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October 21, 2014

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MWC Winners and Losers: Week 12

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AP PHOTO

Colorado State quarterback Grant Stucker lies on the turf following a hit in a 29-27 loss to previously winless New Mexico on Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M. While CSU’s skid extended to eight games, it made for a memorable senior night for the Lobos.

Each week during the 2009 football season, we'll take a look at the winners and losers from the weekend in the Mountain West Conference.

Winner: New Mexico

Give the Lobos credit, because ending their season next weekend on the road at TCU will be no fun. It doesn't take a genius to predict that.

That said, New Mexico took charge in its final opportunity for a win in 2009, taking down Colorado State, who has looked worse than anyone in the Mountain West down the season's stretch run.

In his final home game as a Lobo, quarterback Donovan Porterie threw two early TD passes, and after Nick Oppenneer picked off one of his fourth quarter passes and took it back 97 yards to put CSU ahead, Porterie led two field goal drives to cap off a 29-27 victory.

Glad New Mexico tasted victory. Because, boy, next week could be ugly as TCU looks to put the final exclamation point on its BCS case.

Loser: Colorado State

At this point in the season, I'm not sure what's harder to wrap my head around between the fact that the Rams started 3-0 and the fact that they're 0-8 since then.

Talk about a tale of two seasons.

If they want to do the league a favor, the skid will continue for one more week, as Wyoming heads to Fort Collins on Friday afternoon for the regular season finale.

Why is that?

Because at 5-6, the Cowboys are the Mountain West's only remaining team able to clinch bowl eligibility. If they lose to the Rams, the league could wind up leaving two of its guaranteed bowl slots empty should TCU land a BCS bid. And while the Horned Frogs reaching the holy land would help the reputation of the conference, having five teams fail to reach six wins would negate that significantly, bringing the question the league's overall strength and depth.

Winner: Wyoming

There's no shame in losing to TCU, even on your home turf. Heck, everyone else has this year.

Granted, Wyoming defended its home field with honor in a 45-10 defeat. Just as was the case earlier this season against Texas, the Cowboys played tough early and kept it a close game before things got out of hand.

But, more important than anything, Wyoming stayed relatively healthy, which helps Dave Christensen's club heading into the finale in Fort Collins. For freshman quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels, this issue might have been a minor concern heading in.

Loser: San Diego State

Apparently, that choke job at home against Wyoming on Nov. 14 which could have been key in SDSU potentially landing a bowl spot had some carryover affect.

Instead, a four- or five-win campaign will look like simply a nice improvement over last year's 2-10 record for first year coach Brady Hoke and his über-staff.

The Aztecs were pretty punchless against Utah at home on Saturday, which was a must-win for them to keep postseason hopes alive. Instead, a late touchdown was really all they came away with in a 38-7 blowout loss.

Winner: BYU

BYU's prolific offense became the first to crack the code against Air Force's stingy defense this year in a 38-21 victory in Provo.

The Cougars ran out to a 24-0 lead before the first half was even completed, making them the first team to score more than 20 points against the Falcons this season without needing overtime.

Max Hall was 33-of-45 for 377 yards, five TDs and two INTs.

The heralded senior gunslinger has two games left in his collegiate career — a showdown with Utah and a likely appearance in a bowl game not located in Las Vegas.

For his career, he's accounted for 11,039 yards and 89 TDs through the air. The reason for pointing this out? Well, none in particular. That's just damn impressive in three seasons as a starter.

Loser: Eh, got nothin' more ... do you?

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