The Mountain West is nearly done with its season, only three more weeks. There are some clear winners, and some clear losers. But what is the best ending for the conference as a whole? It’s that a ranked 11-1 team makes a NY6. But who should it be? What about the rest of the conference?
Fresno State @ Boise State
Although many consider Boise to be the darling of the conference, their losses to Oklahoma State and San Diego State have removed them from the NY6 discussion. For the good of the conference, Fresno needs to demolish them. This also nearly guarantees that Utah State wins the Mountain Division.
New Mexico @ Air Force
Air Force has an outside shot at making a bowl, while New Mexico would have to go through Boise State. The loser of this game is eliminated completely from the discussion so its better that Air Force wins this one. New Mexico played both Fresno State and Utah State so if they can finish 5-7 as opposed to 3-9, that looks better for each team. However, that’s not likely to be the deciding factor. Give Air Force the win.
San Jose State @ Utah State
The Aggies need to win this by at least 40. After the CFP committee left them out again, I wouldn’t be shocked if Utah State puts up 80 on the Spartans.
UNLV @ San Diego State
This one is pretty easy. UNLV is out of bowl contention. SDSU has a bowl locked up. Its best if the Aztecs win this one by a mile.
Colorado State @ Nevada
Now this one is a little interesting. Nevada nearly has a bowl clinched but CSU loss eliminates them. That gives the Rams an advantage. However, Colorado State has to go through Utah State next week. So a bowl eligible CSU team isn’t likely. Give Nevada the win.
Boise State @ New Mexico
The conference needs Boise State to still look like a quality win for Fresno State. They can’t have them lose to a 3-7 New Mexico team. Boise needs to win by 20+.
Utah State @ Colorado State
Once again, the Aggies need to win by 30+. Utah State’s schedule has been pretty peachy since going to Michigan State. They need to keep a huge margin of victory going.
Air Force @ Wyoming
This hopefully features two 4-6 teams. That means that once again, there is a guaranteed bowl elimination. Both teams would go against an eliminated team for their final game (CSU or UNM). That means that this game is probably just fine going either way. However, Wyoming played both Fresno State and Utah State, even giving USU their tightest game of the year. A bowl eligible Wyoming helps out the conference just a smidge more than a bowl eligible Air Force.
Nevada @ San Jose State
A Wolf Pack win helps Fresno look better. A Spartan win makes them not be the worst team in the country. Nevada winning is more beneficial to the conference.
San Diego State @ Fresno State
Assuming that Fresno State beat Boise State, the conference will want Fresno State to keep winning. If the Broncos pulled off the upset, this is a toss-up. Who ever wins, will be a 2 loss divisional champ. However, Fresno has a bit more respect nationally and so they could give more respect to the Mountain Division Champion. Either way, Fresno State should win this.
UNLV @ Hawai’i
Hawai’i was 6-1 and nearly had their ticket punched to the Hawai’i Bowl, then they dropped 4 straight games in an atrocious fashion. But against a 2-8 UNLV team, in Hawai’i, the Rainbow Warriors should get their ticket punched at last. Hopefully they can win by a mile so the beat downs from the Aggies and Bulldogs carries more weight.
Colorado State @ Air Force
So both teams are not going bowling this year so how can this game help the conference? Well, Air Force played USU close at the beginning of the year so a win here makes the Aggies look a little better. But if CSU wins, the Aggies recent win over them may look better. But maybe getting Bobo fired is the best thing after all. The Rams finishing 3-9 might be enough to get him out the door. Give Air Force the win.
San Jose State @ Fresno State
Fresno State need to win this by 40 as well. This game shouldn’t ever be close. This should lock the 11-1 Bulldogs into the MW Championship Game.
Utah State @ Boise State
Aggies should go to Boise 10-1 and putting every team to bed early in the game. Boise should be 8-3, with losses to a good OSU, great Fresno State, and good San Diego State. However two of those losses came at home. Craig Thompson will probably be hoping that the Aggies keep up their winning ways and find a way to blow out the Broncos on the smurf turf. The Aggies are also locked into the MW Championship Game.
Hawai’i @ San Diego State
Both teams are bowl eligible, so that won’t be a factor here. Hawai’i got blown out by both divisional champs, but SDSU doesn’t get the Aggies this year. So a Hawai’i win helps the conference champ either way. Hawai’i wins here.
Wyoming @ New Mexico
Although Wyoming had arguably the worst offense in the country, they seem to be getting better. By making a bowl, they redeem themselves and look halfway decent. New Mexico fires Davies for the good of their program, the conference, and everyone involved. The dude should have been gone last off season.
Nevada @ UNLV
This would be a 7-4 Nevada team going up against a flailing 2-9 UNLV team that gave SJSU their only win. Its not hard to see that Nevada winning the cannon is whats best for the conference.
Mountain West Championship Game
First, where will this game be played? Utah State and Fresno State both sit at 11-1 (8-0) and they didn’t play each other. So the tie breaker comes down to the CFP rankings. So if the conference could pick who would they want to host it? Probably Fresno State. They made the Championship Game last year before losing to Boise. They already have some national respect. But the conference would probably want to have USU ranked one spot behind them.
Utah State @ Fresno State
As mentioned before, Fresno State is already well respected, Utah State could be seen as a flash in the pan. So, the conference is going to want to both teams to come out looking good. This shouldn’t be a blow out otherwise the winning team will be seen as just beating another “bad team with an easy schedule.” However, since, in this scenario, Fresno is ranked above Utah State, its best for the conference, if Fresno keeps winning. If they can pull out a thriller, that garners national attention as the “game of the week” then they have a great shot at being the top ranked G5 conference champion.
Utah State 11-2 (8-1)
Boise State 8-4 (5-3)
Wyoming 6-6 (4-4)
Air Force 5-7 (3-5)
Colorado State 3-9 (2-6)
New Mexico 3-9 (2-6)
Fresno State 12-1 (9-0)
Nevada 8-4 (6-2)
San Diego State 8-4 (5-3)
Hawai’i 8-5 (5-3)
San Jose State 1-11 (1-7)
UNLV 2-10 (0-8)