BOISE — The Las Vegas Bowl will keep its first selection among Mountain West bowl-eligible teams from 2014 to 2019, but the other four games Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, New Mexico Bowl, Poinsettia Bowl and Hawaii Bowl will "be tied for second," Commissioner Craig Thompson said Wednesday while in town for the press conference announcing the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl's sale to ESPN Regional TV.
The bowl assignments will be made by the league, ESPN, bowl leaders and conference athletic directors. In a further attempt to avoid stale assignments, the league will vacate the Las Vegas and Hawaii games once each during the six-year period with Mountain West teams going to other ESPN-owned games, likely in Texas.
The league is still considering a sixth bowl arrangement, but could instead opt for backup agreements. The Mountain West had discussions with a proposed Christmas Bowl in Los Angeles but backed off when it became clear the Pac-12 wouldn't provide the opponent, Thompson said.
In the morning practice Wednesday, the first-team offense and defense battled to a stalemate in a game-like drive. Defensive end Demarcus Lawrence sacked quarterback Joe Southwick on one play but Southwick eluded him on the next to find tight end Gabe Linehan for a first down. The hard-fought drive ended around midfield because the 5-minute practice period expired.
Sophomore defensive tackle Armand Nance is making a push. He made a tackle for loss and stuffed a sneak on back-to-back plays in the morning and a sack in the afternoon.
Redshirt freshman wide receiver Taylor Pope made the play of camp, fighting off a couple defenders to catch a Hail Mary at the goal line in the afternoon. Southwick's throw covered about 50 yards. The play began with 3 seconds left in a timed drive.