Week 13 Gildan New Mexico Bowl Notes
BOWL PREDICTIONS: The nation’s college football analysts are making predictions for the post season, which kicks off in less than four weeks. For the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, the predictors are torn between Arizona and Arizona State out of the Pac-12. Amongst Mountain West members, the majority favor Nevada. Here is the breakdown of what has been selected for the 2012 bowl game:
Athlon Sports: Nevada (MW) vs. Arizona (Pac-12)
Beyond The Bets: Wyoming (MW) vs. Arizona (Pac-12)^
Bleacher Report: Nevada vs. Arizona (Pac-12)
CBS Sports: Nevada (MW) vs. Arizona State (Pac-12)
CFN.Scout.com: Fresno State (MW) vs. Arizona State (Pac-12)
CollegeBowlProjections.com: Fresno State (MW) vs. Arizona State (Pac-12)
ESPN (Mark Schlabach’s pick): Nevada (MW) vs. Arizona State (Pac-12)
ESPN (Brad Edwards’ pick): Nevada (MW) vs. Arizona State (Pac-12)
ESPN.com (Kevin Gemmell): MW vs. Arizona State (Pac-12)
National Football Post: Nevada (MW) vs. Arizona (Pac-12)
Phil Steele: Nevada (MW) vs. Arizona State (Pac-12)
SB Nation: San Diego State (MW) vs. Arizona State (WAC)
Sports Illustrated: Nevada (MW) vs. Arizona State (Pac-12)
* indicates at-large bid
^did not update pick from preseason
READY TO BOWL: There are 63 out of 124 teams that are eligible to fill one of the 67 open bowl slots this postseason. So far, BYU is headed to the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, Navy will play in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, and Air Force returns to the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Four teams, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, and Miami (OH) are ineligible for the postseason due to NCAA violations. There are also 42 programs that have been removed from contention with guaranteed losing records. This week, three teams find themselves just one win away from bowl egibility with multiple games remaining on the schedule while 10 need a win in their last game to be eligible. On the flip side, a loss for any of those 10 would mean elimination. Three programs are just one loss away from elimination while two game remaining.
For the Mountain West, San Diego State, Fresno State, Boise State, Nevada and Air Force are all bowl eligible. Colorado State, Hawai`i, New Mexico, UNLV and Wyoming are all ineligible for the postseason. The Mountain West has boasted five bowl-eligible teams in each of the past eight seasons and nine times overall. Since its inception in 1999, the MW has earned 51 bowl bids and holds a 31-20 (.608) all-time record. Over the last eight seasons, the Mountain West has captured the Bowl Challenge Cup four times and owns the best win percentage in bowl games among the 11 FBS conferences with a 24-12 mark (.667). The Mountain West is the only conference to win the trophy four times since the award’s inception in 2002-03.
The Pac-12 has the most bowl-eligible teams among conferences with eight: Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Washington. The remaining teams,California, Colorado, Utah and Washington State are ineligible.
PAC-12 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: With its victory over USC, UCLA will represent the South Division in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game. For the North Division and host site for the Pac-12 Football Championship Game, Stanford holds all the cards. With a win, the Cardinal will play in and host the game. If the Cardinal lose, they are still in if Oregon State can upset Oregon. But if the Ducks win and Stanford loses, the Ducks will play in and host the Championship.
MOUNTAIN WEST CROWN: Boise State, Fresno State and San Diego State enter the final two weeks atop the standings with identical 6-1 league records. The 2012 season will mark the first time in nine years that the Mountain West champion will have at least one Conference loss. The last time an MW champion did not go undefeated through the league slate came in 2003, when Utah captured the title with a 6-1 mark. There has only been one previous season in which multiple champions were crowned in the Mountain West. In the league’s inaugural season of 1999, BYU, Colorado State and Utah shared the Conference crown with identical 5-2 records in MW play.
ON TAP THIS WEEK: It’s rivalry week in the Pac-12 with four in-state games and one hotly anticipated matchup between No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 18 USC. For the Mountain West, Boise State and Nevada are on byes while the rest of the conference battles on the field Saturday. The complete schedule for the conferences is:
Nov. 23 Utah (4-7, 2-6 Pac-12) at Colorado (1-10, 1-7 Pac-12) 1 p.m. MT FX
#25 Washington (7-4, 5-3 Pac-12) at Wash. State (2-9, 0-8 Pac-12) 12:30 p.m. PT FOX
Arizona State (6-5, 4-4 Pac-12) at #24 Arizona (7-4, 4-4 Pac-12) 8 p.m. MT ESPN
Nov. 24 #5 Oregon (10-1, 7-1 Pac-12) at #15 Ore. State (8-2, 6-2 Pac-12) Noon PT P12N
Air Force (6-5, 5-2 MW) at Fresno State (8-3, 6-1 MW) 12:30 p.m. PT NBC SN
San Diego State (8-3, 6-1 MW) at Wyoming (4-7, 3-4 MW) 1:30 p.m. MT ROOT
#8 Stanford (9-2, 7-1 Pac-12) at #17 UCLA (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12) 3:30 p.m. PT FOX
New Mexico (4-8, 1-6 MW) at Colorado State (3-8, 2-5 MW) 5 p.m. MT ROOT
#1 Notre Dame (11-0 Ind.) at #18 USC (7-4, 5-4 Pac-12) 5 p.m. PT ABC
UNLV (2-10, 2-5 MW) at Hawai`i (1-9, 0-7 MW) 6 p.m. HT Oceanic PPV
WEEK 12 REWIND: The shock of week 12 was both the No. 1 and 2 teams losing on the same day. The No. 2 team, Oregon, fell at home in overtime to 13th-ranked Stanford, giving the Cardinals a share of the North Division lead heading into the final weekend. Also notable for the Pac-12 was 17th-ranked UCLA beating No. 18 USC for the South Division spot in the Pac-12 Championship game. Arizona State also was victorious, plus picked up its sixth win to become bowl eligible. For the Mountain West, Air Force became bowl eligible with it’s win over Hawai`i. Plus, Boise State earned a league win, giving it a three-way tie with San Diego State and Fresno State for the conference title. Complete results from the weekend for both conferences are below:
#13 Stanford def. #2 Oregon, 17-14 (OT)
#17 UCLA def. #18 USC, 38-28
#25 Washington def. Colorado, 38-3
Air Force def. Hawai`i, 21-7
Arizona def. Utah, 34-24
Arizona State def. Washington State, 46-7
Boise State def. Colorado State, 42-14
California def. #16 Oregon State, 62-14
Nevada def. New Mexico, 31-24
Wyoming def. UNLV, 28-23
TALE OF THE TURNSTILES: The heads have been counted and the Pac-12 averaged slightly over 54,500 fans while the Mountain West averaged a little under 22,000. The biggest crowd for the Pac-12 was over 83,000 at the Rose Bowl where 17th-ranked UCLA clinched a berth as the South representative in the Pac-12 Championship. For the Mountain West, the largest crowd over 33,500 at Bronco Stadium in Boise where Boise State reclaimed a share of the lead in the conference title race. A complete breakdown of each team’s attendance figures is available in the attached PDF.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: The updated BCS Standings were released Sunday night and the Pac-12 has six members present for the second straight week, including two in the top-10. Oregon leads the way at No. 5, followed by No. 8 Stanford, No. 15 Oregon State, No. 17 UCLA, No. 24 Arizona and No. 25 Washington. Boise State, representing the Mountain West, is back in the standings after a two week absence. The Broncos are No. 22.
In the latest Associated Press rankings, the Pac-12 has four teams in and three just outside, receiving votes. Oregon is the fifth team in the nation while Stanford is 11th, UCLA is 15th, and Oregon State is 16th. Washington, Arizona, and USC are a few nods shy of the top 25. In the USA Today/Coaches’ Top-25, four teams are also in the rankings with three just missing. The Ducks are No. 4 in this poll, while the Cardinal are No. 11, the Bruins are 15th, and the Beavers are 16th. Washington, Arizona and USC are receiving votes.
Boise State also is ranked in the coaches’ poll, placing No. 22 while receiving votes in the AP top-25. San Diego State and Fresno State are garnering votes in both polls.