Bowl season is here with games getting underway this weekend with two a pair of Mountain West teams playing in the Las Vegas and New Mexico Bowl. With everyone’s time being extremely busy we will rank out what games you should watch, but of course if your team is playing then you better tune in.
7. Arizona Bowl Air Force vs. South Alabama. Dec. 30, 3:20 p.m. ET, ASN, Campus Insiders
This one is at the bottom because the Falcons should just roll past the Jaguars who finished just 6-6 to get to this point. South Alabama does have wins over Mississippi State and San Diego State, but they have been pretty bad in Sun Belt play.
Air Force will run at will as thousands watch on TV as this game is streaming on Campus Insiders and in select markets via the American Sports Network.
6. New Mexico Bowl, UTSA vs. New Mexico. Dec. 17, 2 p.m., ESPN
UTSA is in their first ever bowl game and this is the first bowl game of the season so that always adds a bit of excitement. The Lobos are at home and that gives them a big edge against the Roadrunners.
The passing game is what could keep UTSA in this game with Dalton Sturm who does not turn the ball over and UTSA has a solid one-two punch in the ground game with Jarveon Williams and Jalen Rhodes who each have just over 750 yards. The UTSA defense will need to find a way to slow down the New Mexico running game.
5. Potato Bowl, Idaho vs. Colorado State. Dec. 22, 7 p.m., ESPN
The Rams have been playing very good football to round out the season and they are facing a hot Idaho team which has won six of their prior seven games and four in a row. However, Idaho comes from the Sun Belt where the competition is not that great but the Vandals do have a decent passing game but nothing special. If the Rams that played the last month show up then they should smoke the Vandals.
4. Cactus Bowl, Baylor vs. Boise State. Dec. 27, 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN.
This game has potential because Baylor is known for its offense but they currently are on a six-game losing streak which was proceeded by opening the season at 6-0. In the second half of the season the Bears have given up too many points to count, OK they actually have allowed 43.6 points per game.
3. Hawaii Bowl, Middle Tennessee vs. Hawaii. Dec. 24, 8 p.m., ESPN.
Another home game for a Mountain West and this one could be a bit of a shoot out with the 8-4 Blue Raiders and Warriors. However, if Middle Tennessee State is going to get the win over Hawaii they need QB Brent Stockstill to be healthy and healed up from his broken clavicle. At this point it is not certain if he will be back.
Redshirt freshman John Urzu played in the final four games, starting the final three games to a 2-1 record. Urzu did throw seven touchdowns but he also had seven interceptions, but four of those came in their win over Charlotte. MTSU has a great running back in I'Tavius Mathers who has 16 touchdowns and 1,504 yards and will likely lead the way.
2. Poinsettia Bowl, BYU vs. Wyoming. Dec. 21, 9 p.m., ESPN
The matchup between former WAC and Mountain West is a matchup that will feature two of the best backs in the country in Brian Hill from Wyoming and Jamaal Williams. This game has its fair share of injuries as BYU is without quarterback Taysom Hill who injured his elbow in the season finale and is out and he will be replaced by Tanner Mangum who is making his first start since last year’s Las Vegas Bowl where BYU lost to Utah. Wyoming is down three defensive players in Carl Granderson, Chase Appleby and D.J. May.
1. Las Vegas Bowl, Houston vs. San Diego State. Dec. 17, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Like there would be any other game to put in this spot. The Las Vegas Bowl would have been near the bottom had a trade not have happened to get Houston in this mathup, because if not for the Cougars coming to town then San Diego State likely would have played a team with a losing record.
The HUGE matchup is the Aztecs rush offense against the Houston rush defense, and the two players to watch are SDSU’s Donnel Pumphrey and Cougar freshman Ed Oliver. The Houston rush defense is third in the nation and gives up only 2.87 yards per rush.