Around the Mtn: Bowl slots filling up fast
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., -- Technically, Wyoming can become bowl eligible with just one win in its final two games of the regular season.
Still, it will be an uphill battle to snag a postseason berth for Craig Bohl's Cowboys.
Six Mountain West programs -- Air Force, Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada, San Diego State and Utah State -- currently have six or more wins. With a victory this upcoming Saturday, UW can join the mix. So can San Jose State, a team that knocked off the Pokes 27-21 on Oct. 30.
The conference has six guaranteed bowl tie ins until the 2025-26 season: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, New Mexico Bowl, Arizona Bowl and Hawaii Bowl. A team from the league could also get picked up by the Guaranteed Rate Bowl (Phoenix), Cure Bowl (Orlando), Boca Raton Bowl, Frisco Bowl.
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Here are some other news and notes from around the Mountain West Conference:
* Utah State can clinch the MW Mountain Division title and a spot in the 2021 MW Football Championship Game with a victory over Wyoming and a Boise State loss to New Mexico.
* The Aggies are one of just four FBS programs with a 5-0 record in road games this season.
* San Diego State, which controls its destiny in the MW West Division, is one of just 15 FBS teams with one loss or fewer this season.
* Air Force (7-3), Boise State (6-4), Fresno State (8-3), Nevada (7-3), San Diego State (9-1) and Utah State (8-2) are bowl eligible. The MW’s six bowl eligible teams are tied for the third-most amongst the 10 FBS conferences, trailing only the Big Ten and SEC.
* San José State can reach bowl eligibility with a victory over Fresno State on Nov. 25.
* Wyoming can become eligible for the postseason on Nov. 20 with a road victory over Utah State.
* In 2021, the Mountain West has five victories over autonomous-5 opponents, the most of any non-autonomous-5 conference. Including all 10 FBS conferences, the MW is tied for the third-most A5 victories with the ACC, and trails only the Big Ten and SEC.
* This season, the Mountain West has a pair of nonconference victories over nationally-ranked opponents, including Fresno State’s win over then-No. 13/13 UCLA and Boise State’s defeat over then-No. 10/10 BYU. The MW is tied for fourth nationally with two victories against top-25 nonconference opponents, trailing only the Big 12, Big Ten and SEC (3).
* The Mountain West is one of just two FBS conferences with at least two nonconference victories against top-15 opponents (SEC - 3).
* The league has a .500 record against opponents from the Pac-12 in 2021.
* Boise State and Fresno State both have two top-25 victories.
* The Broncos went on the road and defeated No. 10/10 BYU (26-17) on Oct. 9 and won at No. 25 Fresno State (40-14) on Nov. 6.
* The Bulldogs defeated No. 13/13 UCLA (40-37) on Sept. 18 and No. 20/21 San Diego State (30-20) on Oct. 30. Both wins came on the road, marking the first season Fresno State has earned a pair of road top-25 victories.
* In nonconference play, the Mountain West has compiled a 30-19 (.612) record, the fifth-best win percentage nationally and best among the non-autonomous-5 conferences.
* San Diego State and Fresno State have both been nationally ranked at some point in 2021. This is the sixth-consecutive season at least two Mountain West programs have been nationally ranked.
* San Diego State opened the 2021 season with a pair of victories over autonomous-5 opponents, including Pac-12 South Division leader Utah and Arizona. The Aztecs are the only non-autonomous-5 team with multiples wins over autonomous-5 opponents this season.
* Utah State has is sitting at 8-2 overall, 5-1 in the MW, and leads the Mountain Division. The Aggies seven-game improvement from 2020 is tied for best turnaround nationally (Michigan, Michigan State and Northern Illinois).
* On Oct. 16 against UNLV, Utah State senior Savon Scarver tied the NCAA and Mountain West record for career kickoff returns for a touchdown (7).
* Aggies senior WR Deven Thompkins leads the nation in receiving yards per game, averaging 144.1 yards and total receiving yards (1,441). Thompkins is 98 yards shy of entering the MW’s top-five in single-season receiving yards.
* Dating back to the 2019 season, the Mountain West has won 16 games against autonomous-5 opponents, including 14 against the Pac-12.
* In the past 17 years, the Mountain West has been the top nonautonomous 5 conference nine times and second five times.
* The Mountain West has been nationally-ranked in 23 of the last 30 College Football Playoff Rankings.
* The Mountain West produced the first non-automatic-qualifying FBS team into a BCS bowl game (Utah - 2005 Fiesta Bowl) and into the College Football Playoff (Boise State - 2014 Fiesta Bowl).
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