Nevada – Kansas State.
These two teams recently are fairly regularly participate in bowl season. These teams are fairly pedestrian in the big picture with a few seasons of extraordinary seasons.
New Mexico – UTEP, Vanderbilt.
Unfortunately, these two fit in the same category as the Lobos. A couple of bowl games this decade but mostly on the wrong end of the final scores and not all that competitive for the most part against its own conference. Blips of being good shadowed by poor results.
San Diego State – Auburn.
The Aztecs are a team that has won a conference title and wins games but can be overshadowed from bigger programs in its conference despite beating them. Auburn has a historic win, plus other, over Alabama with the infamous kick-six.
Boise State is the team that gets more respect over and recognition over San Diego State and that is similar to Alabama and Auburn. Good programs but sometimes they get overshadowed despite great success.
San Jose State – Syracuse.
Both of these teams have had close upsets over high-quality teams in their conference. The Spartans nearly upset San Diego State and the Orange had Clemson on the ropes. Both teams also have had some success years ago with really good quarterbacks with David Fales for San Jose State and Donovan McNabb for Syracuse.
UNLV – Kansas.
These two teams have had issues over the past decade with little success and the Rebels actually have had more with one more bowl game this decade. Both have new-ish coaches with Les Miles entering the second year while UNLV is going with Marcus Arroyo.
Utah State – Texas A&M.
There are expectations for both teams each year. These Aggies — both of them — have expectations from within their own fanbases. Success has been interminetent with rare wins over bigger named opponents.
Wyoming – Michigan State.
These two teams have just OK offenses but really good defenses over the years. The Spartans are a step above the Cowboys with a couple of Cotton Bowl appearances, but the style of play of these two teams is similar which is built upon an elite defense and an offense that gets the job done.