Mountain West Football Bowl Projections After Week 3
We are nearing 25% of the season in the books.
A couple of tweaks this week.
Doing weekly bowl projections can be a bit tedious and boring so this week we are going to make some changes this week at the top of the league. Long gone are anything used from preseason projections. Having played three games is a good measuring stick to know who will be bowling and where.
The one big change at the top is that we do not have Boise State in the Cotton Bowl representing the Group of Five this week. This is fluid but we are putting UCF above the Broncos due to its dominant win over Stanford who may or not be good.
Removing a Mountain West team from a New Year’s Six Bowl berth means that there are only six spots available and could mean that there could be a repeat of last year which saw Wyoming missing out on a bowl game despite winning its final four games and finishing 6-6.
This week there are six Mountain West teams in a bowl game (it is too early to know if the Cheeze-It Bowl could include a Mountain West team). These teams are Boise State, Air Force, San Diego State, Fresno State, Hawaii, and Utah State.
This puts Wyoming and Nevada on the outside looking in. Those two teams, according to ESPN’s FPI, are projected the Cowboys to finish with 7.4 wins and the Wolf Pack at just 5.4 victories.
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, also if bowl eligible. If BYU is not in the game then it will be an American team. The Warriors have a 13-game schedule and must have seven wins to secure a bowl berth.
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
– Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl vs. Big Ten
– Cheez-It Bowl Conditional for MW if bowl can’t fill a spot.