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Week 8 News & Notes


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Week 8 News & Notes in PDF Format

WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK: Friday night we see two Conference USA and two Mountain West games airing on national television. WKU and Old Dominion start off the night on CBS Sports Network with the Hilltoppers looking for their four win against the Monarchs in as many tries. Immediately following that game, CBS Sports Network will air the Air Force and Nevada game. The Falcons and Wolf Pack are meeting for the fourth time ever, with the home team winning each of the previous contests. Starting at 5 p.m. on ESPN2 is Marshall and Middle Tennessee. The last two times the Herd and the Blue Raiders have squared off, it has all gone down to the wire, including the triple overtime thriller in 2015. The night cap on ESPN2 is the Mountain Division battle between Colorado State and New Mexico. The Rams sit atop the division at 3-0 and have won seven straight against the Lobos.

Saturday afternoon, C-USA divisional leaders North Texas and FAU resume the series that has been on hiatus the last two seasons. UAB, which is nipping at the Mean Green’s heels in the West Division, meets Charlotte for the first time. The West Division also has two huge match-ups as Louisiana Tech hosts Southern Mississippi and UTSA plays its homecoming game against Rice. For the Mountain West, a pair of unbeaten Mountain Division teams face off on ESPN2 as Wyoming looks for its second straight win in the series with Boise State. On CBS Sports Network, San Diego State fights to get back in the West Division race and hand Fresno State its first league loss. Please check out the complete schedule with series notes and viewing information on page 1 of the PDF linked above.

POSTSEASON OUTLOOK: There are 13 teams around the FBS who are now bowl-eligible with six wins. The Mountain West’s San Diego State is among the group and is the lone member from a non-autonomous conference. There are 39 bowl games, not counting the National Championship, thus 78 slots available. Two teams, Ole Miss because of a self-imposed penalty, and Coastal Carolina because its transitioning to the FBS, are ineligible for the postseason. Three, Charlotte (C-USA), UTEP (C-USA), and San Jose State (MW) have been eliminated from postseason play. For Conference USA, Marshall is the closest to becoming bowl eligible, boasting a 5-1 record. Five other C-USA teams are just two wins shy of the necessary six needed. In the Mountain West, Colorado State is one victory from joining SDSU in the postseason. Three other MW teams are two wins away from the required six victories. Nevada, at 1-6, is on the cusp of elimination.

POSTSEASON PROJECTIONS: What a difference a week makes! Several national collegiate football analysts do their best to piece together a prediction for how the bowl lineup will turn out and nearly everyone has changed their minds from a week ago. For the 2017 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, there is a three-way tie in the nods for the Mountain West representative with Boise State, Fresno State and Wyoming all garnering three apiece. For Conference USA, three are predicting the North Texas Mean Green will be making their first appearance in the Albuquerque-based bowl while three others have the representative being the UTSA Roadrunners for the second straight year.

Week 7 News & Notes

Week 7 News & Notes in PDF Format

WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK: Saturday’s slate for our league partners begins and ends with the Mountain West Conference, literally. There are six MW conference games, beginning with UNLV at Air Force at noon. The evening concludes in the after dark slot with New Mexico at Fresno State, Nevada at Colorado State, Boise State at No. 19/18 San Diego State and San Jose State at Hawai`i. The Broncos-Aztecs battle on CBS Sports Network pits two teams that have combined to won or share four of the last 5 MW titles.   There are five Conference USA games on tap and one nonconference game as FIU hosts Tulane to begin a new series. In league action, it is homecoming on The Hill Saturday afternoon as WKU hosts Charlotte. UAB looks to continue its storybook comeback, hosting Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders are 2-0 vs. the Blazers in C-USA action but momentum should be on UAB’s side as the Blazers are 3-0 at home this year. Please check out the complete schedule with series notes and viewing information on page 1 of the PDF.

POSTSEASON OUTLOOK: After six weeks of action, there are seven teams around the FBS who are now bowl-eligible with perfect 6-0 records. The Mountain West’s San Diego State is among the group and is the lone member from a non-autonomous conference. There are 39 bowl games, not counting the National Championship, thus 78 slots available. Only two teams, Ole Miss because of a self-imposed penalty, and Coastal Carolina because its transitioning to the FBS, are ineligible for the postseason. For Conference USA, Marshall is the closest to becoming bowl eligible, boasting a 4-1 record. Nine other C-USA teams are half way there with three wins apiece. Charlotte and UTEP, both 0-6 so far, are in must-win situations the rest of the season. In the Mountain West, Colorado State is two games from joining SDSU in the postseason. Five MW teams are three wins away from the required six victories. San Jose State, at 1-6, is on the cusp of elimination because the Spartans play a 13-game schedule this season.

POSTSEASON PROJECTIONS: Several national collegiate football analysts do their best to piece together a prediction for how the bowl lineup will turn out. For the 2017 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, five of the 11 analysts think the New Mexico Lobos will be back for the third straight year while four can see the Boise State Broncos making their first appearance in the Albuquerque-based bowl. Last week, half the analysts had the representative from Conference USA  being the UTSA Roadrunners for the second straight year. This week however, six different C-USA programs had nods with North Texas leading the way with four nods. For a complete breakdown, look at the chart below.

Projections for the 2017 Gildan New Mexico Bowl from college football analysts around the country.

Week 6 News & Notes

Week 6 News & Notes in PDF Format

National collegiate football writers and analysts make weekly projections for the match-up in the 2017 Gildan New Mexico Bowl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK: For the second straight week, our action kicks off  with a nationally-televised nonconference game with former Mountain West Conference member BYU. This week, the Cougars are at home, looking to avoid its second consecutive loss to a MW team, hosting Boise State. The Broncos have dominated the series with just two losses in seven meetings but those two defeats came in LaVell Edwards Stadium.

There are two more nonconference matchups slated for the weekend, both against service academies. Air Force hosts Navy in the opening game of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy series, which features the nation’s three service academies: Army, Navy and Air Force. Army, playing its second straight Conference USA opponent after defeating UTEP, 35-21, at West Point last Saturday, visits Rice on Saturday. The teams are meeting for the fourth year in a row and the Owls have won five of the last six matchups in the series but the Black Knights snapped the Owls winning streak last year with a 31-14 victory.

In league action, C-USA has three teams opening its conference slate as Marshall visits Charlotte, Old Dominion hosts Florida Atlantic and UTSA hosts Southern Miss. For the Roadrunners, its the first time they have opened the conference schedule at home. There are three more C-USA games slated for Saturday, including the battle between WKU and UTEP, which will result in one team picking up its first C-USA win of the season. The Mountain West has four league games on Saturday, two of which feature unbeated teams in MW play. Utah State, playing at home for the second consecutive week, hosts Colorado State in a war for the top spot in the Mountain Division. In the West Division, No. 19/21 San Diego State aims to become bowl eligible and remain undefeated, visiting the UNLV Rebels. Please check out the complete schedule with series notes and viewing information on page 1 of the PDF.

RIBBONS FOR LAS VEGAS: Nevada, San Diego State and UNLV players will wear ribbon decals on their helmets during the respective games on Saturday to honor the victims of Sunday night’s mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. Fifty-nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire on a country music concert on the Strip. It is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. UNLV has plans for commemorative tributes to honor the victims as well as first responders in a pregame ceremony and throughout Saturday’s game at Sam Boyd Stadium, which has been dubbed “Heroes Night.” The Rebels will wear the red ribbon decals while the Wolf Pack will wear silver ones on their helmets the remainder of the season.

UTEP COACHING CHANGE: Sean Kugler, UTEP’s head coach since the 2013 season, announced on Sunday, Oct. 1 that he was stepping down. The Miners were 18-36 in Kugler’s tenure, including 11-22 versus Conference USA opponents. UTEP finished 7-6 (5-3 C-USA) in 2014 and played in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. UTEP Director of Athletics Bob Stull announced on Monday that Mike Price will step in as the Miners’ interim head football coach for the remainder of the 2017 season. This is Price’s second tour of duty with the Miners. He served as UTEP’s head coach from 2004-12 and took the Miners to three bowl games, including UTEP’s 2010 appearance in the New Mexico Bowl.

GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL CONNECTIONS: As of September 27, there are currently 49 former collegiate athletes who played in at least one of the previous New Mexico Bowls and is listed as active, practice squad or injured reserve among 23 of the 32 NFL teams. The Denver Broncos boast the most alums with five. On the collegiate side, Colorado State has produced the most pros with seven. UTSA’s Jarveon Williams is the lone participant from last year’s game. All-time, the Gildan New Mexico Bowl has had 169 alumni listed on an NFL roster. For a complete list of the active athletes, see page 3 of the PDF.