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The Mountain West Media Days began Wednesday in Las Vegas with opening remarks by Mountain West Commissioner Gloria Nevarez.

The first question Nevarez was asked was about the recently expanded 12-team College Football Playoff format. The new commissioner was excited and optimistic about the opportunities it presents for the conference.

“Every FBS league will have equal access to this playoff. The top five conference champions will automatically qualify and seven will be selected as overall champions. Since 2009, the Mountain West, and in particular (former commissioner) Craig Thompson, have been pioneers and advocates in implementing this expanded playoff and maintaining this equality of access. Our goal is to qualify for this AQ every year and also be considered for the opportunity for overall champion selection. Our non-conference schedule this season reflects all of those goals.”

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One of the biggest questions regarding this new format is whether the teams in the Group of Five will advance past the first round or even further. New: Yes. The Mountain West commissioner is confident that her conference will do well.

“I think we’re in a position to do that now,” Nervarez said. “I think our schools are committed even before the expanded playoffs. As I mentioned, we’ve ranked nationally and positioned ourselves to be in that spot. Expanding the playoffs brings us new opportunities.”

Although Boise State has not participated in the New Years Six Bowl in the last decade (their last appearance in the MWC was in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl), Nevarez believes recent trends and the league’s balanced team structure will put the Mountain West in a good position.

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“We’re definitely on an upward trajectory,” Nevarez said. “We’ve gone through a lot of changes in basketball, football and all the other sports as well. We’re the league where if we have talent, we push it out to other institutions, but we’re constantly rebuilding ourselves. I think that’s a hallmark of the Mountain West, and I think you see the desire and commitment to stay on top of things and be competitive in that environment.”

Boise State was picked to win the MWC in the league’s media poll this week. In Spencer Danielson’s first full year as the Broncos’ head coach, they are in position to be a potential CFP contender but will likely need a boost from factors outside of their control to meet Nevarez’s optimistic expectations.

The Mountain West Media Days continue on Thursday from Las Vegas.