November is here and so is the final push to the end of the regular season in college football. The Mountain West Conference heads into week 10 with one school ready to all but clinch the title with a win. Nine teams play with one team getting a bye and another playing a non-conference game. There are some rivalry contests that should bring interesting outcomes. Here's a quick look at each game.
Air Force Academy Falcons at the U.S. Military Academy Black Knights
The Falcons (5-3 overall, 4-1 conference) can become bowl eligible with a victory but something tells me this rivalry is more important than that. When two military academies play, there's a lot more at stake. The Army Cadets (1-7) have not had a good year but beating Air Force would remedy a lot of the misery of losing. Both teams run the ball and run the ball and run the ball and in fact, the Cadets are #1 and the Falcons are #2 nationally at rushing. The difference is the Air Force turns their ground game into points plus they have a solid defense. Falcons by a touchdown.
New Mexico Lobos at the UNLV Rebels
The Lobos (4-5, 1-3) need three more victories over the next four contests to go to a bowl - and this is a game they can win. The Rebels (1-8, 1-3) play well at home and even though they have only one win this year, the team has been competitive. Neither school's defense is good and when you analyze this matchup, you realize it's a toss-up. New Mexico by a field goal.
Colorado State Rams at the Wyoming Cowboys
These two bad teams will battle for the "Bronze Boot" in the "Border War" rivalry. The Rams (2-6, 1-3) were able to climb out of last place with a victory last week over Hawaii but now they have to beat a struggling Cowboy (1-7, 0-4) club that can't seem to find a way to win. But this time, Wyoming pulls themselves out of the cellar and finds a way to win by a touchdown.
Hawaii Warriors at the Fresno State Bulldogs
These two teams don't necessarily like each other in this rivalry of sorts (see related articles). The Bulldogs (6-3, 4-1) have looked strong this year with an excellent passing attack. The Warriors (1-6, 0-4) have not looked strong and are riding a five-game losing streak. But Hawaii does have a good secondary and should be able to stay with Fresno State. But the Bulldogs always play solidly at home while the Warriors don't play particularly well on the road. Fresno State wins by two touchdowns.
San Diego State Aztecs at the #19 Boise State Broncos
The Broncos (7-1, 4-0) could put a stranglehold on the top spot with a win. But the Aztecs (6-3, 4-1) are playing soundly with an excellent running game and decent defense. However, Boise State's defense is one of the best in the nation allowing 13 points a game. The Bronco defense will stymie San Diego State's offense and win by more than a touchdown.
Since Boise State doesn't play Air Force, there will be no real way to break a tie should the Broncos lose a game and the Falcons win the rest of their league contests. Should San Diego State pull off the upset at Boise, the whole conference gets turned upside down and half the teams will be in the running for a Mountain West title.
The following week, all 10 teams play each other with a couple of critical games in the mix.
Sources - Mountain West Conference
Through thick and thin, Daryle has been a huge fan of college football as well as Hawaii, visiting there as a second home for over 40 years. Go 'Bows!