nevada football team picked second in the West Division by a panel of selected media members, the conference announced today at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Sophomore defense back Dameon Baber, who burst onto the scene with a historic season in 2015 as a true freshman, was Nevada’s lone selection on the 2016 Preseason All-Mountain West Team, also voted upon by the media.
San Diego State was selected as a unanimous choice for first place in the West Division. Nevada was second with 129 points, followed by San José State in third place. Fresno State, UNLV and Hawai`i rounded out the West Division. On the Mountain side, the poll went: Boise State, Air Force, Utah State, Colorado State, New Mexico and Wyoming.
— Mountain West (@MountainWest) July 26, 2016
Nevada returns 16 starters, including 11 on offense, and 38 letter winners overall from last year’s team that went 7-6 and beat Colorado State 28-23 to win the inaugural NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl game. The 2016 season, Brian Polian’s fourth at Nevada, kicks off Sept. 2 when Nevada opens a newly renovated Mackay Stadium against Cal Poly.
A sophomore from Palmdale, Calif., Baber earned second-team All-MW honors in 2015 from his safety spot in the Pack secondary. Slated to redshirt, Baber did not play in the first three games but he then started in week four in a win at Buffalo, pick off two passes and recording 10 tackles. He finished the year with six interceptions overall, which was second in the MW and seventh nationally. He picked off three passes over Fresno State, which tied a MW record for most interceptions in a game.
Mountain West Media Days begin in earnest today with Mountain Division coaches and student-athletes meeting with the media. Polian, along with team representatives quarterback Tyler Stewart and running back James Butler, arrive today and will meet with local, regional and national media on Wednesday.
This marks the fourth season of divisional play for the conference, which moved to the two, six-team divisional format in 2013. The two divisional winners will meet in the MW Championship Game on Dec. 3, 2016 at the home stadium of the divisional champion with the highest College Football Playoff Committee ranking.
2015 Mountain West Standings
San Diego State 11-3, 8-0
Nevada 7-6, 4-4
San Jose State 6-7, 4-4
UNLV 3-9, 2-6
Fresno State 3-9, 2-6
Hawaii 3-10, 0-8
Air Force 8-6, 6-2
Boise State 9-4, 5-3
Colorado State 7-6, 5-3
New Mexico 7-6, 5-3
Utah State 6-7, 5-3
Wyoming 2-10, 2-6