Mountain West Adds to Resume as Top Non-Autonomous 5 Conference for Bowl Invites

Tracy Ringolsby

From the Mountain West Conference Offices

COLORADO SPRINGS– The Wyoming Cowboys are among seven teams from the Mountain West Conference headed to bowl games this season, the most since seven teams also went bowling in 2016. The MW is the only non-autonomous five conference to send at least six teams to a bowl game in each of the last seven seasons.

The list of MW teams headed to a bowl includes Wyoming, which will play Georgia State in the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl in Tucson on News Years Eve. The kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 .m., MT.

The MW, which has earned 96 bowl bids since 1999, including Boise State’s no contest in the 2018 First Responder Bowl, holds a 52-43 (.547) all-time record and owns the second-best win percentage in bowl games in the last 15 seasons among the 10 FBS conferences (.563), trailing only the SEC (.617).

Utah State (7-5, 6-2 MW) will appear in its third-straight bowl game and eighth in the last nine years when it faces off against Kent State (6-6, 5-3 MAC) in the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl on Friday, December 20. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN2. Utah State and Kent State are meeting for the third time as the series is tied at 1-1. The two teams met in 1973 and 1974.

2019 Mountain West Champion Boise State (12-1, 8-0 MW) will play in the Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl against Washington (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12) on Saturday, December 21 at 4:30 p.m. PT on ABC. The Broncos, who are No. 19 in the College Football Playoff Rankings, own an 18-year bowl streak, which is best among non-autonomous five institutions and fifth-best nationally, behind Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech. Boise State, which is coming off its fourth Conference title after defeating Hawai‘i 31-10 in the 2019 MW Football Championship Game, is taking on the Huskies for the fifth time overall and first time since 2015. The all-time series is tied 2-2.

San Diego State (9-3, 5-3 MW) will play in a school-record 10-consecutive bowl game and 15 overall when it faces Central Michigan (8-5, 6-2 MAC) in the New Mexico Bowl at Noon MT on Saturday, December 21 on ESPN. SDSU has won at least nine games in four of the last five seasons. This will be the first meeting between the Aztecs and Chippewas.

Coming off an appearance in the 2019 Mountain West Football Championship Game, Hawai‘i (9-5, 5-3 MW) will appear in its second-consecutive SoFi Hawai‘i Bowl when it takes on BYU (7-5) on Tuesday, December 24 at 3 p.m. HT on ESPN. The Rainbow Warriors, who are seeking their first 10-win season since 2010, are appearing in their 13 bowl game all-time, including the ninth appearance in the Hawai‘i Bowl. The Rainbow Warriors and Cougars are meeting for the 32time overall. The Rainbow Warriors hold a 6-6 postseason record.

Air Force (10-2, 7-1 MW) has qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2016 and will play Washington State (6-6, 3-6 Pac-12) in the Cheez-It Bowl on Friday, December 27 on ESPN (8:15 p.m. MT). The Falcons, who enter the postseason riding a seven-game win streak, will appear in their 10 bowl game in 13 seasons under head coach Troy Calhoun. This will be the first meeting between Air Force and Washington State.

Wyoming (7-5, 4-4 MW) will play Georgia State (7-5, 4-4 SBC) in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl on Tuesday, December 31 at 2:30 p.m. MT on CBS Sports Network. Overall, this is Wyoming’s 16 bowl game and first appearance since 2017. The Cowboys and Panthers will meet for the first time.

Nevada (7-5, 4-4 MW) will make its second-consecutive appearance in the postseason and fifth overall since joining the Mountain West prior to the 2012 season when it takes on Ohio (6-6, 5-3 MAC) in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Kickoff is set for Friday, January 3 at 1:30 p.m. MT on ESPN. The Wolf Pack, who have played in 14 bowl games in program history, meet the Bobcats for the first time. A victory would give Nevada back-to-back eight-win seasons for the first time since 2009-10.

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