This sets up what is definitely the biggest game in Mountain West history when #3 TCU visits #5 Utah this Saturday. College GameDay will be making their first appearance in Salt Lake since their inaugural visit in 2004, and the winner should claim a BCS bowl spot (provided they take care of the rest of their business).
Boise State also stands to claim a BCS bowl spot if they take care of their business, which business is a little tougher than the other two teams (we'll cover this in a separate post... see today's BURNING QUESTION) as they have Hawaii, Nevada, and Fresno State remaining, who are a combined 19-5.
The Missouri and Michigan State losses open up a fun end of the season. We have a scenario where Oregon, Boise, and the TCU/Utah winner could be the only undefeateds left. Auburn still plays Alabama, and the winner would play in the SEC title game. Could a non-AQ sneak into the title game? Will an undefeated non-AQ get left out of a BCS bowl? Better yet, will a 1-loss SEC team get left out of a BCS bowl? That would certainly get a new demographic on the playoff bandwagon.
While we anticipate an exciting end to the season, week 9 around the West saw some big numbers in a fun week of football:
-- Colorado State stacked up 328 rushing yards in their 38-14 win over the hapless Lobos of New Mexico. They were stopped 2 yards shy of having two 100-yard rushers. Leonard Mason had 124 yards and 3 TDs on 15 carries, and Chris Nwoke joined in with 98 yards on 19 carries.
-- Air Force QB Tim Jefferson had an impressive day through the air in Air Force's 28-23 loss to Utah. Jefferson was 8-13 for 201 yards and a TD.
-- Utah State (490) and Nevada (596) combined for 1086 total yards as Nevada sent Utah State back home to Logan with a 56-42 loss. USU QB Diondre Borel had a fantastic day through the air, going 24-38 for 399 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs. Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick passed for 190 yards and 2 TDs, ran for 102 yards and 1 TD more, and the Wolfpack totaled 387 rushing yards on the day.
(all pictures from each school's respective official athletic website)