Every season Bronco Nation is guaranteed 12 games.
This year, on October 27th, the Broncos secured a 13th game by becoming bowl-eligible.
On Saturday night, they secured a 14th game, by winning the Mountain Division Title and earning a spot in the Conference Championship game.
Have a moment of silence for the 48 teams that failed to reach a 6th win. Those teams will not see another game day until next fall (Note: Virginia Tech & Liberty have scheduled make-up games and might reach their 6th win).
This will be the 4th time the Bulldogs face the Broncos in just two years. It will be the 3rd (of just 6) MW conference championship featuring these teams. Those doing the math at home are now realizing that HALF of all MW championship games have put Fresno State and Boise State against each other.
Fresno State has had a stronghold on the West. They will be representing their division for the 4th time in 6 MW championships.
Boise State will now be headed to their 3rd MW championship.
Fans in California must have been sad after Saturday’s game on The Blue. The Bulldogs have only faced either Utah State or Boise State for the conference crown. They’ve only won once and it was against the Aggies in 2013. Fresno State’s more recent trips in 2014 and 2017 resulted in losses to the Broncos.
It is also worth noting, in the five years the Mountain West has featured a championship game, the visiting team has only one victory. In 2016, San Diego State beat Wyoming in Laramie. The other four games all ended with home-town victories.
This year’s championship game will be held at Albertsons Stadium for the 3rd time. No other site has been host multiple times.
The championship game has never been high scoring, even in the warmer games played in California. Mountain West teams seem to match up well and actually play defense (a part of the game the BIG XII and American conferences seem to ignore). There is some saying about defenses and championships….
Strong defense keeps the game interesting and engaging the whole 60 minutes. It is not some blowout by half-time, where you end up changing the channel to the Food Network to see what holiday dishes Guy Fieri has dreamed up in that frost-tipped head.
In this game, the winning team usually gets three touchdowns and then some, while the losing team usually only garners two endzone trips. In fact, the scores for every game have been eerily similar:
Considering this year’s regular season matchup (24-17), expect another similar score this weekend.
In 2017, the MW championship was the lowest scoring of all 9 FBS championships (Sun Belt didn’t play a championship game) and only the Pac-12 had a 3 point margin.
PAC- 12: 31-28
BIG XII: 41-17
BIG 10: 27-21
After losing the regular season matchup in 2017, Boise State defeated Fresno in the championship game the next week. This year, the Broncos came out victorious in the regular season.
Bronco Nation must hope that this flip-flop pattern isn’t really a pattern. It’s better to realize it was the home team that won those games, in which case the advantage falls to the Broncos again.