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.