Mountain West bowl lineup locked in until 2019

bmurphy@idahostatesman.comJuly 10, 2013 

Chris Petersen, second from left, and Boise State picked up where Kyle Whittingham, second from right, and Utah left off in 2010 by representing the Mountain West in the Las Vegas Bowl. BSU has been in Vegas three straight years, and the bowl will retain first dibs with the league through 2019.

The Mountain West is growing to 12 teams this season. It is hosting its first conference championship game in December. And college football's postseason is undergoing massive changes after the 2014 regular season. But the MW's bowl arrangement appears to be staying the same.

The league has new contracts with all six of its current bowl partners covering the 2014 through 2019 seasons, according to ESPN. The league is looking for a seventh tie-in, ESPN reported. The MW told the Statesman on Tuesday that future bowl plans are not finalized.

LAS VEGAS

MW No. 1 vs. Pac-12

The game will keep its No. 1 selection of MW teams, though it doesn't have to take the champion (which could end up in the new College Football Playoff starting with the 2014-15 bowl season).

2013 prediction: Boise State makes it four consecutive appearances, beating USC, which fires coach Lane Kiffin after another lackluster season.

2019 prediction: Colorado State makes the trip because the Broncos head to the Cotton Bowl.

POINSETTIA

MW No. 2 vs. Navy, BYU or Army

The San Diego-based game keeps the No. 2 pick and matches the MW representative against Navy (2014) and then BYU or Army (2015 and beyond).

2013 prediction: Fresno State, which falls to Boise State in the MW title game on Dec. 7 in Bronco Stadium, heads to San Diego to face Navy.

2019 prediction: San Diego State, which loses to Boise State in the conference title game, stays home to play BYU.

ARMED FORCES

MW No. 3/4/5 vs. Conference USA

The Fort Worth, Texas-game - the only MW bowl not played in the home stadium of a conference team - currently has the No. 3 pick. Under the new arrangement, ESPN reports, the bowl will be part of a three-way selection with the New Mexico and Hawaii bowls.

2013 prediction: Air Force

2019 prediction: New MW member UTEP plays in-state.

NEW MEXICO

MW No. 3/4/5 vs. Conference USA

After 2013, the Pac-12 will not be the opponent in the Albuquerque game.

2013 prediction: New Mexico gets bowl eligible.

2019 prediction: The Lobos get bowl eligible for the first time since 2013.

HAWAII

MW No. 3/4/5 vs. American or Conference USA

The Honolulu game currently has the No. 5 pick. But Hawaii stays home if it is bowl eligible.

2013 prediction: San Diego State heads to Hawaii since the Warriors are not bowl eligible.

2019 prediction: San Jose State heads to Hawaii since the Warriors are not bowl eligible.

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO

MW No. 6 vs. Mid-American

Boise's bowl game keeps its tie-in with the conference, which starts this year. That's good news for the game's long-term health.

2013 prediction: Utah State makes its third straight trip to Boise.

2019 prediction: The bowl swaps out its MW tie for bowl-eligible Idaho.

Brian Murphy: 377-6444; Twitter: @murphsturph

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