Despite an up-and-down season, the Boise State football team will play for a spot in the Mountain West championship game on Friday.
The conference title race has been whittled down to four teams: UNLV (9-2, 6-1 MW), Air Force (8-3, 5-2), Boise State (6-5, 5-2) and San Jose State (6-5, 5-2). Coincidentally, those four teams square off this weekend to determine who will meet in the championship game on Dec. 2.
Boise State hosts Air Force on Friday (2 p.m., FS1). UNLV hosts San Jose State on Saturday.
The Broncos’ clearest path to their fourth appearance in the title game in the past five years is to beat Air Force and have UNLV beat San Jose State. That would eliminate any tiebreaker scenarios, and Boise State would travel to Las Vegas to face the Rebels in the championship game.
Things get more complicated if Boise State wins and UNLV loses. If that happens, there will be a three-way tie for first place between Boise State, UNLV and San Jose State — all finishing the season 6-2 in conference play. In that case, the average of four computer rankings would be used to decide which two teams play for the title.
The Mountain West uses rankings from Jeff Anderson & Chris Hester, Colley’s Matrix Rankings, Massey Ratings and Peter R. Wolfe as its tiebreaker when other methods — such as College Football Playoff ranking and head-to-head records — don’t adequately do the job. That’s the case this year because none of the top four teams is ranked by the CFP, and Boise State and UNLV didn’t play in the regular season.
The average computer rankings for the top four teams currently stack up like this: UNLV (34.75), Air Force (54), Boise State (64) and San Jose State (71.25).
UNLV will host the championship game if it wins Saturday, no matter what, and the Rebels likely still make the game if they lose, given their computer numbers.
Things could get really messy for Boise State if San Jose State beats UNLV, because the Broncos’ and Spartans’ average computer rankings are close. The computers could give more weight to San Jose State beating UNLV on the road than they do the Broncos beating Air Force at home, enough so that the Spartans could jump the Broncos. It seems unlikely, but it’s possible.
If that were to happen, Boise State would miss the title game even though it owns a head-to-head win over San Jose State.
But the Broncos’ possibilities all start with a win over reeling Air Force, which has lost three straight games after an 8-0 start. Boise State is a 6.5-point favorite. UNLV is a 3-point favorite against San Jose State.
— Gregory Bienvenue (@GregoryBienven3) November 20, 2023
O-lineman joins 2024 class
Boise State landed the first commitment of the Spencer Danielson era on Monday. Danielson, the Broncos’ defensive coordinator, is also serving as interim head coach after former coach Andy Avalos was fired last Sunday.
Despite the team’s uncertain future, offensive lineman Gregory Bienvenue verbally committed to Boise State. The three-star recruit from Desert Ridge High School in Arizona also has scholarship offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Boston College, Oregon State, Iowa State and Colorado State.
Keeping with tradition, Danielson announced the commitment with a Tweet.
Did Spencer Danielson just announce his first commit as Boise State’s interim coach? https://t.co/gBNunMoOhd
— Ron Counts (@Ron_BroncoBeat) November 20, 2023
Boise State 2024 recruiting class
DL Hayden Hanks, 6-3, 270, Thompson Falls (Montana) High
OL Eyitayo Omotinugbon, 6-3, 275, Queen Creek (Arizona) High
S Travis Anderson, 6-0, 175, Mission Viejo (California) High
CB Treyvon Tolmaire, 5-11, 165, Mission Viejo (California) High
Edge Roman Caywood, 6-3, 220, Corner Canyon High, Draper, Utah
LB Clay Martineau, 6-4, 215, Oregon City (Oregon) High
DL Connor Warkentin, 6-5, 260, Centennial High, Bakersfield, California
QB Kaleb Annett, 6-3, 190, Corona Del Mar High, Newport Beach, California
DL Trevor McKenna, 6-6, 255, Borah High, Boise
WR Gatlin Bair, 6-2, 198, Burley (Idaho) High
WR Cameron Bates, 5-6, 195, Mansfield Timberview High, Arlington, Texas
TE Kaden Anderson, 6-4, 225, Chandler (Arizona) High
WR Tyrone Jackson, 6-3, 180, Archbishop Riordan High, San Francisco, California
RB Dylan Riley, 6-0, 185, Rancho Verde High, Moreno Valley, California
OL Gregory Bienvenue, 6-4, 280, Desert Ridge High, Mesa, Arizona