In the week since we did our first Mountain West bowl projections, things have remained exactly the same — every team that was favored won, and no new teams became bowl eligible.
That all could change this weekend, if Nevada beats Colorado State in Reno on Saturday, that will give the Wolf Pack six wins. Hawaii is on a bye.
Also, the big game, Friday’s Fresno State-Boise State tilt, will have major implications. A Boise State win, and the Broncos still have a clear shot at the Mountain Division title, needing to win at New Mexico and then closing at home with Utah State. It’s also not crazy to think if the Broncos knock off two top-20 teams in Fresno State and Utah State, then win the Mountain West title game, they’ll be in the Group of Five berth discussion.
However, if the Bulldogs win, then where Boise State goes for a bowl is anyone’s guess. ESPN could move some pieces to get a good opponent in a game that may currently not appear to have one, or put the Broncos in a bowl like Redbox (formerly Foster Farms) or Cheez-It (formerly Cactus) if other conferences don’t fill their allotments or Frisco if the Mountain West fills its primary five and has an extra team looking for a spot.
For argument’s sake, we’ll wait to discuss that another day, but also I’m switching where I had the Broncos in the first projections. ESPN likely won’t love the idea of Boise State playing in Arizona on CBS Sports Network, so we’ll change it around a bit. You’ll see just about every national publication put Boise State in the Potato Bowl — I don’t see that happening barring a Bronco collapse or a shot to pair them with a 10-win Buffalo squad. They want to play somewhere else than home.
MOUNTAIN WEST BOWL GAMES
Las Vegas (Dec. 15): Fresno State vs. USC
New Mexico (Dec. 15): Boise State vs. Middle Tennessee
Famous Idaho Potato (Dec. 21): San Diego State vs. Toledo
Hawaii (Dec. 22): Hawaii vs. Louisiana Tech
Cheez-It (Dec. 26): Utah State vs. Cal
Arizona (Dec. 29): Nevada vs. Troy
NEW YEAR’S SIX
Cotton (Dec. 29, CFP semi): Alabama vs. Michigan
Orange (Dec. 29, CFP semi): Clemson vs. Notre Dame
Peach (Dec. 29): LSU vs. West Virginia
Sugar (Jan. 1): Oklahoma vs. Georgia
Rose (Jan. 1): Washington State vs. Ohio State
Fiesta (Jan. 1): Syracuse vs. UCF