Broncos picked to win Mountain Divison, three make All-MWC team

(KBOI) - You can stop feeling bad about talking college football in the off-season, because even the Mountain West Conference has started doing it.

The Mountain kicked off their annual football media days, and say they're big fans of the Broncos. The Mountain West thinks Boise State will take the Mountain Division, as the Broncos pick all but one of the possible first-place votes. Nothing new to Bronco Nation, as the league has always been high on BSU naming them preseason favorites in 2011 and 2012.

Unlike last season, the Broncos return a starting quarterback in Joe Southwick. The senior may have stumbled out of the gate, but turned things around late in the 2012 season.

"It wasn't like he was playing really poorly early on, it's just that there were a couple plays here and there that we needed to have him make, that we weren't making. It's just a little here and there that can just make all the difference in the world, and to Joe's credit, I mean he just worked as hard as anybody that I've been around. And he knows our offense as well as any quarter that we've had. I mean, he knows it as well as Kellen. And so, it'll be interesting to see if he can take that next step," said Boise State head coach Chris Petersen.

"I do feel a little different, a little more confident, a little more ... kind of knowing the process of how this goes, and what I need to do. Not just from a quarterback perspective, but a leadership perspective for this team. So, I'm just trying to improve everyday, and try to bring my teammates along with me," added senior quarterback Joe Southwick.

A pair of Bronco All-Conference offensive linemen will try to keep Southwick upright, so he's able to set that example. Council, Idaho's own Matt Paradis, and tackle Charles Leno will try to lock down the left side of the line.

Leno is no stranger to the preseason praise as he made the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award Watch lists.

The third Bronco making the All-Mountain West Conference team is DeMarcus Lawrence. After a stellar sophomore season, the defensive end also picks up preseason honors from the Bronko Nagurski and Lombardi Award watch lists.