2018 Mountain West Football Title Game Round Table
Our staff answers the burning questions
Championship game roundtable
Gameday is oh so close with Boise State hosting Fresno State in the Mountain West title game and doing so for the second-straight year. Who cares if these teams will be playing for the fourth time in just over a year, because everyone is expecting a good game.
To get a feel for the game, we reached out to our entire staff here at MW Wire for their take on this title game.
1) This is a rivalry game and the fourth time these two teams have met in the last two years and a rivalry that stretches back to the early 2000s. There is certainly a lot of history and some tension between these fan bases. What do you think about the other team?
While I recognize that Fresno State is good, I do not fully respect the Bulldogs. How could I respect a team that has squandered every opportunity to shine in the limelight going back to 2002. I want to emphasize again that I think the 2018 Fresno State team is good but the Bulldogs are soft unless they can prove me otherwise this Saturday night.
I’ve said for a while that Boise State is the Group of 5’s gold standard, even if they aren’t quite reaching the same peaks that they did in the WAC. That’s the nice thing about metronomic consistency, it gives you quite a benefit of the doubt, and that’s the kind of level that Fresno State has been trying (and mostly failing) to reach since 2001. How do I feel about Boise State as a Fresno State fan, though?
If I had to boil it down to one word, it’s “envious”. They’ve enjoyed what we in the San Joaquin Valley have wanted for nearly two decades, so I respect them but it’s the most begrudging kind of respect, the kind that makes you burn when things go sideways again and again. I guess this is how Boston Red Sox fans felt for all that time.
For all the “rivals” that Boise State has picked up recently (SDSU, Air Force), Fresno is the first and longest where the games have meant something. This will be the third matchup in the MW title game and they have tied at the top of the conference another time.
This is a close rivalry as of late and I am all for it. This is what college football is all about, no matter how much you don’t like Fresno State.
As a former Bulldog student, I can’t stand Boise State. However, I respect them. Year after year it’s always the same dangerous Broncos team, and this year is no different. However, the Bulldogs have the best defense in school history and that’s something we’ve never seen in the Central Valley before. 60 minutes, one game, so much on the line. The Bulldogs can rise to the top of the Mountains West with a victory Saturday night. In Boise (oh man).
Most Utah State fans would rather see a Costco-sized meteor strike Boise before watching the Broncos celebrate a conference title on its stupid blue turf after last week’s heartbreaker took USU out of the running.
That said, Aggie fans with a slightly longer memory hate the Bulldogs for the Derek Carr game and hate them even more for somehow being able to recruit to Fresno and taking just one season to bounce back into a seat at the perennial contenders’ table. Rationally we should want Boise to win, and at least comfort ourselves with the knowledge we lost to the best team in the conference. Emotionally, it’d be nice to see Fresno pants Boise by four touchdowns.
I have no issues with either school. I’m just looking forward to a good game, that has no influence whatsoever from the refs. (Raj, there was space between the ball and the first down marker, everyone could see it plain as day).
I have a lot of respect for Fresno State and the tradition that comes with the brand. This rivalry dates back to 1977, but these teams did not share a conference (both teams were not in the FBS until the Broncos moved up in 1997) until the Broncos joined the Western Athletic Conference in 2001.
That year the Broncos beat the 8th ranked Bulldogs at home on a nationally televised game on a Friday night, ruining Pat Hills shot at a BCS game. The rivalry is still channeled by Boise State coaches, Coach Avalos (he played linebacker at BSU from 2001-2004) does not allow red to be worn in the football facilities to this day.
I think the majority of the fanbase would say they have great respect for what the Boise State program has become over the last 20 years and see them as a model of how the Wyoming program should evolve. As far as Fresno State, I think a lot of fans thought “meh” when they were invited but now appreciate the value of having another quality program in such a great recruiting area.
I am not a fan of either team but this is a rivalry despite that Boise State gets the better of Fresno State basically every time. Now, that should not really make it a rivalry since both sides should win a decent amount of time. This is a one-sided rivalry with the Broncos owning it, and nearly every time the Bulldogs have a good team they still come up short, specifically on the Blue Turf.