Seven MWC Teams Mathematically Alive in Title Race

It was a quiet week in the conference without only five of eight schools competing. BYU, Utah and Wyoming all had byes. But, oh, what a conference race this year. Lots of balance means no one has dominated, but it also means the tightest conference race in many years in the MWC.

Incredibly, seven of eight teams remain mathematically alive. Utah heads the pack at 4-1, but should the Utes drop their last two they will finish 4-3 in conference, and Air Force, Wyoming, New Mexico, San Diego State, Colorado State and yes, even BYU, could match that mark.

In fact, in addition to Utah three other teams could still win the crown outright - Air Force, New Mexico and Wyoming. The only team eliminated from any share of the title is UNLV.

Furthermore, only Utah and Air Force are assured at this point of winning seasons and New Mexico is the only other MWC school whose overall record is currently above .500. BYU, Wyoming, SDSU, CSU and UNLV could all finish at, above, or below break-even. Stay tuned.

Utah hosts Wyoming this week in a game that could clinch no worse than a share of the conference title for the Utes. Should the improving Cowboys upset Utah, however, they will up their conference mark to 3-2 and drop the Utes to 4-2. If that happens, and BYU beats Utah in Provo the following week, and Air Force, New Mexico and Wyoming each lose at least one of their remaining games, BYU will tie for the conference title, but with whom remains to be seen.

Here's the rest of the schedule Colorado State hosts San Diego State in a game that will eliminate one of them from consideration. CSU finishes at UNLV the following week.

New Mexico has Air Force at home, followed by Wyoming in Laramie. A Lobo loss in one of these games is certainly possible. The Azetcs travel to CSU this week and host Air Force the following, two tough matchups for SDSU.

The Falcons may have the most difficult task, traveling to Albuquerque and San Diego in successive weeks and a loss of one of these two by Air Force would not be a major upset.

After playing Wyoming in Salt Lake City, Utah closes the following week in Provo.

Wyoming, meanwhile, would in great shape if it upsets Utah. The Cowboys close their season hosting New Mexico and UNLV. A Cowboy sweep is, however, a longshot, but then who would have believed a month ago that Wyoming could beat both BYU and CSU?

This week:

New Mexico 37, Colorado State 34.

Two weeks ago, Colorado State stood tied for first. Now, two close losses may have doomed the Rams hopes not only for a share of the conference title, but for any hopes of a bowl bid. CSU fell to 5-5 overall, and 2-3 in the conference, after Bradlee Van Pelt fumbled a snap in a tie ball game. The Ram quarterback had rallied his team from a 31-14 deficit and was leading a final drive which could have culminated in victory when he lost concentration and dropped a good snap while he stood in shotgun formation. The finish marred a great performance by Colorado State's senior leader. Van Pelt accounted for 300 of the Rams' 328 yards of offense. After recovering the fumble at the CSU 32 New Mexico moved 15 yard to set up the winning field goal as time expired.


The home-standing Rebels failed to score for the first time since getting shut out in Provo in 1999. Adam Hall's first quarter pass to Robert Ortiz was the only score in this one. UNLV had a chance to tie or take the lead with a two-point conversion with 5:51 remaining, but two passes at the Aztec three yard line fell incomplete.

Air Force 31, Army 3.

The Falcons had no trouble with an overmatched Army squad, crushing the Cadets 31-3 in Colorado Springs, extending the nation's longest Division I-A losing streak to 12 games.

In other action, BYU's upcoming opponent, the Fighting Irish, narrowly beat Navy, 27-24, on a 40-yard field goal by a walk-on kicker as time expired. The win extended Notre Dame's streak over the Middies to 40, the longest such streak in any series which has been played every year for the past 40 or more years.

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