Mountain West lands in record eight bowl games
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., -- The Mountain West will be featured in eight bowl games, setting a league record. The MW’s eight bowl teams are tied for the fourth-most nationally among the 10 FBS conferences in 2021.
The Mountain West, which has earned 106 bowl bids since 1999, including Boise State’s no contest in the 2018 First Responder Bowl, holds a 58-47 (.552) all-time record. The MW owns the third-best win percentage in bowl games in the last 17 seasons among the 10 FBS conferences (.567), trailing only the SEC (.638) and the Sun Belt (.582).
The MW, which has had at least six bowl teams in seven of the last nine seasons, enters postseason play with five eight-win teams, the third-most nationally and owns the nation’s fifth-best win percentage in nonconference action (best among the non-autonomous five).
PUBG Mobile New Mexico Bowl: Fresno State vs. UTEP
Fresno State (9-3, 6-2 MW) will appear in its first bowl game since 2018 when it takes on UTEP (7-5, 4-4 C-USA) in the PUBG Mobile New Mexico Bowl on Saturday, December 18 in Albuquerque. Kickoff is set for 12:15 p.m. MT on ESPN. The Bulldogs and Miners will meet for the first time since 2004. The programs have met 12 times previously, with Fresno State holding an 8-3-1 series record.
Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl presented by Stifel: Utah State vs. Oregon State
2021 Mountain West Champion Utah State (10-3, 6-2 MW) will play in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl presented by Stifel against Oregon State (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12) on Saturday, December 18 at 4:30 p.m. PT on ABC. The Aggies, who are one of just 24 10-win teams this season, are bowl eligible for the ninth time in the last 11 years. Utah State, which is coming off its first MW title after defeating San Diego State 46-13 in the 2021 MW Football Championship Game, is taking on the Beavers for the first time since 1998. Under head coach Blake Anderson, the Aggies’ nine-game win improvement from 2020 (1-5) to 2021 (10-3) is tied for second-best nationally.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Wyoming vs. Kent State
Wyoming (6-6, 2-6 MW) will play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Tuesday, December 21 at 1:30 p.m. MT on ESPN against Kent State (7-6, 6-2 MAC). 2021 marks the fourth time in six seasons Wyoming has earned a bowl bid, and head coach Craig Bohl became the first coach in program history to take four teams to the postseason. This will be the first meeting between the Cowboys and Golden Flashes.
Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl: San Diego State vs. UTSA
San Diego State (11-2, 7-1 MW) will play in its 11th bowl game in the last 12 seasons when it takes on UTSA (12-1, 7-1 C-USA) in the Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl at 6:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, December 21. The game will be broadcast on ESPN. The Aztecs, who are ranked No. 24 in the latest College Football Playoff Rankings, will play the Roadrunners for the first time. A victory would give San Diego State its first 12-win season in program history.
EasyPost Hawai‘i Bowl: Hawai‘i vs. Memphis
Hawai‘i (6-7, 3-5 MW) will appear in the postseason for the fourth-consecutive season and fifth time in the last six seasons when it faces Memphis (6-6, 3-5 AAC) on Friday, December 24 at 3 p.m. HT in the EasyPost Hawai‘i Bowl. ESPN will broadcast the game nationally as the Rainbow Warriors and Tigers will meet for the first time. The Mountain West holds a 5-0 advantage over teams from the AAC in bowl games.
Quick Lane Bowl: Nevada vs. Western Michigan
Nevada (8-4, 5-3 MW) has qualified for the postseason for the fourth-consecutive year and seventh time since joining the Mountain West. The Wolf Pack will travel to Detroit, Michigan, for the Quick Lane Bowl against Western Michigan (7-5, 4-4 MW) on Monday, December 27 at 11 a.m. ET. The game will be nationally-televised by ESPN. Nevada, led by MW Offensive Player of the Year quarterback Carson Strong, will matchup against Western Michigan for the first time in program history.
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl: Air Force vs. Louisville
Air Force (9-3, 6-2 MW) will play Louisville (6-6, 4-4 ACC) in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl on Tuesday, December 28 at 2:15 p.m. CT on ESPN. The Falcons, who have won two-straight postseason games, are appearing in their 11th bowl game under head coach Troy Calhoun. The Mountain Division co-champions will face Louisville for the first time in school history. Entering bowl season, Air Force is the nation’s leading rushing team, averaging 341.6 yards per game on the ground.
Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl: Boise State vs. Central Michigan
Boise State (7-5, 5-3 MW), which is bowl eligible for the 24th-consecutive season, will face Central Michigan (8-4, 6-3 MAC) in the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl on Friday, December 31 at Noon MT. The game will be streamed for free on all Barstool Sports platforms. The Broncos, who are led by first-year head coach Andy Avalos, and the Chippewas are meeting for the first time since 2001 and sixth time overall. Central Michigan holds a 3-2 advantage in the series.
Wyoming Cowboys football players in the NFL: Then and now