By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman
San Jose State shocked Fresno State 62-52 on Friday in San Jose — ending the Bulldogs’ Bowl Championship Series hopes.
That cleared up part of the Mountain West bowl picture and muddied other parts.
First of all, Fresno State still is the West Division champion and almost certainly will be the home team in the Mountain West championship game. Utah State wins the Mountain Division with a win Saturday against Wyoming. Boise State can win the division if Utah State loses.
San Jose State gives the Mountain West six bowl-eligible teams for six bowl slots. Colorado State is expected to make it seven Saturday but has to beat Air Force. Wyoming could make it eight.
If the Mountain West has an extra bowl-eligible team, it will have to compete with other conferences to find a spot. There already are more eligible teams than there are bowl slots.
Here’s one scenario for how the bowl selections could play out if Utah State wins the Mountain Division:
Las Vegas: Fresno State. As long as the Bulldogs don’t lose in the title game, this is a no-brainer.
Poinsettia: Utah State. The bowl has a history of taking the team with the highest finish.
New Mexico: Colorado State. The Rams brought a strong crowd to Albuquerque the last time they played in this game.
Hawaii: UNLV. Small fan base makes trip to Hawaii sensible.
Famous Idaho Potato: San Jose State. QB David Fales and Athletic Director Gene Bleymaier would provide a couple nice storylines.
Armed Forces: San Diego State.
That leaves Boise State. My theory is that if the Mountain West has an extra team and Boise State does not make the championship game, the league will shop the Broncos to bowls with openings as its most-attractive team. The Mountain West is more likely to pick up a bowl spot with the Broncos than with UNLV or San Jose State.
There will be some openings around the country. The Pac-12 has extra teams, though, so there will be some strong competition, too.
Also, it’s worth noting that ESPN owns the four Mountain West bowls that choose after Poinsettia and owns many other bowls — that could make it easier to make a deal.
I’ll have more on the bowl situation tomorrow and Sunday.