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MWC notebook: Conference could have trouble filling its bowl agreements

Published: Saturday, July 4 2015 1:09 p.m. MDT

With only one month remaining in the season, three Mountain West Conference teams are already bowl-eligible, while five others are fighting to become bowl-eligible.

TCU (8-0), Utah (7-1) and BYU (6-2) have all secured enough victories to play in the postseason.

Should the Horned Frogs complete their perfect season, they are projected to go to their first Bowl Championship Series game.

The Utes and Cougars could end up in the Las Vegas Bowl and Poinsettia Bowl, respectively, though the Utes have a shot to knock TCU off its perch on Nov. 14 when they travel to Fort Worth. If Utah upsets the Frogs, it would shake up the bowl picture considerably.

The MWC also has bowl agreements with the New Mexico Bowl, the Armed Forces Bowl and the Humanitarian Bowl, though the league may not have enough bowl-eligible teams to fill those commitments, particularly if TCU goes to the BCS.

Air Force (5-4) needs one more victory to become bowl-eligible. The Falcons host Army this week, then entertain UNLV before finishing the regular-season at BYU.

San Diego State (4-4) and Wyoming (4-4) each need two more wins to be bowl-eligible, though that could be a tall order for the Aztecs and Cowboys.

SDSU, which hasn't been bowl-eligible since 1998, still has to play TCU (Saturday) and Utah (Nov. 20). The Cowboys host the Cougars this week and entertain the Frogs in two weeks. SDSU and Wyoming square off on Nov. 14 in Laramie, Wyo.

UNLV (3-6) and Colorado State (3-6) need to win out in order to be bowl-eligible. Interestingly, those two teams meet Saturday in Las Vegas in a bowl-elimination showdown.

"We're both in a very similar situation," said UNLV coach Mike Sanford. "This is going to be a battle."

Only one MWC team, winless New Mexico (0-8), is out of bowl contention.

GAMEDAY RETURNS TO THE MWC: After setting up shop in Provo two weeks ago for the BYU-TCU game, ESPN's College GameDay will visit another MWC team this weekend.

The popular Saturday morning college football show will broadcast live from the Air Force Academy as part of a week of programming called "America's Heroes: A Salute to Our Veterans" to commemorate Veteran's Day.

It will mark the fifth time College GameDay has traveled to a MWC campus, dating back to 2001.

STREAKS: Utah has won 11 consecutive conference games, dating back to Nov. 24, 2007, when it fell at BYU, 17-10.

The Utes' streak is the second-longest conference winning streak in the nation behind Florida's 12. Boise State has won 10 league games in a row.

Meanwhile, Utah has won 15 home games in a row, which is second in league history to BYU's record streak of 18 straight home-field victories. TCU has won 12 consecutive home games.

e-mail: jeffc@desnews.com

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