Bronco Beat

BYU could bump Mountain West out of Las Vegas Bowl this year

The Mountain West’s top bowl slot could go to BYU this season in a deal announced Thursday.

BYU will play in the Las Vegas Bowl or Hawaii Bowl this season if it’s eligible. The Las Vegas Bowl has the first pick from the Mountain West and a team from the Pac-12.

ESPN owns both games and will work with BYU to determine the best fit for the Cougars, who will play in the other bowl game in 2019.

The Mountain West will receive a spot in either the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, or the New Orleans Bowl to replace the spot taken by BYU.

The Mountain West’s tie-ins for 2015 are:

Las Vegas (first pick)


Poinsettia, San Diego

Famous Idaho Potato, Boise

New Mexico, Albuquerque

Also, the Mountain West is involved in the proposed Arizona Bowl in Tucson. If that is approved, the league will have a sixth tie-in there.

And again this year the Mountain West is the primary backup for the Cactus Bowl in Tempe, Ariz. If the Big 12 or Pac-12 fails to fill its spot, the Cactus would get the second selection of MW teams.

And of course the Mountain West still could land in a College Football Playoff bowl if it has the highest-ranked champion from the Group of Five conferences.