Mountain West Bowl Tie-ins
- Las Vegas Bowl
- Poinsettia Bowl
- Armed Forces Bowl
- New Mexico Bowl
- Hawai'i Bowl
The Mountain West had three teams tie for the top spot in the league, but Boise State (10-2) had the best overall record and was awarded the Las Vegas Bowl bid. A 21-19 loss to San Diego State almost certainly cost the Broncos the Orange Bowl bid that Northern Illinois grabbed under the “special rule” for non-automatic qualifier conferences under the Bowl Championship Series rules. At 11-1, you figure that bid goes to the Broncos. Boise State will take on Washington of the Pac-12.
San Diego State finished at 9-3, and will serve as the home team in the Poinsettia Bowl against Brigham Young. The Cougars were in the Mountain West until this year, but are now an independent. Interestingly, although both San Diego State and Boise State have announced intentions to bolt for the Big East (yes, “East”) … there are now reports that both schools, and, yes, Brigham Young, may revert to the Mountain West (as the Big East now looks to have no more stature in the new landscape than the Mountain West will).
Oh, yes, on the field: the Aztecs have won seven in a row after a 2-3 start.
The Armed Forces Bowl is listed as a Mountain West bid, but it goes to Air Force if the Falcons are bowl-eligible and available. As they were this year. They will play Rice, who will travel up the road from their Houston home to Fort Worth.
That dropped conference co-champs Fresno State to the Hawai’i Bowl, but that hardly seems like punishment. The Bulldogs will face Southern Methodist out of Conference USA.
Finally, Nevada heads to the New Mexico Bowl, which is the very first game of bowl season. The 7-5 Wolf Pack will face Arizona from the Pac-12 in one of the better matchups among the “lesser” bowls.
1. Famous Idaho Potatoes Bowl
There’s not much left of the WAC (victim of realignment carcass-picking), and, despite three bowl-eligible teams, it only placed two into games.
Utah State went undefeated in the conference and got the bid to the Famous Idaho Potatoes Bowl in Boise. It will take to the blue turf against Toledo.
San Jose State will also take on a Mid-American Conference foe: Bowling Green, in the Military Bowl in Washington, D.C.
Louisiana Tech rolled the dice and ended up on the short end of the bowl stick. The Bulldogs were in line to go to the Independence Bowl or Liberty Bowl, but, in the process of angling for the Liberty bid, let the Independence Bowl deadline go by and ended up with neither.