Mountain West Football Bowl Projections After Week 11
Some shuffling this week in bowl projections.
Power Five failures will help MW
This time of year the bowl projections start to get more clear and it also muddles things up with replacement teams. This all goes to the College Football Playoff and New Year’s Six games, plus ESPN wanting to make a deal for the best possible television show to put on for the bowl game.
The Mountain West has the Cheeze-It Bowl as a back up if there are not enough Big 12 or Pac-12 teams. So, if either league gets a playoff team and fills its spot in a New Year’s Six bowl then it will open things up.
Also, it looks likely that the Big 10 and SEC are on track for multiple New Year’s Six teams and that will allow for trading and swapping. So, this just means these bowl lineups might be a be wonky compared to the typical tie-ins.
As for who is going bowling from the Mountain West, the teams that are bowl eligible for sure are Boise State, Nevada, Wyoming, Air Force, and San Diego State. Hawaii has six wins but since they play 13 games they need to hit the threshold of seven victories. The Warriors are likely to be bowl eligible as they face UNLV and Army in two of their final three games.
That gives us six bowl eligible teams for five or six spots as it depends on if the Hawaii Bowl will take the Warriors if eligible and match them up with former WAC for BYU.
Utah State is the next likely team with five wins and then there is Colorado State, Fresno State and San Jose State sitting with four wins each.
The Aggies are likely getting to at least six as they play New Mexico. Colorado State is playing better but they hit a tough stretch of Air Force, Boise State, and Wyoming, so they are out. San Jose State takes on UNLV and then Fresno State so a slight chance, and then the Bulldogs have the Spartans plus San Diego State and Nevada with two of the three on the road.
This week we will go with seven teams by including Utah State with the already bowl eligible teams, and also Fresno State since ESPN’s FPI likes their chances of winning two of its last three.
A few notes about the bowl lineups. Starting with the Hawaii Bowl. The game has a vaguely worded tie-in which is a combination between BYU, Hawaii or an AAC team. The Warriors have a 13-game schedule and must have seven wins to secure a bowl berth. Technically, BYU takes the Mountain West spot but a Cougars vs. Warriors matchup would be a classic WAC rivalry renewal.
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.