How the experts are rating the MWC Bowls, Part 1

The Boise St. Broncos - Brian Losness-US PRESSWIRE

Now that all the MWC bowl game match ups are set, the analysis and ranking will begin. Where do the Mountain West bowl games rank in the minds of the country's gilded media members? MW Connection is scouring the internet to let you know.

Bowl season is starting to rev up.

In addition to the yearly hand-wringing and outright crybabyism about how dysfunctional the bowl system is (Yahoo! Sports’ Pat Forde needs a tissue, guys. Seriously.), we are now seeing the media snark that is rating the bowl games.

Out here in Mountain West territory the snarkfest is something to behold.
This is because with rare exceptions MWC team do not play in bowl games "that matter" to serious, credentialed media professional. And when they do, they’re given no chance of winning (the Utah Utes vs. Alabama Crimson Tide in the Fiesta Bowl and the TCU Horned Forgs vs. Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl come to mind).

So, as a public service, we here at MW Connection will scour the internet and find the ratings and read them in their entirety so you don’t have to.

Here’s what they’re saying so far:

Graham Watson over at Yahoo! Sports actually has four MWC bowls in the bottom half of her top 15 -- the Boise St. Broncos-Washington Huskies match up in the Las Vegas Bowl at No. 13, the San Jose St. Spartans vs. Bowling Green Falcons Military Bowl at No. 15, and two following close behind: the No. 18 New Mexico Bowl (which gets dogged on by locals more than national media if you can believe that) and the Pointsettia Bowl at No. 19.

Watson ranks the the Air Force Falcons-Rice Owls Armed Forces Bowl lowest at No. 34, but keeps the snark to a minimim:

Air Force knows this bowl well, as it is the Falcons' fourth appearance in the game in six years, while Rice is in just its third bowl game since 1961. It's just hard to get too excited for a game between a pair of .500 teams.

ESPN's Mark Schlaback is light on the snark and only puts the Las Vegas Bowl in his top 15, tho the San Diego St. Aztecs vs. BYU Cougars match up in the Pointsettia Bowl landed at No. 16. But save for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Utah St. Aggies vs. Toldeo Rockets game (No. 20) all the rest of the MWC bowls are bottom 10.

Schlaback rates the Military Bowl lowest (34 out of 35 - seemingly based solely on SJSU playing on the East Coast) but is somewhat complementary of the New Mexico Bowl's Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Arizona Wildcats match up:

It might be a wild shootout in the Southwest, as Arizona's high-powered spread attack takes on Nevada's Pistol offense.

A bonus for Schlaback's write up is that the video attached has lots of ESPN talking heads sniveling and being big babycries in general about the inclusion of the Northern Illinois Huskies to the exclusive BCS party at the country club. Sniveling weasles...

College Football News is pretty thorough -- and pretty snarky when they wanna be.

The site had a "35 Bowl, 35 Thoughts" piece up within 24 hours of the final bowl announcements. And writer Mark Zimek name checks the MWC right away:

31) Composite record of the Mountain West's three co-champions, Boise State, Fresno State, and San Diego State: 28-8. Composite record of the three teams BSU, Fresno, and SDSU are facing in their respective bowl games: 20-16. Those three co-champions really got rewarded for their respective seasons, didn't they?

Someone forgot to tell Mark that College Football has always been less a fair and just meritocracy, more freakin' Jerry Maguire.

When it comes to rating the actual bowls though, CFN is very thorough (they even give names to know so you won't look like a doofus at the water cooler or when you call in to your local sports talk radio show).

They break it down into:

  • "Seriously?!" (No. 30-35) -- The much maligned Armed Forces Bowl landed here (at No. 34) as did the Fresno St. Bulldog vs. SMU Mustangs Hawaii Bowl match up (No. 32).
  • "The Lousy" (No. 26-30) -- The Las Vegas Bowl lands at No. 26. Wha?!
  • "The Mediocre" (No. 21-25) -- The Pointsettia Bowl is on this list. So much for the BYU worship.
  • and "Just Bowls..." (No. 16-20) -- Future MWC members SJSU (Military Bowl) and USU (Potato Bowl) are here, which is a compliment with these guys.

CFN is surprisingly low on snark content here:

And Why You Shouldn’t Care A Lick: Toledo has been a bit of a dud in bowls. Granted, the program has only gone bowling four times since 2002, but it has lost three of the last four in blowouts including a tough performance in 2010 Little Caesar’s loss to FIU. Utah State is much, much better on both sides of the ball.

No designation on the next level (No. 11-15, which will be posted soon, we hope) but I'm guessing the New Mexico Bowl's potential for offensive fireworks land them here. Wonder what they'll call it?

That's it for now. We'll keep hunting...

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