New Mountain West title game adds early intrigue

ccripe@idahostatesman.comSeptember 13, 2013 

The way the Mountain West will determine its football champion this year puts a premium on winning five games on the schedule — at least on paper.

“We talked about, yeah, this is our first league game,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. “But (the players) are like: ‘So? What, are we going to play harder now?’ ”

This is the first season that the Mountain West has featured 12 teams, two divisions and a conference championship game. Three teams — Boise State, San Diego State and Fresno State — shared the title with one loss last season.

To reach the 2013 championship game, which will be hosted by the team with the highest Bowl Championship Series ranking, teams have to win their six-team division.

And to win their division, they can’t afford losses within the division because the first tiebreaker in the standings is head-to-head result.

Boise State competes in the Mountain Division, which also includes Air Force, Utah State, Wyoming, New Mexico and Colorado State. They all play each other and three teams from the West Division.

The Broncos open division play Friday against Air Force. Their next division game is Oct. 12 at Utah State. The rest are in November.

“Both teams will know the situation, and it will add a little something more to the game,” Boise State senior quarterback Joe Southwick said of intradivision games.

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398,Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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