The best part of making a bowl game for some college football players has to be the gifts that the bowls can
pay gift out to the athletes. If your are the third-string quarterback or the backup to a safety for a nickel coverage, getting free stuff from the bowls is possibly the highlight of their trip.
The Sports Business Journal puts out the list every year of what bowls give out what, and here is what is allowed to be given out:
The NCAA allows each bowl to award up to $550 worth of gifts to 125 participants per school. Schools can, and almost always do, buy additional packages that they can distribute to participants beyond that 125 limit. In addition, participants can receive awards worth up to $400 from the school and up to $400 from the conference for postseason play, covering both conference title games and any bowl game.
So here is the list of Mountain West bowls, and where I would rank the gifts:
No. 1: MAACO Las Vegas
No. 2: Military presented by Northrop Grumman
Applie iPad Mini, Timely watch, beanie
No. 3: San Diego Co. Credit Union Poinsettia
Best Buy gift card, Tourneau watch, Maui Jim sunglasses gift certificate, cap
No. 4: Gildan New Mexico
Gift suite, Deuce Brand watch, Oakley Holbrook sunglasses, Oakley fine knit beanie cap, Oakley Flak Pack XL backpack, Gildan stadium blanket, quill pen
No. 5: Bell Helicopter Armed Forces
Sony gift suite, Fossil watch, Dakine backpack, Big Game football
No. 6: Famous Idaho Potato
Gift suite, North End black winter coat, Kombi winter gloves, white Tiger Woods Victory Nike beanie, Ogio Bullion backpack, Big Game football
No. 7: Sheraton Hawaii
Fossil watch, Oakley backpack, Tori Richard aloha shirts, custom beach towel, Pro Athletics shorts, T-shirt, performance T-shirt, hat/visor, calendar
The big item and best item each year is the gift suite which is some sort of shopping spree. Each year it seems like it is Best Buy or Sony. However, the Las Vegas Bowl does not specify where their gift suite is for, but since the shopping spree is worth $550 it is the best bowl gift out of all 35 bowl games.
If we are going just on specific gifts that a bowl is giving out then the Military Bowl has to top the list with the iPad Mini, and the Hawaii bowl still would come in last place due to always giving out a beach towel and some sort of aloha shirt. Plus, no gift suite is tough, and the only time I ever hear about Fossil watch is bowl season since that is a key staple in bowl gifts -- side note, who wears a watch anymore.