LARAMIE -- Let's get caught up on the happenings around the Mountain West Conference:

Saturday, Dec. 18UTEP vs. Fresno State
(PUBG Mobile New Mexico Bowl)
12:15 p.m. MTESPN
Saturday, Dec. 18Utah State vs. Oregon State
(Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl presented by Stifel)
4:30 p.m. PTABC
Tuesday, Dec. 21Kent State vs. Wyoming
(Famous Idaho Potato Bowl)
1:30 p.m. MTESPN
Tuesday, Dec. 21UTSA vs. San Diego State
(Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl)
6:30 p.m. CTESPN
Friday, Dec. 24Memphis at Hawai‘i
(EasyPost Hawai‘i Bowl)
3 p.m. HTESPN
Monday, Dec. 27Western Michigan vs. Nevada
(Quick Lane Bowl)
11 a.m. ETESPN
Tuesday, Dec. 28Air Force vs. Louisville
(SERVPRO First Responder Bowl)
2:15 p.m. CTESPN
Friday, Dec. 31Central Michigan vs. Boise State
(Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl)
Noon MTBarstool Sports/MWN

 BOWL SEASON
The Mountain West will be featured in eight bowl games, setting a league record. The MW’s eight bowl teams are tied for the fourth-most nationally among the 10 FBS conferences in 2021.

NATIONAL HONORS

The Mountain West was the only Non-Autonomous 5 conference to earn multiple on-field honors on Dec. 9 at The Home Depot College Football Awards as Colorado State’s Trey McBride earned the John Mackey Award and San Diego State’s Matt Araiza was named the Ray Guy Award winner.

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McBride set the Mountain West single-season receiving yards by a tight end record with 1,121 yards on 90 receptions in 2021. Araiza enters the postseason as the nation’s leader in punt average (51.37), total punt yards (3,904) and is tied for second in punts inside the 20-yard line (36).

HEAD COACHING HIRES

Colorado State, Fresno State and Nevada hired new head coaches prior to the postseason.

Colorado State hired former Nevada head coach Jay Norvell as the programs 24th head football coach, while Fresno State brought back Jeff Tedford, who was the Bulldogs head coach from 2017-19. Nevada also went with a former coach in Ken Wilson, who was Oregon’s co-defensive coordinator. Wilson spent 19 years with the Wolf Pack from 1989-98 and 2004-12.

AROUND MOUNTAIN WEST

  • The Mountain West is home to five teams with at least eight wins this season, which is the third-most nationally, trailing only the Big Ten and 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 has the fourth-most A5 victories, trailing only the ACC, 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.
  • 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.
  • Air Force leads the nation in rushing yards per game (340.8), more than 50 yards ahead of second-place Army (286.4).
  • Boise State reached bowl-eligible status for the 24th-consecutive season, the third-longest active streak nationally behind only Ohio State (33) and Georgia (25).
  • Hawai‘i is bowl bound for the fourth-straight season, a program record.
  • Nevada’s Carson Strong and Utah State’s Logan Bonner are tied for the fourth-most touchdown passes in MW single-season history (36). This figure is tied for sixth-most in the nation this season.
  • San Diego State, which is competing in the postseason for the 11th time in the last 12 years, was ranked No. 24 in the final College Football Playoff Rankings. This is the fifth-consecutive season a MW program was ranked in the final CFP Rankings.
  • Wyoming’s 2021 bowl invitation marks the fourth time in six seasons that the Cowboys have earned a bowl bid, a first in the 125-year history of UW football.
  • 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.

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