FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – College football is debuting a new 4-team playoff this bowl season, replacing the old BCS system.
So instead of BCS bowls there are now six premier New Year’s Eve/Day Bowl games (two of which are the new national semi-finals).
There is one spot guaranteed to the highest-ranked conference champion from a non-power 5 conference (Pac-12, Big 12, Big 10, ACC, SEC).
CSU is currently 9-1 and ranked (23/25) for the first time since 2003.
LINK: NCAA Polls
So what needs to happen for the Rams to earn a spot in one of this year’s big bowls?
1. Boise State needs to lose. The spot is reserved for a conference champion, and right now even though CSU has a better overall record than the Broncos, the teams are tied in the conference standings. And Boise State beat CSU back in September, so they would win the tiebreaker for a spot in the Mountain West Conference title game.
Game to watch: Nov. 29 Boise State vs Utah State (currently 7-3). (Also games against Wyoming and San Diego State)
2. Marshall needs to lose. The Thundering Herd are currently 9-0 and ranked 21st in the AP/USA Today polls. Neither CSU or Marshall (No. 21 in the rankings) is in the playoff rankings though. Only one spot is guaranteed to a non-big 5 conference champion, so Marshall may be in line for that if they win out.
Game to watch: Conference USA Championship game – Dec. 6 vs. TBD. (Marshall also has a tough game against Rice on Nov. 15).
3. CSU keeps winning. While the Rams need help, they also need to keep helping themselves. They will be favored in their final two regular season games, but an upset would end this talk of a New Year’s bowl.
Games to watch: Nov. 22 @ New Mexico; Nov. 29th vs. Air Force.
New Mexico almost upset Boise State last week and Air Force did beat Boise State earlier this year, so both teams could challenge CSU.
4. CSU wins MWC Championship Game. If Boise State loses and the Rams keep winning, CSU would host the conference title game at Hughes Stadium on Dec. 6. CSU would most likely be favored against Nevada, Fresno State or San Diego St., but as mentioned, the automatic bid goes to a conference champion, so CSU would need to win this game.
Game to watch: MWC Title Game – Dec. 6 vs. TBD
5. CSU ranked highest in final CFP rankings. If the above four things all happen, this should be a given. But this is the first year for this poll, voted on by a 13 person committee, so until the final poll comes out on Dec. 7 and the New Year’s bowls are announced, the Rams won’t know for sure if they are in.
Event to watch – Final poll announcement on Dec. 7
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