Fresno State beat Boise State 28-17 in both teams’ regular-season finale Saturday at Bulldog Stadium. Both ended up with 9-3 overall records and 7-1 marks in Mountain West play.
They will play again next Saturday in the Mountain West championship game, but we won’t know until Sunday where the game will take place.
Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said the conference hopes to make an announcement at approximately 10 a.m. Sunday.
Boise State, currently No. 23 in the College Football Playoff, is expected to fall out of the rankings, so the host site will be determined by four computer rankings: Anderson & Hester, Billingsley, Colley Matrix and Wolfe.
“You can’t base it on a single game, and I know head-to-head means a ton, and it should, but it’s the full body of work,” Thompson said.
Boise State had an average position of 22.5 in the computers before Saturday’s game, and Fresno State was at 43.8. The Bulldogs had moved up nearly 10 spots from the previous week. None of the computers factor in margin of victory, so a Fresno State blowout wouldn’t have mattered.
It still appears most likely the Broncos will host the game, which surely will be a point of contention for the Fresno State faithful.
“I’m not a lobbyist. I don’t know how to lobby. It’s out of our control,” Fresno State coach Jeff Tedford said. “We’ve done what we can do. We go there, then we go there. We didn’t go into this game thinking if we can win this game, we’ll get home-field advantage. I don’t even know how all that works. We’ll just play where they tell us to play.”
Of course, the coaches truly have a preference.
“Where do I think? Where do you think? It should be in Boise,” Boise State coach Bryan Harsin said.
Thompson said that with the teams playing in back-to-back weeks, that type of scheduling will be an issue broached during the offseason by the conference’s athletic directors.
“Maybe we put a higher priority on no interdivisional games that last week of the season to avoid something like this,” he said.