Preseason Mountain West Bowl Predictions
Time to preview bowl season, way-too-early
Bowl picks sure to be wrong
With Arizona vs. Hawaii kicking off Week 0 and the college football season just around the corner, it is time to place our bowl picks for the 2019 season. These picks this early on are not necessarily how the season will end but are more of a week-by-week snapshot of what the matchups could be.
Also, with making picks each week there will be some flexibility and creativity when making these matchups, within reason. So, don’t get to upset with some of the picks the first month or so of the season. Once things sort themselves out the picks will be more laser-focused after we know who is good and not good.
Also, this preseason and post Week 0 — yes, we will do more projections after the Hawaii game — will be the last offseason bowl projections that are following our staff’s projected order of finish which saw Boise State get the most votes as our preseason favorite to win the league. When these are updated the preseason projections will matter less and less.
A few notes about the bowl lineups. BYU is going to be in the Hawaii Bowl, if bowl eligible or not in a New Year’s Six game, and will play Hawaii. If BYU is not in the game then it will be an American team.
There is a new bowl this year and it’s a Power Five opponent from the Big Ten in the Armed Forces Bowl.
Overall, the league has six guaranteed bowl berths and is a backup for the Cheez-It Bowl if the Pac-12 or Big 12 does not have enough teams eligible. As always, there can be trades for the best matchups.
Finally, if the Mountain West is the highest rated team in the College Football Playoff then a New Year’s Six Bowl game is an option at either the Cotton or Orange Bowl.
1. Las Vegas vs. Pac-12
– Famous Idaho Potato Bowl vs. MAC
– Gildan New Mexico Bowl vs. Conference USA
– Hawai’i Bowl vs. BYU or American
– NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl vs. Sun Belt
– Lockhead Martin Armed Forces Bowl vs. Big Ten
– Cheez-It Bowl Conditional for MW if bowl can’t fill a spot.
In these first preseason projections, there will not be a Mountain West team in the New Year’s Six game because there is no Mountain West team ranked in the top 25 polls. If Boise State beats Florida State and Fresno State tops USC then things can clearly change.
The Six teams that are likely to get into the bowl scene from the Mountain West will (likely) be San Diego State, Hawaii, Utah State, Boise State, Fresno State, and Air Force.
Wyoming and Nevada will have a good shot to get to the required six wins to become bowl eligible. There is also that Cheez-It Bowl which could be a spot for a sixth Mountain West team — or seventh if a New Year’s Six game is a reality.