Northern Illinois ascension in the BCS Standings and, ultimately, to the Orange Bowl had implications all the way to Boise and its bowl game.
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, which picks third among bowl-eligible teams from the MAC, was poised to select Kent State for its Dec. 15 bowl game at Bronco Stadium.
But when Northern Illinois, which defeated Kent State in the MAC title game Friday, reached No. 15 and gained entry into the BCS, the conferences postseason lineup shuffled and the Potato Bowl selected Toledo to play Utah State.
Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.
Thats the way it works out in college football. It was a great opportunity for Northern Illinois to go up. Thats the nice thing about the MAC, its so deep this year, Potato Bowl Executive Director Kevin McDonald said Sunday night.
Toledo (9-3) won eight straight games earlier in the season, including handing then-No. 18 Cincinnati its first loss. Toledo reached as high as No. 23 in The AP Top 25 and made its first appearance in the BCS (No. 25 on Nov. 4.).
The Rockets only losses are to Northern Illinois (12-1), Ball State (9-3) and Arizona (7-5). Toledo, which is making its 13th bowl appearance, won the 2011 Military Bowl beating Air Force 42-41.
Playing in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is an excellent reward for our players, coaches and everyone involved in our teams success, said first-year Toledo coach Matt Campbell, who is 33.
The bowl game has a reputation for offensive fireworks and this matchup has the potential for points. Utah State is No. 26 in the county in total offense, averaging 459.7 yards per game. Toledo ranks 28th in the nation in total offense, averaging 456.1 yards per game.
The Aggies and coach Gary Andersen are back, this time as WAC champions. The Aggies (10-2)accepted a spot in the game after beating Idaho on Nov. 24.