Bronco Beat

Harsin gets one-year extension; Poinsettia Bowl seems likely

Boise State running back Jeremy McNichols (13) celebrates a second-half touchdown against San Jose State at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif., on Friday.
Boise State running back Jeremy McNichols (13) celebrates a second-half touchdown against San Jose State at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif., on Friday. jjaszewski@idahostatesman.com

Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin earned an automatic, one-year contract extension when the Broncos gained their eighth win of the season on Friday.

That extends Harsin’s deal through the 2020 season. He would make $1.85 million in the final season under the current terms.

Harsin’s annual pay for the five upcoming seasons: $1.3 million, $1.55 million, $1.65 million, $1.75 million and $1.85 million. That’s a total of $8.1 million.

Harsin also receives a $35,000 bowl bonus for this season.

The Poinsettia Bowl remains the heavy favorite for Boise State’s bowl game, with the opponent coming from the Mid-American Conference. Toledo (9-2) would be a sensible pick. The Poinsettia is at 2:30 p.m. MT Dec. 23 in San Diego.

But the Broncos could get back into the picture for the Cactus Bowl against a Pac-12 team. If San Diego State wins the Mountain West and goes to the Las Vegas Bowl, the Cactus would have the next pick. Air Force, in that scenario, would be 8-5 and coming off two straight losses. Air Force still looks like the logical pick for the Cactus, but it could take a longer look at Boise State (8-4). The Pac-12 team could be Arizona State (6-6), California (7-5) or Washington (6-6) but Arizona State makes the most sense.

If Air Force wins the Mountain West, it likely goes to Las Vegas and San Diego State to Cactus.

If the Las Vegas Bowl uses its option to take BYU this year, the Poinsettia Bowl gets the next pick and already has said it wants Boise State. San Diego State played in the game last year and Air Force will have played there two weeks earlier in the conference championship game.

One possible wrinkle for the Mountain West: If Kansas State (5-6) beats West Virginia this week, the Big 12 will fill the Cactus Bowl and the Mountain West will be short a bowl spot. The conference likely would be able to find a home for the leftover team, but it wouldn’t be as good of a situation.

My updated bowl projections:

New Year’s Six

Cotton, semifinal: No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Oklahoma

Orange, semifinal: No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Iowa

Rose: Stanford (Pac-12) vs. Ohio State (Big Ten)

Sugar: Baylor (Big 12) vs. Mississippi (SEC)

Peach: Houston (Group of Five) vs. Florida State (at-large)

Fiesta: Notre Dame (at-large) vs. Michigan State (at-large)

Mountain West

Las Vegas: San Diego State (MW/BYU) vs. UCLA (Pac-12)

Cactus: Air Force (Big 12/MW) vs. Arizona State (Pac-12/MW)

Armed Forces: Utah State (MW) vs. Minnesota (Big Ten)

Hawaii: BYU (MW/BYU) vs. Temple (AAC)

Famous Idaho Potato: Colorado State (MW) vs. Central Michigan (MAC)

New Mexico: New Mexico (MW) vs. California (C-USA/at-large)

Poinsettia: Boise State (MW) vs. Toledo (MAC)

Arizona: Nevada (MW) vs. Louisiana Tech (C-USA)

The Mountain West awards will be announced Tuesday. I voted today and will share my ballot in my blog Monday.

Air Force’s loss at New Mexico on Saturday pushed the Mountain West championship game to San Diego. San Diego State (9-3 overall, 8-0 Mountain West) will host Air Force (8-4, 6-2) at 5:30 p.m. MT Saturday on ESPN2. San Diego State gets to host because it has the highest composite computer rating of the two participants.

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