Mountain West Expects To Continually Be In Expanded College Football Playoff

Jun 20, 2024, 11:31 AM

Mountain West Football Schedule...

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 19: A Mountain West logo is displayed on the field before the Mountain West Football Championship between the Boise State Broncos and the San Jose State Spartans at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Spartans defeated the Broncos 34-20. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – The College Football Playoff 12-team structure is finally coming this fall. It has been a bumpy road going from four teams to 12.

The demise of the Pac-12 caused a few issues with the number of automatic qualifiers (conference champions) who will get into the College Football Playoff.

The model in place will be the top-five rated conference champions, plus seven at-large teams. This will allow teams outside the power conferences to get at least one guaranteed bid.

This new expansion will give teams from the American, Conference USA, Sun Belt, MAC, and the Mountain West a shot.

Expect the seed for the Group of Five to be No. 12 nearly every year. At least they’ll get a seat at the table to take on the fifth seed.

Mountain West Expects To Earn G5 Playoff Bid

The only year a Mountain West team earned a spot in a major bowl was when Boise State defeated Arizona in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl. The conference has not been to a prestigious bowl game since then.

Mountain West commissioner Gloria Nevarez wants to put an end to this. Joining JJ & Alex on the KSL Sports Zone, Nevarez strongly believes her conference is positioned well to frequently earn a playoff spot in the expanded field.

“There are five spots for the five top-ranked conference champions,” Nevarez said. “While there has been a canyon between us and the Power Four, I don’t see us closing that or becoming one of them anytime soon.

“Our aspiration, goals, and expectations are that we are sitting at the top of our peer conferences and that we’re squarely in that fifth spot for the expanded [College Football] Playoffs.”

The Mountain West has been on the outside looking in prior years for a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl game over the past decade. Realignment will help them as Houston, Memphis, UCF, and Cincinnati are now in a power conference.

Those four schools earned six of the 10 Group of Five spots during the four-team playoff era. With less competition in the way, it should open the spot for a Mountain West team to get a playoff bid.

As of right now, ESPN’s FPI gives Boise State the best chance at earning a playoff bid at 16.4% with UTSA out of the American as the next closest team with a 15.6% chance going to the College Football Playoff.


Tune into JJ & Alex every Monday through Friday, 3-6 p.m. on 1280 AM and 97.5 FM, or subscribe to the podcast. Also, download the all-new KSL Sports app on iOS or Android.

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Mountain West Expects To Continually Be In Expanded College Football Playoff