Mountain West Conference Football Championship Game
Mountain West Football Championship.jpg
SportCollege football
ConferenceMountain West Conference
Current stadiumHosted by selected division winner (see below)
Current locationVaries by year
Played2013–present
Last contest2021
Current championUtah State Aggies
Most championshipsBoise State (3)
TV partner(s)Fox/FS1
Official websiteLeague Site
Sponsors
Hampton by Hilton

The Mountain West Conference Football Championship Game is an annual postseason college football game played to determine the champion of the Mountain West Conference (MW).

History

Locations of Mountain West Conference members.
Locations of Mountain West Conference members.

From 1999 to 2012, the champion of the Mountain West was determined by regular season record. Beginning in 2013, following the expansion to twelve members and the division of the conference into Mountain and West Divisions, the conference championship game is held between the two division winners. The Mountain West is one of four conferences to have its championship game at a campus site, along with the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, and the Sun Belt Conference.

The upcoming 2022 championship game is the last to feature division winners. On May 20, 2022, the MW announced that it would eliminate its football divisions effective with the 2023 season, instead sending the top two teams in the conference standings to the title game.[1] Two days earlier, the NCAA Division I Council had approved a rule change that gave all FBS conferences full freedom to determine the participants in their football championship games.[2]

The inaugural MW Championship Game was played on December 7, 2013 at Fresno State's Bulldog Stadium and televised by CBS.[3]

The Mountain West Conference champion customarily receives a berth to play in the Las Vegas Bowl. However, if the MW champion finishes ranked ahead of the champions from the other "Group of Five" mid-major conferences (American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, MAC, and Sun Belt) by the selection committee of the College Football Playoff, it is guaranteed a berth in one of the non-semifinal "New Year's Six" bowls. If ranked in the top four, the conference champion will play in the national championship playoff.

Divisions

Membership reflects changes that took effect with the 2013 season.

Mountain Division West Division
Air Force Fresno State
Boise State Hawaii
Colorado State Nevada
New Mexico San Diego State
Utah State San Jose State
Wyoming UNLV

Past champions

Pre-championship game era (1999–2012)

Season Champion(s) Conf.
record
Overall
record
Bowl result
1999 Utah 5–2 9–3 Won Las Vegas Bowl
BYU 5–2 8–4 Lost Motor City Bowl
Colorado State 5–2 8–4 Lost Liberty Bowl
2000 No. 14 Colorado State 6–1 10–2 Won Liberty Bowl
2001 No. 25 BYU 7–0 12–2 Lost Liberty Bowl
2002 Colorado State 6–1 10–4 Lost Liberty Bowl
2003 No. 21 Utah 6–1 10–2 Won Liberty Bowl
2004 No. 4 Utah 7–0 12–0 Won Fiesta Bowl
2005 No. 11 TCU 8–0 11–1 Won Houston Bowl
2006 No. 16 BYU 8–0 11–2 Won Las Vegas Bowl
2007 No. 14 BYU 8–0 11–2 Won Las Vegas Bowl
2008 No. 2 Utah 8–0 13–0 Won Sugar Bowl
2009 No. 6 TCU 8–0 12–1 Lost Fiesta Bowl
2010 No. 2 TCU 8–0 13–0 Won Rose Bowl
2011 No. 14 TCU 7–0 11–2 Won Poinsettia Bowl
2012 No. 18 Boise State 7–1 11–2 Won Maaco Bowl Las Vegas
Fresno State 7–1 9–4 Lost Hawaii Bowl
San Diego State 7–1 9–4 Lost Poinsettia Bowl
Total 18 bowl games 11 wins, 7 losses

Final AP Poll rankings shown.

Mountain West Conference Championship Game (2013–present)

Below are the results from all Mountain West Conference Football Championship Games played. The winning team appears in bold font, on a background of their primary team color. Rankings are from the AP Poll released prior to the game.

Year West Mountain Site Attendance MVP
2013 24 Fresno State Bulldogs 24 Utah State Aggies 17 Bulldog StadiumFresno, CA 31,362 QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
2014 Fresno State Bulldogs 14 22 Boise State Broncos 28 Albertsons StadiumBoise, ID 26,101 Offensive: QB Grant Hedrick, Boise State
Defensive: MLB Tanner Vallejo, Boise State
2015 San Diego State Aztecs 27 Air Force Falcons 24 Qualcomm StadiumSan Diego, CA 20,959 Offensive: QB Christian Chapman, San Diego State
Defensive: S Na'im McGee, San Diego State
2016 San Diego State Aztecs 27 Wyoming Cowboys 24 War Memorial StadiumLaramie, WY 24,001 Offensive: RB Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
Defensive: S Damontae Kazee, San Diego State
2017 25 Fresno State Bulldogs 14 Boise State Broncos 17 Albertsons StadiumBoise, ID 24,515 Offensive: QB Brett Rypien, Boise State
Defensive: LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
2018 25 Fresno State Bulldogs 19 19 Boise State Broncos 16OT 23,662 Offensive: RB Alexander Mattison, Boise State
Defensive: DE Mykal Walker, Fresno State
2019 Hawaii Rainbow Warriors 10 19 Boise State Broncos 31 23,561 Offensive: QB Jaylon Henderson, Boise State
Defensive: DT Sonatane Lui, Boise State
Year #1 seed #2 seed Site Attendance MVP
2020 25 San Jose State Spartans 34 Boise State Broncos 20 Sam Boyd StadiumWhitney, NV 0dagger Offensive: QB Nick Starkel, San Jose State[4]
Defensive: DE Cade Hall, San Jose State
Year West Mountain Site Attendance MVP
2021 19 San Diego State Aztecs 13 Utah State Aggies 46 Dignity Health Sports ParkCarson, CA 13,445 Offensive: QB Logan Bonner, Utah State
Defensive: DE Byron Vaughns, Utah State

dagger Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 game was played behind closed doors without fans.[5]

Results by team

Games School W L Pct Titles Runners-up
5 Boise State Broncos 3 2 .600 2014, 2017, 2019 2018, 2020
4 Fresno State Bulldogs 2 2 .500 2013, 2018 2014, 2017
3 San Diego State Aztecs 2 1 .667 2015, 2016 2021
2 Utah State Aggies 1 1 .500 2021 2013
1 San Jose State Spartans 1 0 1.000 2020  
1 Air Force Falcons 0 1 .000   2015
1 Wyoming Cowboys 0 1 .000   2016
1 Hawaii Rainbow Warriors 0 1 .000   2019

Selection criteria

The division champion is the team with the highest conference winning percentage.

Two-team tiebreaker procedure

  1. Head-to-head record between the tied teams
  2. Winning percentage of the tied teams within the division
  3. Winning percentage against the next-highest placed team in the division, with placing based on the team's conference record, and proceeding through the division
  4. Winning percentage of the tied teams against common conference opponents
  5. Higher College Football Playoff ranking (or composite of selected computer ranking if neither team is ranked) following the final week of the regular season
  6. Overall winning percentage against FBS opponents
  7. Coin toss

[6]

NOTE: If inclement weather forces the head-to-head game between the two tied teams to be cancelled or end in a tie, the tiebreaker procedure ensures the tie will be broken by other means if necessary.

Three or more-team tiebreaker procedure

  1. Head-to-head record among the tied teams
  2. Winning percentage among the tied teams within the division
  3. Winning percentage among the tied teams against the next-highest placed team in the division, with placing based on the team's conference record, and proceeding through the division
  4. Winning percentage among the tied teams against common conference opponents
  5. Higher College Football Playoff ranking (or composite of selected computer ranking if neither team is ranked) following the final week of the regular season

[6]

Once the tie is reduced to two teams, then the two-team tiebreaker is used.[6]

Host determination

Current procedure

The division champion with the better conference record will host the championship game. If the teams have the same record, the following tie-breaking procedure is used:[7]

  1. Head-to-head record
  2. Higher College Football Playoff ranking going into the final week of regular season, excluding teams who are not ranked and/or that lost their final regular season game
  3. Composite of selected computer rankings
  4. Record versus common conference opponents
  5. Highest overall winning percentage (conference and non-conference excluding exempt games)
  6. Coin toss

2013–2017 procedure

From 2013 to 2017, the division champion with the higher College Football Playoff ranking going into the final week of regular season was designated as the host school unless it lost its final regular season game. If the latter occurred, or neither team was ranked in the latest available College Football Playoff rankings, then the following procedure was used:[6]

  1. Team with better composite ranking among selected computer rankings
  2. Head-to-head record
  3. Record versus common conference opponents
  4. Winning percentage against the next-highest placed common conference opponent and proceeding through the conference, with placing based on:
    1. Placement within the division
    2. Overall conference record
    3. Composite of selected computer rankings
  5. Coin toss

This procedure was discontinued after the 2017 Mountain West Conference Football Championship Game after Boise State was selected to host the game despite having the same conference record as their opponent Fresno State and losing to Fresno State during the regular season.

Game records

Team Record, Team vs. Opponent Year
Most points scored (one team) 46, Utah State vs. San Diego State 2021
Most points scored (losing team) 24, Air Force vs. San Diego State
Wyoming vs. San Diego State
2015
2016
Fewest points scored (winning team) 17, Boise State vs. Fresno State 2017
Fewest points scored 10, Hawaii vs. Boise State 2019
Most points scored (both teams) 59, Utah State (46) vs. San Diego State (13) 2021
Fewest points scored (both teams) 31, Boise State (17) vs. Fresno State (14) 2017
Most points scored in a half 32, Utah State (2nd half) vs. San Diego State 2021
Most points scored in a half (both teams) 42, Utah State vs. San Diego State (2nd half) 2021
Largest margin of victory 33, Utah State (46) vs. San Diego State (13) 2021
Smallest margin of victory 3, San Diego State (27) vs. Air Force (24)
San Diego State (27) vs. Wyoming (24)
Boise State (17) vs. Fresno State (14)
Fresno State (19) vs. Boise State (16)
2015
2016
2017
2018
Total yards 498, San Jose State (453 passing, 45 rushing) vs. Boise State 2020
Rushing yards 305, Air Force vs. San Diego State 2015
Passing yards 453, San Jose State vs. Boise State 2020
First downs 26, San Jose State vs. Boise State 2020
Fewest yards allowed 258, San Jose State vs. Boise State (221 passing, 37 rushing) 2020
Fewest rushing yards allowed 37, San Jose State vs. Boise State 2020
Fewest passing yards allowed 35, San Diego State vs. Air Force 2015
Individual Record, Player, Team vs. Opponent Year
All-purpose yards 437, Nick Starkel, San Jose State vs. Boise State 2020
Touchdowns (all-purpose) 4, Logan Bonner, Utah State vs. San Diego State 2021
Rushing yards 200, Alexander Mattison, Boise State vs. Fresno State 2018
Rushing touchdowns 3, Timothy McVey, Air Force vs. San Diego State 2015
Passing yards 453, Nick Starkel, San Jose State vs. Boise State 2020
Passing touchdowns 4, Logan Bonner, Utah State vs. San Diego State 2021
Receiving yards 168, Davante Adams, Fresno State vs. Utah State 2013
Receiving touchdowns 2, Brandon Bowling, Utah State vs. San Diego State 2021
Tackles 16, Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State vs. Fresno State 2017
Sacks 2, shared by seven players, most recent:
Cade Hall, San Jose State vs. Boise State
 
2020
Interceptions 2, shared by:
Brian Suite, Utah State vs. Fresno State
Damontae Kazee, San Diego State vs. Wyoming
 
2013
2016
Long Plays Record, Player, Team vs. Opponent Year
Touchdown run 28, Rashaad Penny, San Diego State vs. Air Force 2015
Touchdown pass 58, Brandon Bowling from Logan Bonner, Utah State vs. San Diego State 2021
Kickoff return 75, Rashaad Penny, San Diego State vs. Wyoming 2016
Punt return 69, Avery Williams, Boise State vs. San Jose State 2020
Interception return 63, Tanner Vallejo, Boise State vs. Fresno State 2014
Fumble return 86, Jake Doughty, Utah State vs. Fresno State 2013
Punt 75, Tanner Blain, San Diego State vs. Wyoming 2016
Field goal 51, Jonah Dalmas, Boise State vs. San Jose State 2020
Miscellaneous Record, Team vs. Team Year
Game attendance 31,362, Fresno State vs. Utah State 2013

Source:[8]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Mountain West Announces Elimination of Football Divisions in 2023" (Press release). Mountain West Conference. May 20, 2022. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  2. ^ "DI Council lifts football signing, initial counter limits for two years" (Press release). NCAA. May 18, 2022. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  3. ^ Published August 19, 2013. "CBS Sports Gets TV Rights To Mountain West Football Championship - SportsBusiness Daily | SportsBusiness Journal | SportsBusiness Daily Global". SportsBusiness Daily. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
  4. ^ "Spartans Claim Conference Championship". sjsuspartans.com. December 19, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  5. ^ "Game Tracker: Boise State tries to launch 4th quarter comeback to win Mountain West Championship". KTVB. December 19, 2020. Retrieved December 19, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d Host and divisional tiebreakers
  7. ^ "Mountain West Announces New Football Championship Host Determination Procedure". Mountain West Conference. July 23, 2018. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  8. ^ "MWFB Championship Game Record Book" (PDF). themw.com. Retrieved December 4, 2021.