Around the Mtn: Five conference teams already bowl eligible
LARAMIE -- Five Mountain West teams are already bowl eligible.
Defending conference champions, San Jose State, could join this party with a victory in Reno this Saturday.
With wins, Wyoming, Boise State and Hawaii will be one step closer to a postseason invite. Those three programs all have four wins.
Here are some other news and notes from around the league:
* Air Force (6-2), Fresno State (6-2), Nevada (6-2), San Diego State (7-0) and Utah State (6-2) are bowl eligible. San José State can reach bowl eligibility with a victory over Nevada on Nov. 6. The MW’s five bowl eligible teams are tied for the second-most amongst the 10 FBS conferences (Big Ten), trailing only the SEC.
* 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.
* In nonconference play, the Mountain West has compiled a 29-18 (.617) 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.
* Fresno State is the only non-autonomous 5 program to earn at least two top-25 victories this season.
* 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.
* 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.
* Air Force (6-2) could secure a record 21st Commander-in-Chief’s trophy and its first title since 2016, with a win this week over Army at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
* 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).
* 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 21 of the last 28 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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