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With Bulldogs Off, Who Do You Cheer for This Week?

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With a bye ahead of San Jose State, the Bulldogs are keeping a close eye on this week's conference games. (GV Wire/Johnny Soto)
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Fresno State football takes the week off as it prepares for its regular-season finale Thanksgiving Day at San Jose State.

There is still a chance to win the West division and even host the Mountain West title game on Dec. 4. That requires losses for teams ahead of the Bulldogs in the standings.

Fresno State’s Path to Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl

By convention, the Mountain West champion would play in the inaugural Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, Dec. 18 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood against a Pac-12 opponent.

But, that is not automatic. The LA Bowl — operated by the same folks that run SoFi Stadium  — has the first selection and is not obligated to take the champion. They are mum on the subject.

Would the LA Bowl be daring and take Fresno State anyway? The motivation could be simple — ticket sales. The Bulldogs played two games in southern California this year — at UCLA and at San Diego State (in Carson). The Red Wave traveled.

Although the Fresno State ticket office did not have exact numbers, they sold out their allotments for the two road games.

San Diego State ticket officials say they sold 630 tickets officially to Fresno State, and untold more Bulldog fans attended. The Bulldogs sold their 2,000 ticket allotment at UCLA.

Plus, with quarterback Jake Haener receiving national notice all season, that could be the attraction to forgo the champion.

A spokesman for Fresno State athletics director Terry Tumey said it is too soon to talk about bowl assignments.

Who the Red Wave Should Cheer for This Week

Air Force at Nevada (Friday, 6 p.m. PT, TV: FS1)

An Air Force win increases the likelihood that Fresno State could host the conference title game. Go Falcons!

San Diego State at UNLV (Friday, 8:32 p.m. PT, TV: CBS Sports Network)

The Aztecs stand in the way of a Bulldogs division title. Go Rebels and star running back Charles Williams from Bullard High!

Wyoming at Utah State (Saturday, 5 p.m. PT, TV: CBS Sports Network)

If Fresno State wins the West, it needs a better conference record than the Aggies to host the title game. Go Cowboys!

New Mexico at Boise State (Saturday, 6 p.m. PT, TV: FS1)

Boise State would win a tiebreaker against Fresno State, but the Broncos still need help to win the Mountain division. Of course, they are the Bulldogs’ rival. Go Lobos!

Colorado State at Hawai’i (Saturday, 3 p.m. PT)

This game is irrelevant to the Bulldogs, Cheer for who you want.

The Scenarios

Here is the scenario to make such goals a reality. To win the West division:

  1. Win at San Jose State (Nov. 25) AND San Diego State loses one of its next two games (Fri. at UNLV or Nov. 26 vs. Boise State) OR
  2. San Diego State loses two games and Nevada loses one game (Fri. vs. Air Force or Nov. 27 at Colorado State)

To host the Dec. 4 title game:

  1. Win at San Jose State AND Utah State loses one of its next two games (Sat. vs. Wyoming or Nov. 26 at New Mexico) AND win the tiebreaker over Utah State or Air Force OR
  2. Utah State loses both of its games AND Boise State loses one of its remaining games (Sat. vs. New Mexico and Nov. 26 at San Diego State AND Air Force loses one of its remaining games.

Since the Bulldogs did not play Utah State or Air Force this year, the tiebreaker goes to the College Football Playoff poll, then a composite ranking of four computer polls.

If either team is ranked in next week’s CFP poll and the higher-ranked team wins, they would host. Since none of the three teams are ranked (or if teams are ranked and lose the finale), then computers will pick the winner.

MWC uses the Billingsley, Colley, Anderson, and Wolfe systems. Adding the rankings (1=1, 20=20, etc. with the lower number better), this week sees Utah State 127, Fresno State 149 and Air Force 171.

A Utah State loss likely drops their number.

Boise State wins a tiebreaker against Fresno State, based on its Oct. 30 win at Bulldog Stadium. The Broncos are on the losing end of the tiebreaker against Air Force, or a three-way tiebreak against Air Force and Utah State.

An Honor for Offensive Coordinator

Offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb is a nominee for the Broyles Award, given to the top assistant coach in the country.

The Bulldogs offense ranks third in the Mountain West overall with 33.0 points per game; second with 461.5 yard per game; and also second with 328.5 passing yards per game.

Grubb is one of 59 nominees. The list will be whittled down to 15 semifinalists and five finalists. The winner will be announced Dec. 7.

David Taub has spent most of his career in journalism behind the scenes working as a TV assignment editor and radio producer. For more than a decade, he has worked in the Fresno market with such stops at KSEE-24, KMJ and Power Talk 96.7. Taub also worked the production and support side of some of TV sports biggest events including the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals and NASCAR to name a few. Taub graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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