WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK: The week begins Thursday night on ESPNU for the Mountain West as UNLV hunts for bowl eligibility status at Air Force. The next night San Jose State fights for the same as it plays host to Navy on ESPN2. Eight more MW teams hit the field Saturday, starting with Wyoming also aiming to stay in bowl contention, hosting Hawai`i. Utah State and Boise State are both battling for wins as they look to gain ground in the Mountain Division title race.
The Pac-12 has all its’ members in action on Saturday. Utah travels to Washington State where both teams still have postseason aspirations with the Utes needing two more wins and the Cougars just one more win to become bowl eligible. The South Division crown is on the line in Pasadena as Arizona State visits UCLA. Colorado, coming off its first league victory of the season, looks to takecadvantage of the Boulder weather when USC visits Saturday. Game time temperatures are expected to be incthe low 30s. The Trojans are holding on to a possibility of a South Division crown, while the Buffs need two wins to become bowl eligible. A complete list of each conference’s games is available on the first page of the PDF.
WEEK 12 RECAP: The Pac-12, which had all 12 teams on the field last week, had a couple of surprise wins as Washington State upended Arizona in Tucson, 24-17, Colorado topped California, 41-24, and USC shocked No. 4 Stanford, 20-17. The Mountain West had just four games going on with Air Force, Fresno State, UNLV, and Utah State having byes. Nevada kept San Jose State from becoming bowl eligible with its’ win at home. San Diego State needed overtime in Hawai`i to garner its’ sixth win of the season while Colorado State moved to within a game of being bowl eligible thanks to its’ high-scoring win at New Mexico. Complete results from week 12 are:
11/15 No. 13 UCLA def. Washington, 41-31 / 68,106
11/16 Washington State def. Arizona, 24-17 / 42,080
No. 6 Oregon def. Utah, 44-21 / 56,481
Colorado def. California, 41-24 / 38,252
Colorado State def. New Mexico, 66-42 / 19,376
USC def. No. 4 Stanford, 20-17 / 93,607
No. 19 Arizona State def. Oregon State, 30-17 / 62,386
Boise State def. Wyoming, 48-7 / 33,992
San Diego State def. Hawai`i, 28-21 (OT) / 28,530
Nevada def. San Jose State, 38-16 / 20,737
BOWL PREDICTIONS: The college football experts are appearing more unified, especially for the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, in their selections for the postseason with just two weeks left in the regular season. Oregon State is the leading vote getter out of the Pac-12 conference, getting six nods out of the 11 predictions tallied. San Jose State is the frontrunner for the Mountain West, garnering five out of 10 votes. Here is the breakdown of what has been selected for the 2013 bowl game:
Athlon Sports: Oregon State (Pac-12) vs. Colorado State (MW)
Bleacher Report: Washington (Pac-12) vs. Utah State (MW)
CBS Sports: Oregon State (Pac-12) vs. San José State (MW)
CFN.Scout.com: Oregon State (Pac-12) vs. Colorado State (MW)
ESPN (Mark Schlabach’s pick): Oregon State (Pac-12) vs. San Jose State (MW)
ESPN (Brad Edwards’ pick): Arizona (Pac-12) vs. San José State (MW)
ESPN (Ted Miller’s pick): Washington vs. MW
National Football Post: Oregon State (Pac-12) vs. San José State (MW)
Phil Steele: Washington (Pac-12) vs. San José State (MW)
SB Nation: Oregon State (Pac-12) vs. UNLV (MW)
Sports Illustrated: Washington State (Pac-12) vs. San Diego State (MW)
WHO’S GOING BOWLING: With just a month remaining before the first bowl games kick off, the schedule still has several holes in it. Only two teams have accepted bids: BYU (Fight Hunger Bowl) and Navy (Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl). There are 63 remaining teams that are already eligible for the postseason and 25 that could still become eligible. Thirty-six teams have already been eliminated from the postseason. Two bowl spots, one in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl and one in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, have already been vacated.
For the Mountain West, which has six bowl commitments for its’ 12 members, Boise State, Fresno State, San Diego State and Utah State are already eligible for bowl games. Colorado State, San Jose State and UNLV are just one win away from being eligible while Wyoming needs two victories. Their remaining schedules are:
11/23 @ Utah State
11/30 vs. Air Force
SAN JOSE STATE
11/22 vs. Navy
11/29 vs. #15 Fresno State
11/21 @ Air Force
11/30 vs. San Diego State
11/23 vs. Hawai`i
11/30 @ Utah State
The Pac-12, which has seven bowl tie-ins for its’ 12 members, has eight bowl-eligible teams in Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Washington. Washington State is one win away from being eligible while Colorado and Utah are just two victories shy of being eligible. The remaining schedule for those three appears as:
11/23 vs. #23 USC
11/30 @ Utah
11/23 @ Washington State
11/30 vs. Colorado
11/23 vs. Utah
11/29 @ Washington
PAC-12 FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SCENARIO: In the North Division, Oregon controls its own destiny. Should Oregon win its final two conference games, it would be the North Division representative and host the Pac-12 Football Championship Game. For the South Division, Arizona State and UCLA each control their own destiny. Should Arizona State defeat
UCLA Saturday, it would represent the South in the Pac-12 Championship Game. UCLA would need to win its final two games to represent the South in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Stanford has a chance to represent the North, while USC also has hopes of a South Division title, but those two teams need help from others for that to happen. Each of the five teams mentioned above (Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State, UCLA and USC) have a chance to host. Oregon can host if it wins out. Arizona State can host if it wins out and Oregon loses one of its two remaining games. After that, too many “ifs” are needed for Stanford, UCLA and USC to host. The Pac-12 Championship Football Game will take place Saturday, December 7 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and telecast to a national audience on ABC/ESPN.
INAUGURAL MW CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: The 2013 Mountain West Football Championship game will kick off at 8 p.m. MT / 7 p.m. PT on Saturday, December 7. The contest will be hosted at the home stadium of the regular-season Mountain West divisional champion with the highest BCS ranking. CBS will broadcast the inaugural title match-up. Currently, Boise State and Utah State sit atop the Mountain Division at 5-1 with Colorado State a game behind at 4-2. Each team has two games left:
11/23 @ San Diego State
11/30 vs. New Mexico
11/23 vs. Colorado State
11/30 vs. Wyoming
11/23 @ Utah State
11/30 vs. Air Force
In the West Division, Fresno State is the leader at 6-0 and is poised to host the league title game. If the Bulldogs falter in their final game or two, the door will be opened for San Diego State, which is 5-1 with two game remaining.
11/23 vs. New Mexico
11/23 vs. Boise State
SAN DIEGO STATE
11/29 @ San Jose State
11/30 @ UNLV
NATIONAL RANKINGS: The latest BCS rankings were announced Sunday evening and the Pac-12 has five teams ranked among the top 25 for the first time this season. With Stanford’s loss to USC, the Cardinal forfeited the top spot for the league as Oregon moved up to No. 5 and Stanford fell to No. 9. UCLA ranks 14th, followed by Arizona State (17) and USC (23). For the MW, Fresno State slipped a spot off the bye week, sitting No. 15 but is still positioned to earn an automatic bid to a BCS Bowl. The Bulldogs are the first Mountain West team to be ranked in the top 16 of the BCS Standings in four straight weeks since Boise State accomplished the feat in the final four standings of the 2011 season.
The Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches’ top-25 polls were also released Sunday and the same five Pac-12 teams are ranked in both polls, including two in the Top 10. It’s the 42nd consecutive AP polling period where the Pac-12 has had three or more teams ranked in the Top 25. Oregon is No. 5 in both, Stanford is No. 10 in the AP poll and No. 12 in the coaches poll. UCLA ranks 14th in both, Arizona State is No. 19/22 and USC is 23rd in both.
For the Mountain West, Fresno State fell two spots in the USA Today/Coaches’ poll, placing No. 16 but rose one spot in the AP poll, sitting No. 15.
TALE OF THE TURNSTILES: The heads have been counted and during week 12 the Pac-12 averaged over 60,000 per game while the Mountain West drew over 25,500. The largest crowd for the Pac-12 was the 93,607 that witnessed the USC Trojans stun the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal, 20-17. For the MW, Boise State hosted the largest crowd (33,992) as the Broncos ran over the Wyoming Cowboys, 48-7. A complete breakdown of each team’s attendance figures is available in the attached PDF.
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