There was the semi-news last week about the Mountain West and Christmas Bowl getting together, but as of now nothing came of it. There is more news on that front and it comes from Bryan Murphy of the Idaho Statesman who is reporting that the Mountain West will only go with the Christmas Bowl if the Pac-12 is a partner. As of now, the Pac-12 is not interested, meaning the Mountain West is not likely to go their either.
That does make a lot of sense since the reports were that the Mountain West would be sending one of their top-three teams to play the Pac-12 No. 7 or even No. 8, and the odds that even happening are slim since the Pac-12 champion would likely be in the playoff most years leaving no team eligible to play there. The Mountain West must not have wanted a rotating partner each year.
The other bowl news also comes from Murphy in a series of tweets revolving around an option in the Mountain West lineup that would give some flexibility. The league would allow some bowls to swap to another one time during the next six years.
Mountain West will have 1 "out" year in new 6-year deals with Vegas, Hawaii bowls. Team will shift to different ESPN-owned game— Brian Murphy (@murphsturph) August 15, 2013
MW wants to keep bowl trips fresh. "Boise fans don't want to go to Las Vegas three times in a row," Thompson said.— Brian Murphy (@murphsturph) August 15, 2013
This makes sense since BYU went to this bowl game five straight years when they were part of the Mountain West, and most recently Boise State has been three times.
With ESPN's recent purchase of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, they now own four of the five bowl games that feature Mountain West teams, and overall they own eight bowl games. The other seven bowl games they own are the BBVA Compass Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.), Beef ‘O' Brady's Bowl (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth), Las Vegas Bowl, New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque), Texas Bowl (Houston) and Hawaii Bowl (Honolulu).
With Craig Thompson wanting to keep matchups fresh for fans and the schools, look for trades to come to these other ESPN-owned bowls in the year where the Las Vegas and Hawaii Bowls do not host a Mountain West team. The other bowls are not all that great, and the New Mexico Bowl is already part of the Mountain West lineup. Plus, the Armed Forces Bowl has been part of the league's rotation for a few years, so the Texas, BBVA Compass and Beef ‘O' Brady's Bowls would be the new and exciting locations for the Mountain West champ and a non-Hawaii team in certain years.
This is exciting in terms of a few new locations, and also not having to play a Pac-12 team in nearly every bowl game is an added plus.
More from Mountain West Connection:
- 2013 Mountain West player rankings: No. 15 Jay Ajayi, Boise State, RB
- Fox Sports 1 reaches deal with DirecTV, Dish, Time Warner Cable
- ESPN to purchase the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
- Nick Stevens bursts into Colorado State quarterback battle
- Utah State Aggies Defensive Preview
- Nevada RB Kendall Brock looking for increased roll
- Utah State Aggies Offensive Preview