Mountain West Sends Five Teams to Bowl Games For Sixth Consecutive Year

Dec. 2, 2012


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - For the sixth consecutive year, the Mountain West will send five teams into postseason bowl games. in 2012. The Mountain West has earned 56 bowl bids since 1999 and holds a 31-20 (.608) all-time record in those contests. Over the last eight seasons, the Mountain West has captured the Bowl Challenge Cup four times and owns the best win percentage in bowl games among the 11 FBS conferences with a 24-12 mark (.667). The Mountain West is the only conference to win the trophy four times since the award's inception in 2002-03.

No. 15/20 Boise State (10-2, 7-1), which clinched a share of the 2012 Mountain West Championship, will take part in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas and will play Pac-12 opponent Washington (7-5, 5-4). The Broncos and Huskies have met just once on the gridiron, with UW capturing a 24-10 victory in Seattle, Wash., on Sept. 8, 2007. Boise State will be making its third consecutive appearance in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, after notching a 56-24 victory over Arizona State in 2011 and a 26-3 win against Utah in 2010. The Broncos are making their 10th-straight bowl trip and 13th appearance overall. Boise State boasts an all-time record of 8-4 in bowl games and currently owns a three-game win streak in postseason contests, including a 2-0 mark over opponents from the Pac-12. The 21st annual MAACO Bowl Las Vegas will take place at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Saturday, Dec. 22. ESPN will broadcast the game beginning at 12:30 p.m. PT.

Fresno State (9-3, 7-1) will make its 12th bowl appearance in the last 14 years and 24th overall when it faces SMU (6-6, 5-3) out of Conference USA in the Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl on Monday, Dec. 24, at 3 p.m. HT on ESPN. This will be the seventh meeting between Fresno State and SMU, with the last coming on Oct. 30, 2004 when the Bulldogs blanked the Mustangs, 42-0. Fresno State, which claimed a share of the MW championship this season, is making its first appearance in the Hawai`i Bowl but second postseason visit to the islands, after the Bulldogs fell to Utah, 41-30, in the 1993 Aloha Bowl. Fresno State is looking for its first bowl victory against a C-USA opponent, as the Bulldogs fell to Tulsa, 31-24, in the 2005 Liberty Bowl.

Fellow MW tri-champion San Diego State (9-3, 7-1), which is making its eighth overall bowl appearance, will be the Mountain West's representative in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. This year will mark the 36th tilt between the Aztecs and their opponent, BYU, but the first time the squads have met in the postseason. The Cougars lead the all-time series 27-7-1. SDSU is participating in its third consecutive bowl game for the first time in school history. Two seasons ago, the Aztecs defeated Navy, 35-14, in the Poinsettia Bowl for the school's first bowl victory since 1969. Last year, San Diego State lost to Louisiana, 32-30, on a last-second field goal at the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl will be played at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 20. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. PT and the game will be televised on ESPN.

Upon conclusion of its 21-7 victory over Hawai`i on Nov. 17, Air Force (6-6, 5-3) accepted a bid to play in the 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and will play Rice (6-6, 4-4) out of Conference USA. The Falcons will be making a school-record sixth-straight postseason appearance, and their fourth trip in six years to the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (2007-09). Air Force enters its 23rd overall bowl appearance with a 5-1 series advantage over the Owls. The Falcons are also 1-1 in bowl games vs. C-USA teams after splitting the 2008 and 2009 Armed Forces Bowls with Houston. The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl takes place on Saturday, Dec. 29, at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas, and will air at 10:45 a.m. CT on ESPN.

Nevada (7-5, 4-4) will be the league's representative in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, where the Wolf Pack will face Arizona (7-5, 4-5) out of the Pac-12. The two teams have met only three times before, with the last meeting coming on Oct. 11, 1941 when the Wildcats defeated Nevada, 26-7. The Wolf Pack, which leads the series, 2-1, will make its eight-straight bowl appearance and its second trip to the Gildan New Mexico Bowl (2007). This year marks the first time Nevada will compete against a Pac-12 opponent in postseason play. The 2012 Gildan New Mexico Bowl will kick off the postseason at University Stadium in Albuquerque, N.M., on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 11 a.m. MT on ESPN.