It is a new week, but not a ton has changed in the Mountain West bowl picture.
Still, only two teams are out of contention, and only Hawaii and New Mexico are at risk of losing their seventh games this weekend.
Boise State continues to roll, having notched a fifth straight win, Fresno State escaped BYU and San Diego State absolutely dominated San Jose State. Wyoming’s win over Colorado State lets the Cowboys stay in division contention, but Boise State holds the pole position.
As November winds down, it will be very interesting for a conference like the Mountain West. The Power Five conferences may not fill all of their bowl allotments, opening up the Group of Five possibilities. Without the Poinsettia Bowl, the Mountain West has one less of its own affiliations, so there could be some interesting movement to watch. Underdog Dynasty has a good look at that scenario.
Here are our bowl projections for this week (last week’s are here):
Las Vegas (Dec. 16): Boise State vs. Stanford
The bowl is not beholden to take the conference champ, and with San Diego State playing here last year, the Broncos could wind up in it even if they don’t win the title game. However, there’s no reason to think they won’t at this point. I had Oregon here last week, knowing full well beating Washington would be tough. The Ducks still need a win to get bowl-eligible, and at worst should get it in the finale against Oregon State. But let’s mix it up. Stanford is 6-3 but has remaining games against Washington, Cal and Notre Dame. That could put the Cardinal in the No. 6 spot in the conference, which is Las Vegas. It would be interesting to see the Broncos’ run defense against Bryce Love, who leads the nation with 182 rushing yards per game.
New Mexico (Dec. 16): Fresno State vs. North Texas
Famous Idaho Potato (Dec. 22): Northern Illinois vs. Wyoming
Hawaii (Dec. 24): San Diego State vs. Western Kentucky
Arizona (Dec. 29): Colorado State vs. Louisiana
Five eligible teams, five Mountain West bowls. But there could be more in the mix. The Foster Farms and Cactus Bowls have Mountain West backups, so those are a possibility, too. Boise State would not go to the Cactus since the Broncos went last year. The Frisco Bowl has an at-large slot to face a team from the American.
NEW YEAR’S SIX
Rose (Jan. 1, CFP semi): Georgia vs. Notre Dame
Sugar (Jan. 1, CFP semi): Alabama vs. Clemson
Peach (Jan. 1): Oklahoma vs. UCF
Orange (Dec. 30): Miami (Fla.) vs. Wisconsin
Fiesta (Dec. 30): Washington vs. Penn State
Cotton (Dec. 29): Ohio State vs. TCU