Nov 112003
 
Authors: Steve Latuda

The MWC is the only conference in the country where every team

is still mathematically in the hunt to become bowl eligible. That

won’t happen of course, but with the way things are in the MWC this

year, fans probably will not know until the end who goes to a bowl

game, and who spends Christmas vacation at home.

“It is amazing that every team in the league could become bowl

eligible,” said New Mexico head coach Rocky Long. “That can’t be

possible in any other major conference.”

Of the eight MWC teams, seven are vying for at least a portion

of the Mountain West Conference Championship.

To become bowl eligible, a team must win half the games on its

schedule. One of those victories can be over a Division I-AA

opponent, but I-AA victories may only be counted for bowl

eligibility purposes once every four seasons.

With that said, this week’s games should clear up some of the

mess that is the MWC standings.

UNLV (5-5, 1-4 MWC)

Entering a bye week, the Rebels must win one of their two

remaining games to become bowl eligible. Essentially, the Rebels

must win out, and pray for some major upsets at the top of the MWC

standings to be invited to a bowl game.

BYU (4-6, 3-3) at Notre Dame (3-6)

Saturday, November 15 at Notre Dame Stadium

12:30 p.m. – NBC

The Cougars must win their final two games to become bowl

eligible. With three conference losses, they are still in the hunt

to be co-conference champs, but the chances are slim. The Cougars

welcome the University of Utah to Provo in the final game of the

season, but their postseason window is closing.

San Diego State (5-5, 2-3) at Colorado State (5-5, 2-3)

Saturday, November 15 at Hughes Stadium

1:00 p.m. – ESPN+Plus and KTDV 20

A limping Aztec team must win their final two games, but with

their big three, quarterback Adam Hall, running back Lynell

Hamilton and wide receiver Jeff Webb, injured, the Aztecs must

count on inexperience to become bowl eligible.

“Right now, the odds are against us,” linebacker Kirk Morrison

said. “We have three vital parts of our offense hurt. I don’t know

how we’re going to overcome that.”

SDSU has two I-AA victories this season (Eastern Washington and

Samford), and can count only one for bowl eligibility purposes.

Air Force (7-3, 3-2) at New Mexico (6-4, 3-2)

Saturday, November 15 at University Stadium

Albuquerque, N.M.

1:00 p.m.

This is the game of the week in the MWC. The Lobos come off of a

last second win against CSU, and now control their own destiny.

“It’s a heckuva shift in preparation from Colorado State to Air

Force,” Long said. “The one extra day will help the coaches’ plan

for the option.”

The Lobos need one win to become bowl eligible, because their

victory over a I-AA team last year cancels this year’s victory over

I-AA South Texas.

New Mexico is still in the hunt to go to the Liberty Bowl. If

they win out and Utah loses once, the Lobos would hold the

tiebreaker because they beat the Utes.

Air Force, who lost to Utah two weeks ago, needs to win out, and

have Utah lose its final two games; however, that is unlikely. Air

Force is already bowl eligible, and should land an invitation with

a victory over New Mexico.

Wyoming (4-5, 2-2) at Utah (7-2, 4-1)

Saturday, November 15 at Rice-Eccles Stadium

Salt Lake City, Utah

4:30 p.m.

All Utah has to do to stay in the MWC driver’s seat is win. The

Utes don’t need anyone to lose, as long as they win. They are

basically guaranteed to land in a bowl.

Wyoming on the other hand must keep up their winning ways and

sweep through the rest of the season to become bowl eligible. A

bowl is possible if they upset Utah, and defeat UNLV.

“We have a chance,” said Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn. “Our

offense is clicking thanks to the improved play by our O-line.”

 

 

 

 

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