Fresno State hit the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday, checking in at No. 25 – just a few days too late to host the Mountain West Conference championship game that went to Boise State because of its higher ranking in a composite computer ranking.
The Bulldogs beat Boise State 28-17 in the final regular-season game for both teams.
“We are very pleased for our football team to be ranked in the CFB Playoff, we’re also excited about playing in the Mountain West championship game and our focus is bringing the trophy back to Fresno,” interim athletics director Steve Robertello said in a statement.
“We are also looking forward to seeing the Red Wave in Boise, and finishing the season on a high note.”
But Fresno State fans were off and running on social media.
Under the Mountain West’s guidelines for determining the host for its championship game, the divisional champion with the highest CFP ranking gets the game. The site determination, however, is made no later than the Sunday following the final week of regular-season games, utilizing the latest available CFP poll.
If one divisional champion was ranked ahead of the other divisional champion in the CFP Selection Committee ranking and wins in the final weekend of the regular season, that team will be declared the host.
If the divisional champion that was the highest-ranked in the CFP poll loses in the final weekend of the regular season, then a composite of selected computer rankings following the final week of regular-season games will be used to determine the host. (That’s what happened this year.)
The composite rankings are also used if neither division champ was in the latest available CFP ranking.
The Bulldogs ended up with an average of 34.25 in the four computer models while the Broncos came in at 30.25.
Fresno State was ranked ahead of Boise State in only one of the four computer models in play – the Billingsley Ratings had the Bulldogs at No. 27, the Broncos at No. 30.
Anderson & Hester had Boise State at No. 32 and Fresno State at No. 41, the Colley Matrix had it No. 26 to No. 35 and the Wolfe Ratings No. 33 and No. 34.
Robert Kuwada: @rkuwada