Boise State, Fresno State and San Diego State have captured every Mountain West title since 2012. In fact, all three were co-champs in 2012, the year before the conference began staging its own championship playoff.
Last year, Boise State returned to the top of the heap after SDSU had captured the crown in 2015 and 2016. The Broncos won in 2014 and the Bulldogs took the glory in 2013.
This year, Boise State is the favorite to repeat, according to the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com. In fact, the Broncos are the most likely team to step up from a non-Power 5 conference to grab the automatic bid to a New Year's Six bowl spot.
Group of Five teams are 3-1 in New Year's Six Bowls. Boise State used that platform to beat Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl (2014 season), Houston defeated Florida State in the Peach Bowl (2015 season), and UCF upset Auburn in the Peach Bowl last season. The only non-winner was Western Michigan which fell 24-16 to Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl (2016 season).
The 2017 preseason forecast has Boise State once again dispatching Fresno State for the honors as the Broncos roll up a 12-1 record heading into selection Sunday. Utah State and Wyoming are each a couple games back of Boise State in the Mountain division, while the West title is expected to be decided on November 17 when San Diego State is a 4.60-point underdog at the Bulldogs.
Those five schools are clearly viewed as the cream of the MWC crop, and UNLV is the only other school that appears destined to join them for the bowl season. The remaining six programs are all projected to finish 94th or worse with Air Force at 94, Nevada 100, Colorado State 113, San Jose State 116, New Mexico 119, and Hawaii 125.
The conference also only had 6 bowl eligible teams last year.
All 12 head coaches return for 2018 after 3 made switches prior to the start of the 2017 season - Fresno State, Nevada and San Jose State. The Fresno State switch obviously paid huge dividends as Jeff Tedford took over a Bulldog program that had gone 1-11 in 2016 and oversaw a 9-win improvement to 10-4.
*-Tie-breakers: Wyoming beats Utah State
|2||San Diego State||8-4||6-2||50||66.09||82|
|5||San Jose State||3-9||1-7||116||47.46||92|