Bronco Beat

ESPN projections have Boise State playing in Cotton Bowl

At least on Saturday, Boise State football loved the option.

Navy’s offense confounded No. 6 Houston, racking up 306 rushing yards with two of its three passes going for scores, pulling off the 46-40 upset of the Cougars. It was also the sort of win that had ramifications outside of the American Athletic Conference. With the Midshipmen now in the driver’s seat in the conference, beating their fellow West Division opponent, Boise State is now the front-runner for the Group of Five’s spot in a New Year’s Six bowl.

Houston could get an at-large spot when all is said and done, but needs to win its conference to get the automatic Group of Five bid. Coming into this week, only Boise State (at No. 19) and Houston were ranked among teams in the AAC, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt.

On Sunday, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach and Brett McMurphy both gave their weekly bowl projections, and they have the Broncos playing in the Cotton Bowl. Schlabach has the Broncos facing Baylor, McMurphy has them against Tennessee. The Cotton Bowl, played on Jan. 2 at AT&T Stadium, is the only option for the Group of Five auto-bid team to land in this year’s bowl rotation.

But first, the Broncos need to handle its business in the Mountain West. Next up for the Broncos is hosting Colorado State (8:15 p.m. Saturday), coming off a come-from-behind 31-24 win over Utah State.

Also of note in the bowl projections: both have the 3-3 Idaho Vandals playing in the Arizona Bowl, against Wyoming and Nevada. They also have former coach Chris Petersen’s Washington Huskies reaching the College Football Playoff.


After Hurricane Matthew postponed the Georgia-South Carolina matchup from Saturday to Sunday, the major college football polls were pushed back a day from being released.

The Associated Press Top 25 will be released at approximately 10:30 a.m. Monday, and the Amway Coaches Poll is expected early Monday afternoon. Boise State was ranked 19th in both polls last week.