Here’s how the Mountain West championship game works; video of Southwick at practice

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com
© 2013 Idaho Statesman

SOUTHWICK IN PADS

Boise State senior quarterback Joe Southwick practiced in pads Tuesday morning during the brief weekly media availability. We have video above of a couple of drills. In the first clip, Southwick is the last quarterback to run through a ball-security drill — and his movement appears affected by his recovery from a broken ankle. Coach Chris Petersen said Monday he expects junior Grant Hedrick to start Saturday night at San Diego State. Southwick hasn’t played since he was injured Oct. 19 against Nevada.

HOW THE MW CHAMPIONSHIP GAME WORKS

The Mountain West championship game matchup could be set by the end of play on Saturday.

Boise State (5-1 Mountain West) is tied with Utah State (5-1) in the Mountain Division but holds the head-to-head tiebreaker.

If the Aggies lose at home to Colorado State on Saturday (1:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network), the Broncos can clinch the West Division by beating San Diego State that night (8:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network). If Utah State wins or Boise State loses, the division title won’t be decided until the following week. Boise State is the only team that fully controls its destiny — the Broncos win the division with two victories.

Fresno State (6-0) leads San Diego State (5-1) by a game in the West Division and holds the head-to-head tiebreaker. If the Bulldogs win Saturday at home against New Mexico (2 p.m., ESPNews), they clinch. Or if Boise State wins, the Bulldogs clinch.

The inaugural Mountain West championship game is at 8 p.m. MT Dec. 7 on CBS.

Here are answers to some common questions about the title game:

Where will the game be played?

The division champ with the highest Bowl Championship Series ranking gets to host. If neither team is in the BCS top 25, then the team with the highest average computer ranking gets to host.

Fresno State is No. 15 in the BCS and has an average compute ranking of 15.75. The Bulldogs could plummet if they lose to New Mexico — highly unlikely — but probably wouldn’t drop as far with a loss next week to San Jose State.

Boise State has a computer ranking of 47.25. Utah State is at 67.25 and Colorado State is at 92. Boise State is the only one with any hope of catching Fresno State and that is unlikely unless the Bulldogs lose twice.

How will tickets be distributed?

The Mountain West is treating this more like an NFL playoff game than a bowl game. The visiting team will receive 2,500 tickets to sell and those seats will be in the usual visiting-team locations. The visitor has until Wednesday afternoon of game week to sell its tickets.

How is the revenue distributed?

The revenue, which includes the TV deal with CBS, will be used to cover game expenses, including the visitor’s travel. The two participating teams receive a bonus — the home team’s bonus is larger. The remaining game profit will be split 12 ways to each league member.

The game is not part of the bonus system for national-TV appearances.

NOTES & QUOTES

— San Diego State beat Boise State last year in Boise, something only two other teams have done since 2001. Now the Aztecs will try to do something even more rare — beat the Broncos twice in a row. The last team to do that: Oregon State, in 1989 and 2003. The last team to do it somewhat close together: Arkansas, in 2000 and 2002.

— Boise State is No. 20 in the UPS Team Performance Index, a metric that scores a team’s offense, defense, special teams, miscues, winning percentage and quality of opponent. The Broncos get a big boost from their special teams, which are rated 30 points higher than the offense or defense. San Diego State is 85th.

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OUR COVERAGE

Monday blog: Southwick practices — and press conference videos
Tuesday story: Weekly Boise State football notes

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GAME NOTES

Boise State game notes
Boise State depth chart
Boise State stats
Mountain West weekly release

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SAN DIEGO STATE COVERAGE

U-T San Diego coverage can be found here.

You can follow beat writer Stefanie Loh on Twitter at @StefanieLoh.

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GAME FACTS

Boise State at San Diego State

When: 8:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Qualcomm Stadium (54,000, grass), San Diego

TV: CBS Sports Network (Andrew Catalon, Aaron Taylor, Lauren Gardner)

Radio: KBOI (670AM), KKGL (96.9 FM); Bob Behler, Pete Cavender

Records: Boise State is 7-3 overall, 5-1 Mountain West; San Diego State is 6-4, 5-1

Series: Tied 1-1 (last meeting: SDSU 21-19, 2012, in Boise)


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Chadd Cripe has spent the past 12 years as the Boise State football beat writer. You can follow him on Twitter @IDS_BroncoBeat.

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