A Cheezy end to Air Force’s season seems likely.
With bowl matchups to be announced Sunday, the Falcons seem pegged for the Cheez-It Bowl in Phoenix on Dec. 27.
This is not yet a guarantee, and ultimately the decisions will come down to the College Football Playoff committee and then ESPN, which owns the majority of bowl games – including the few that could consider Air Force (10-2).
Washington State (6-6) would be the likely opponent for Air Force, but others from the Pac-12 could fill it instead of the Cougars.
This is assuming Boise State doesn’t somehow jump past Memphis in the eyes of the committee. The Tigers were ranked higher than the Broncos entering the weekend, and both won their conference championship games on Saturday. The highest ranked team from the Group of Five conferences takes a spot in the Cotton Bowl, and that will presumably be Memphis. That would put Boise State into the Las Vegas Bowl as the top Mountain West team.
If the Big 12 places Oklahoma in the playoff and Baylor in the Sugar Bowl (or both in a New Years Six game even without a playoff berth), the conference won’t have enough teams to fill its bowl slots. The Mountain West has a contingency agreement with the Cheez-It Bowl, which is supposed to be a Big 12 vs. Pac-12 game. If the Big 12 can’t fill it, the second-best available Mountain West team would likely be selected for the Cheez-It Bowl. And that would be Air Force.
There is a chance that ESPN and its bowls could opt for a specific matchup, as none of the Mountain West games fall in a specific hierarchy except that the Las Vegas Bowl gets the top selection. There’s always the possibility that ESPN would want Air Force for the Armed Forces Bowl (Jan. 4 in Fort Worth, Texas), considering the military tie-in.
For what it’s worth, Air Force is the only team that has been singled out by the Cheez-It Bowl on social media.
“We’re getting a lot of Air Force fans hungry for @cheezit! Who do you want to see at @ChaseField on Dec. 27?” the bowl game tweeted Thursday.