[mm-video type=playlist id=01fb7dafw2b08817yr player_id=none image=https://mwwire.com/wp-content/plugins/mm-video/images/playlist-icon.png]
College Football Playoff Rankings: Has Fresno State Done Enough To Crack The Top 25?
With Air Force’s loss to Army, the door is open for the Bulldogs to find a path to a New Year’s Six bowl… if the committee likes them.
Can the ‘Dogs get their due?
Saturday proved to be a pretty good day for the Fresno State Bulldogs. They reclaimed the Milk Can trophy from rival Boise State, watched the Air Force Falcons trip up against Army, and generally saw their overall resume improve across the Mountain West football landscape.
With the next set of College Football Playoff rankings set to drop soon, could Tuesday be even better? Here is how the Mountain West’s two contenders stack up:
Fresno State Bulldogs (8-1)
Best three wins: vs. UNLV (7-2), at Utah State (4-5), vs. Boise State (4-5)
Best three opponent wins: Purdue over Virginia Tech (4-5) on the road, Arizona State over Washington State (4-5) at home, Boise State over Wyoming (6-3) at home
The case for the Bulldogs: While the schedule had been pretty light overall, the Bulldogs may get a good bit of credit for taking down Boise State, a team whose record may be skewed at least a little by hard luck in close games. Wyoming’s victory over New Mexico on Saturday also softens Fresno State’s one loss a bit, as the Cowboys are now bowl eligible, while wins by Utah State and UNLV only help.
The case against the Bulldogs: It may end up being that Fresno State isn’t getting enough help from their opponents. The three opponents on the Bulldogs’ non-conference schedule — Purdue, Arizona State, and Kent State — have three combined FBS wins between them, exactly the kind of haplessness that could slow the Bulldogs’ ascension into the New Year’s six race.
Air Force Falcons (8-1)
SP+ rank: 39 | FEI rank (through Week 9): 43 | Sagarin rank: 50 | Strength-of-schedule rank (per Sagarin/Sports Reference): 126/125
Best three wins: vs. Wyoming (6-3), at San Jose State (4-5), at Navy (3-5)
Best three opponent wins: Wyoming over Texas Tech (4-5) at home, San Diego State over Ohio (6-3) at home, Colorado State over Boise State (4-5) at home
The case for the Falcons: Air Force did get some bits of good news with regard to the opponents they have beaten. Wyoming is bowl eligible, Utah State moved one step closer to bowl eligibility with a win over San Diego State, and Sam Houston State tallied their first win of the year (albeit against 2-6 FCS Kennesaw State).
The case against the Falcons: Of the teams nominally in the conversation for the Group of 5’s New Year’s Six bowl bid, Air Force’s loss to 3-6 Army is easily the worst one overall. Considering they’d just squeaked in to the initial rankings as it was, we may not seem them there again unless they win out and claim the Mountain West crown.
How do these Mountain West teams stack up against everyone else in the hunt? Read on to learn more.