Mountain West Monday: Bowl Edition

Well the regular season is finished and we finally know where all the teams are headed,  Before we get into football just want to commend the Mountain West on dominating the MWC/MVC Challenge 8-1.  The only loss came when TCU fell to Northern Iowa 61-61. The Horned Frogs aren't known for great basketball but they seem to be much improved this ear and sticking with Northern Iowa is commendable.  Last year the MWC lost the challenge 5-4. 

We'll start with the Mountain West games and work our way down to those of future members of the Mountain West. So let's start with the grandaddy...

ROSE BOWL

Site: Pasadena, Calif.
Date: Jan. 1, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

TCU will do battle for the non AQ's as the Horned Frogs take on the Wisconsin Badgers.  It's strange not having a team from the Mountain West or WAC play in the Fiesta Bowl.  This will be an incredible game between two very tough teams.  Will play say that TCU doesn't belong or is that fact that they are joining the Big East all of a sudden make them equals?

LAS VEGAS BOWL

Site: Las Vegas
Date: Dec. 22, 8 p.m., ESPN

This could have been a game that was played annually but it turns out the Utes can't esacpe the Mountain West without facing Boise State at least once.  Very excitied to see these two teams go at in in Vegas.  The only bad news is that Ute QB Jordan Wynn is out for the season after having shoulder surgery and Terrance Cain will get the start.  Cain is a good QB but it still leaves that excuse "Well Wynn was hurt..." for the Utes if they lose. 

INDEPENDENCE BOWL

Georgia Tech

Site: Shreveport, La.
Date: Dec. 27, 5 p.m., ESPN

Air Force and Georgia Tech face off in Shreveport, LA.  Maybe Billy the Exterminator will show up for the game.  That show is filmed in Shreveport and has convinced me that I will never live in Lousiana.  Both these teams run the triple options so except very little passing and a quick game.  This will be the first pairing of a MWC/ACC team and first year the Independence Bowl has had an affiliation with the Mountain West.  Hope the Falcons can take care of their AQ Rival. 

POINSETTIA BOWL

Site: San Diego
Date: Dec. 23, 8 p.m., ESPN

San Diego State and Navy battle in San Diego?  Has to be the best pairing possible for the Poinsettia Bowl folks.  Home town team and huge Naval base/veterans in the area.  Brady Hoke just got locked up for an extension it will great to see him on the sidelines.  Really hoping for an Aztec victory here to cap off their impressive season.

NEW MEXICO BOWL

Site: Albuquerque
Date: Dec. 18, 2 p.m., ESPN

The bowl season gets started witha bang down in Albuquerque with BYU and UTEP. Should a big crowd with the BYU fans that travel well and the short four drive from El Paso.  Both team are 6-6 but I think this should be a pretty entertaining game.  I may have to throw another New Mexico Bowl party just an excuse to cook up some green chili. 

KRAFT FIGHT HUNGER BOWL

Nevada

Site: San Francisco
Date: Jan. 9, 9 p.m., ESPN

If you can't wait to watch the BCS title game on Jan. 10th then watch this game that is played in a baseball field with  both teams on the same sideline.  Nevada takes on Boston College who makes their second straight appearance in San Fran.  The Wolf Pack have a tradition of playing poorly in bowl games and not bringing many fans to watch the loss.  Both those things better change after the season they had this year.  Should be a fairly easy drive for folks from Reno or a really quick flight.

HAWAII BOWL

Site: Honolulu
Date: Dec. 24, 8 p.m., ESPN

One of my favorite bowls to watch is always the Hawaii Bowl.  Go to church on a chilly Christmas Eve come home and pop on the tube to be transported to tropical climates and high scoring games in the Hawaii Bowl.  They are always happy when the Warriors get to play at home.  Will be interesting to see how many Tulsa fans make their way out to the islands.

HUMANITARIAN BOWL

Site: Boise, Idaho
Date: Dec. 18, 5:30 p.m., ESPN
Fresno has a solid season and their reward is a trip to Boise in December.  They already went in November so they should know exactly where they want to eat during their stay.  This could have been an entertaining game except Northern Illinois just lost their coach who took the job at Minnesota.  We'll see how long he lasts there.  At least Boise does a great job of supporting their chilly bowl game.

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