With the WAC going by the wayside, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl was going to need a new team to partner with going forward. Enter the Mountain West, despite not having the Boise St. Broncos in their conference the Boise-based bowl has elected to partner with the Mountain West to go up against a MAC team.
The announcement was made on Saturday prior to the game.
Mountain West will be affiliated with Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in 2013. Game will have No. 6 pick from MW against No. 3 pick from MAC— Brian Murphy (@murphsturph) December 14, 2012
Having the Mountain West partner with the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is not odd in itself since the bowl game is within the footprint of the league. There is also no word on the length of the deal with the Mountain West and the bowl game.
However, the Mountain West is on track to have 10 teams and six bowl games for the 2013 season, and the most bowl eligible teams that the Mountain West has ever had is five.
Currently the Mountain West has five bowl tie-ins:
No. 1 The Las Vegas Bowl
No. 2 The Poinsettia Bowl
No. 3 The Armed Forces Bowl
No. 4 The New Mexico Bowl
No. 5 The Hawaiʻi Bowl
Currently each of those five bowl games is expected to be around in 2013, but if there is a bowl game to get dropped it could easily be the Armed Forces Bowl since it is in Dallas and not in the league's footprint anymore.
Another reason for the Mountain West to add this bowl game is to help them have enough bowl spots if the league decides to expand beyond 10 teams, and the only likely way that happens for the 2013 season is fi Boise State and San Diego State happen to stay in the league.