The Mountain West Conference: An Historic Year on the West Coast

This season has been one of the best in the history for the Mountain West Conference. Some of the hottest teams in the nation are coming right out of the Rocky Mountains. Utah State, Fresno State, San Diego State, and Boise State are all currently on a crash course to fight for the title “Champions of the Mountain West”. With November finally here, lets break down all the chaos that is about to emerge within Mountain West.

Utah State (8-1; 5-0 Conf.): The Aggies are currently in the middle of a record-breaking season. Currently ranked #14 in the AP Polls and #16 in the Coaches Poll, Utah State could not be looking better. This team has been an offensive powerhouse all season long and continued to average over 50 points per game in their 56-17 victory over Hawai’i last week. Already bowl eligible, the Aggies story this November will be chaotic and exciting for the entire state of Utah. Because of the structure of the college football playoffs, Utah State’s postseason has the potential to extend all the way into January. This situation is a long shot and not completely in their own hands, but still leads to a lot of “what-ifs” for Utah State fans. The Aggies need to first win their remaining games against San Jose State, Colorado State, Boise State, and the Mountain West Conference Championship. Along with a conference championship, Utah State will need some help from the American Athletic Conference. If the University of Central Florida (8-0; 5-0 Conf.) loses their conference championship game to Houston, South Florida, Temple, or Cincinnati this year, the Aggies will be headed to a New Year’s Day Bowl Game. Utah State is arguably the hottest team in the entire conference right now and will need to stay focused over the next month if they want to play in January.

Fresno State (8-1; 5-0 Conf.): The Bulldogs were blessed last week and received a spot in the College Football Playoff’s first top 25 ranking. Currently ranked 23rd in the playoff race, this extremely talented team solidified their spot with a solid 48-3 road victory over UNLV. Fresno State went into the second half of their game building on a 17-0 lead, and kept the touchdowns coming. This teams upcoming schedule will be filled with exciting games, and single handedly will determine the post season of the MWC. Fresno State rolls into November with a road game against Boise State, and a home game against San Diego State. These games will be the deciding factors for who goes to the Mountain West Conference Championship Game. Both San Diego State and Boise State need to win these games if they want any chance to fight for the title. Regarding bowl games, Fresno State is in nearly the same boat as previously discussed, Utah State. Fresno State could play in a New Year’s Day Bowl Game if The University of Central Florida does not come out victorious. The Bulldogs have the hardest remaining schedule of any Mountain West team, and all should be must watch games for their fans.

Boise State (7-2; 4-1 Conf.): Boise State began the season with a rough start but has managed to turn this team into real threat for the rest of the Mountain West. Currently one game behind Utah State, this team is fighting for survival against the Aggies. Their last home game against BYU ended in a dramatic fashion, as they lead 21-16 with under a minute left in the game. Boise State’s defense made a game winning stop on their own goal line and prevented BYU from pushing the Bronco’s record to 7-3. Aside from the mayhem that went down this past weekend in Idaho, Boise State’s postseason is still in their own hands. Boise State still has Fresno State and Utah State on their schedule and needs to win both games if they want to make it to the championship. However, even if the Bronco’s do not make it to the championship, they are still bowl eligible. The Bronco’s selection will most likely end up within the Potato Bowl but could reach the Vegas Bowl if they are able to win out the rest of their season.

San Diego State (7-2; 4-1 Conf.): San Diego State’s season has been an emotional rollercoaster after their week nine loss to Nevada (28-24 FINAL). However, the Aztec’s season could still be redeemed if they manage to win out the rest of their season. This team can make the MWC Championship Game if they win their matchup against Fresno State in two weeks. San Diego State is the last the four bowl eligible teams in the Mountain West Conference and are projected to be playing in the Arizona Bowl. If they can win out, this could dramatically change. The Las Vegas Bowl bid is given to the champion of the Mountain West Conference and the Aztec’s could still win the division. This team’s remaining schedule consists of must win games against UNLV, Fresno, and Hawaii. This week’s game against UNLV should be easy work for the Aztec’s, as the Rebels are 0-5 in conference play. This season is still one that can be won by San Diego State if they come into November with the right mindset. They could also use some help this next weekend from Boise State when the Bronco’s play Fresno on Friday night.

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