Spencer Danielson’s run as Boise State’s interim head coach will include at least one more remarkable chapter.
The Broncos found out Sunday morning that they prevailed in a computer tiebreaker with San Jose State and will advance to play UNLV in the Mountain West Championship Game inside Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 1 p.m. MT on FOX.
San Jose State’s 37-31 win over UNLV on Saturday created a three-way tie with the Rebels, Broncos and Spartans at 6-2 in Mountain West play for the two spots in the title game. The Mountain West used the composite rankings of four computer rankings to break the tie – and UNLV and Boise State finished No. 1 and No. 2.
There was some worry San Jose State would pass the Broncos for the No. 2 spot after the win over UNLV in Las Vegas, but the Broncos held on thanks in part to their 27-19 win over Air Force on Friday.
UNLV finished first with a composite ranking of 44.5, which earned them the right to host the game. Boise State finished with a composite ranking of 55.75, while San Jose State was third at 58.5. The four computer rankings used were Anderson and Hester, Colley Matrix, Massey Ratings and Wolfe.
It’s the sixth title-game appearance for the Broncos in the past seven years – but it’s for sure the most unlikely of the bunch. It will be just the second of the six not to be played in Boise. The Broncos played San Jose State in Las Vegas in 2020 during the COVID-altered season.
Danielson is 2-0 as interim head coach since taking over when Andy Avalos was stunningly fired the morning after a 42-14 win over New Mexico. He’s gaining steam and support to potentially take over as the full-time coach – and winning a championship after this crazy season certainly wouldn’t hurt his case.
He becomes the second interim coach in college football history to take over midseason and lead his team to a conference championship game. Clay Helton at USC in 2015 is the only other interim coach to ever do it.
All hope appeared lost when the Broncos lost 37-30 at Fresno State on Nov. 4. But the Broncos won three straight – and got help in the way of stunning upsets of New Mexico over Fresno State and Hawaii over Air Force – to somehow move within one game of the Broncos’ third Mountain West title in the past seven years.
UNLV went 9-3 in the regular season. They suffered a 35-7 loss at No. 2 Michigan and a 31-24 loss at Fresno State prior to Saturday’s home loss to San Jose State. The Rebels had the top offense in the conference at 35.58 points per game during the regular season.