College Football Playoff Rankings: Will San Diego State Rise Again in the Top 25?
The Aztecs took down another quality opponent on Saturday. How will that impact their standing in the CFP top 25 on Tuesday?
Handle business, hope for chaos.
The San Diego State Aztecs did it again on Saturday night, defeating the Nevada Wolf Pack in a taut back-and-forth affair to not only maintain their hold on the lead in the West division but keep pace with the one team standing between them and the inside track for a New Year’s Six bowl bid.
Though there are only two weeks left in the regular season, there’s plenty left at stake if things break just right for San Diego State. Here’s how each current contender in the Mountain West stacks up ahead of the College Football Playoff’s third top 25 reveal on Tuesday:
#22 San Diego State Aztecs (9-1)
What’s new for the Aztecs? San Diego State continued to live on the wild side against Nevada, winning their fifth game of the season by seven or fewer points, but the Aztecs can now claim victories against three different bowl eligible teams: Utah, Air Force, and now the Wolf Pack.
The hope from here is that those big wins look even better with each passing week. Utah survived an unexpected challenge on the road against Arizona, for example, and now gets a primetime date next Saturday against Pac-12 North leader Oregon. San Jose State could make it four bowl-eligible wins if they beat Fresno State in two weeks, but the Aztecs might prefer if the Bulldogs stand as their lone quality loss. Boise State remains a big wild card, too, though San Diego State may not want to look past a UNLV team that’s reversed its fortunes in the last two weeks and has a winning streak on its hands.
Utah State Aggies (8-2)
SP+ rank: 89 | Sagarin rank: 66 | Strength-of-schedule rank (per Sagarin/Sports Reference): 79/102
What’s new for the Aggies? Utah State rolled to another big win on Saturday night against San Jose State, further silencing the skeptics and putting more distance between them and the close-game luck that defined much of their early season success. Say what you will about the level of competition, but the Aggies have now beaten Hawaii, New Mexico State and the Spartans by an average of 24.3 points in the last three weeks.
Boise State’s win over Wyoming also helps their outcome against the Broncos look like more of a quality loss now that the men on the blue have reached bowl eligibility. Washington State fell short of doing the same on the road against Oregon on Saturday, but it’d be a shock if they can’t reach six wins against Arizona and rival Washington over the next two weeks.
What does the broader landscape look like at this point?