Bowl Projections: Vegas' Good Fortune is Wyoming's Loss

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

Reclaiming the Fremont Cannon earned UNLV a lot of love from the prognosticators, but the rest of the Mountain West bowl forecasts are very murky.

Week 9 in Mountain West action saw some teams help their  bowl profile with big wins, while others are slipping in the eyes of the experts. SB Nation, CBS and ESPN don't seem to agree on much, but Wyoming fans may want to brace themselves.

For a quick refresher, here is the list of bowls with which the Mountain West is affiliated, along with the slated opponent. The bowls have an order in which they are allowed to select teams, and the Las Vegas Bowl picks first.

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl - December 21

MWC #1 vs. Pac-12 #5

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl - December 26

MWC #2 vs. Army (if eligible) or at-large team

Bell Helicopters Armed Forces Bowl - December 30

MWC #3 vs. Conference USA #3 or Navy (if eligible)

Gildan New Mexico Bowl - December 21

MWC #4 vs. Pac-12 #7

Sheraton Hawaii Bowl - December 24

MWC #5 or Hawaii (if eligible) vs. Conference USA #2

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl - December 21

MWC #6 vs. MAC #3

***

The first set of predictions comes courtesy of SB Nation's Jason Kirk:

Fiesta Bowl: Fresno State vs. Baylor

Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State vs. Washington

Poinsettia Bowl: San Diego State vs. Toledo

Armed Forces Bowl: Utah State vs. Navy

New Mexico Bowl: UNLV vs. USC

What you don't see here is just as intriguing as what you do see. Wyoming has plummeted from the projection entirely. San Jose State, however, gets no benefit from its win over the Cowboys yesterday. As a matter of fact, the MWC slot for  the Idaho Potato Bowl is listed as"??", which makes me think Kirk is overlooking the Spartans.

The matchups that Kirk does foresee should generate plenty of interest.  The Broncos would be happy to get a chance to avenge their loss to the Huskies. The Aztecs would be happy to get a home game. The Rebels against a disinterested Trojans squad would be fascinating.

What do ESPN's Mark Schlabach and Brad Edwards have to say?

Schlabach

Fiesta Bowl: Fresno State vs. Baylor

Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State vs. Oregon State

Poinsettia Bowl: San Jose State vs. Utah

Armed Forces Bowl: Colorado State vs. Navy

New Mexico Bowl: UNLV vs. USC

Hawaii Bowl: Utah State vs. Rice

Idaho Potato Bowl: Wyoming vs. Buffalo

Edwards

Las Vegas Bowl: Fresno State vs. Arizona State

Poinsettia Bowl: Boise State vs. Ohio

Armed Forces Bowl: UNLV vs. Navy

New Mexico Bowl: San Jose State vs. Arizona

Hawaii Bowl: Utah State vs. Middle Tennessee State

Idaho Potato Bowl: San Diego State vs. Buffalo

Brad Edwards has been consistent with pretty much all of his projections the last few weeks but, again, Wyoming is in  danger of dropping out of bowl contention entirely. UNLV's win over arch rival Nevada put the Rebels in good position for a berth, while also essentially eliminating the Pack from inclusion. That sixth win is likely to come courtesy of Air Force, but even a 6-6 finish should make them very attractive.

Lastly, CBS Sports' Jerry Palm gave out his two cents:

Fiesta Bowl: Fresno State vs. Oklahoma State

Las Vegas Bowl: Utah State vs. Arizona

Poinsettia Bowl: Boise State vs. Syracuse

Armed Forces Bowl: San Diego State vs. Navy

New Mexico Bowl: San Jose State vs. USC

Hawaii Bowl: Colorado State vs. Middle Tennessee State

No changes here, but the absence of the Rebels is a little surprising at this point.

My predictions are as follows:

Fiesta Bowl: Fresno State vs. Baylor

Las Vegas Bowl: Boise State vs. Arizona

Poinsettia Bowl: Utah State vs. Ohio

Armed Forces Bowl: San Jose State vs. Navy

New Mexico Bowl: San Diego State vs. USC

Hawaii Bowl: UNLV vs. Rice

Idaho Potato Bowl: Colorado State vs. Buffalo

Texas Tech's loss was a gift for Fresno States' BCS hopes, but a potential matchup with Baylor would be a tough draw. San Diego would have helped their cause immensely with a win last night, but now they cannot look past New Mexico. The game to watch with bowls in mind next weekend will be UNLV/SJSU, as the Spartans can still dream of a division title if they keep winning and the Rebels are on the doorstep of eligibility.

If you have your own thoughts on these bowl predictions or have a set of your own, make sure to leave them in the comments!

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