The University of New Mexico is 4-4, two victories shy of a bowl bid, and in fourth place in their division behind Boise State, Air Force, and Utah State. Let that sink in for a moment.
This is the same program whose record over the last three seasons has been 4-9, 3-9, and 4-8. Assuming that the Lobos do not lose out, this season should show continued improvement under head coach Bob Davie. In fact, with four games left, they could win their division! Impossible, right? And yet they can make the impossible possible.
The most obvious path to doing this is to win out. The Lobos still have games against all three of those teams as well as Colorado State (which they should win). If New Mexico can win out, the division is theirs for the taking. Of course it would also help if Boise State (6-2) lost an additional game.
Indeed, Air Force still has to take on both Boise State and Utah State which means that a lot of movement can still happen between those top three teams. Could the Broncos slip up against Air Force or San Jose State? Will Utah State beat Nevada and BYU in consecutive weeks? It is going to take a lot of luck, but there is enough possibility for the Lobos to slide into that top spot. And as the saying goes, I'd rather be lucky than good.
Sure, it is unlikely that the Lobos win their division this season, but the fact that we can even talk about them as possibly winning their division or playing a bowl game at this point in the season shows how far they have come. At the very least, they have been an entertaining to watch for all the big plays that they've made and even the ones that they have given up.
UNM is off this weekend which is probably for the best so that the idea of them as division winners has time to sit with Mountain West fans.
Enjoy your Halloween festivities.