The MWC Bowl Picture

 Uncategorized
Nov 172003
 
Authors: Joelle Milholm

Beating San Diego State on Saturday was the most significant win

thus far for the Rams. Not only did the seniors get a victory in

their last moment on Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium, but the

team officially became bowl eligible for the 10th consecutive

season.

With Utah in the driver’s seat of the Mountain West Conference

and two weeks of conference action remaining, here is a look at the

bowl bid picture.

With wins last weekend, CSU and New Mexico joined Utah and Air

Force as the only bowl eligible teams in conference. Nevada-Las

Vegas has to win one of its two remaining games and Wyoming has to

win both of its last games to gain eligibility.

BYU was knocked out of contention with its 33-14 loss to Notre

Dame and San Diego State was also eliminated from bowl selection

with the loss to the Rams.

The MWC is guaranteed three bowl games: the Liberty Bowl, the

Las Vegas Bowl and the San Francisco Bowl. Whoever clinches the

conference championship, presumably Utah, will play in the Liberty

Bowl on Dec. 31 against the champion of the Conference USA.

New Mexico could spoil Utah’s plans if the Utes lose to BYU on

Saturday and the Lobos beat Wyoming. In this case, they would tie

for first and tiebreakers rely on head-to-head match-ups and that

would favor New Mexico, who beat Utah 47-35.

If Utah and New Mexico win, New Mexico will have sole possession

of second place and would probably go to the conference’s next-best

bowl in Las Vegas on Dec. 24 (if UNLV is not eligible). Another

complexity of the New Mexico-Wyoming game is that if the Lobos win,

CSU will probably be invited to play in the San Francisco Bowl.

Before that can happen, the Rams have to beat UNLV this weekend.

CSU is tied for third place with BYU and Air Force who all share a

3-3 conference record. Even if all three teams win this weekend,

CSU would get the third place spot after beating the Cougars 58-13

and the Falcons 30-20.

The San Francisco Bowl is required to pick the third place team

from the MWC and CSU would be headed to the Bay Area to take on the

fourth or fifth seed from the Pacific-10 conference, possibly

Oregon or UCLA.

Another prerequisite would have to occur to give the Rams a bowl

bid. Wyoming (2-3 conference record) could take the third place

spot and San Francisco Bowl bid if they were to beat New Mexico

this weekend and UNLV next weekend. The Cowboys would then be tied

with the Rams and would take precedence after beating CSU

35-28.

Although my predictions have about as much of a chance of coming

true as a MWC team has a chance of making it to a BCS Bowl, I am

going to make one anyway: The Rams will beat UNLV on Saturday and

end the season with a 4-3-conference record. Utah will beat BYU to

eliminate the Cougars from the third place battle, New Mexico will

beat Wyoming clinching runner-up status and sending the Cowboys off

into the sunset with no bowl in sight, and Air Force will beat San

Diego State. The latter game does not have a great importance as

regular season play proved the Ram to be mightier than the

Falcon.

The Liberty Bowl will then invite Utah, the Las Vegas Bowl will

extend an invitation to New Mexico and the Rams will finish their

season with a bowl game for the fifth year in a row.

So clear your calendars for New Year’s Eve and get ready to see

CSU playing in the Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl.

 

 

 

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