With no Mountain West football games this past weekend, I have decided to take a different approach this week. With the Mountain West playing a variety of early bowl games, I thought it would be fun to rank each Mountain West bowl game on a scale of good, bad, and ugly. Here we go...
Cheez-It Bowl (Washington State vs. Air Force)
Air Force earned the opportunity to play a Power Five team in their bowl game. This will be a fun game to watch, because the two teams could not be more different. You have the air raid Washington State team that looks to maximize possessions and put lots of points on the board against an Air Force squad that will look to grind it out and dominate time of possession. I will have my eyes glued to this game.
Hawaii Bowl (BYU vs. Hawaii)
Sure, the Rainbow Warriors would have rather played in Las Vegas, but BYU is a solid opponent and Hawaii fans should come out to support a squad that won their division. With that being said, it will be interesting to see how Hawaii can do against a stout, BYU defense. The Mountain West will be pulling for you, Rainbow Warriors!
Arizona Bowl (Georgia State vs. Wyoming)
I am sure that the Wyoming football team and their fans are excited about a warm weather bowl game when it was looking like the Potato Bowl might be a possibility. A game against a Sun Belt team is not exactly must-see TV, but Wyoming and their fans deserve some love here. They have done an excellent job promoting their bowl game and have sold their full allotment of tickets. Good luck Cowboys!
Las Vegas Bowl (Washington vs. Boise State)
Yes, I put a game that is considered by most experts to be a top ten bowl game in the “Bad” category. Let’s be honest, nobody on either team wanted this match-up and Boise State fans wanted a bigger bowl game against a team with a record. They have already done the Coach Pete game before in 2015, and they did not want to hear all of the storylines again. But, TV executives were ecstatic to make this game happen. This will be a tough game for the Broncos who will be without an offensive coordinator. So, let’s hope that we can get past the storylines and have a competitive football game.
New Mexico Bowl (Central Michigan vs. San Diego State)
Yay...another MAC-Mountain West bowl game. Another example of the terrible bowl tie-ins that the Mountain West has to deal with. A team that could be playing for their tenth win is relegated to a bowl game in New Mexico. I don’t think this will be an easy game for the Aztecs, but I think they earned a higher profile game. With that being said, can we at least get some bowl games against the AAC?
Frisco Bowl (Kent State vs. Utah State)
Considering the expectations that Utah State and their fans had coming into the season, this bowl game has to be a bit disappointing. If Utah State comes into this game motivated, they should be able to walk away with an easy victory. Considering this will be Jordan Love’s last game before heading off to the NFL, he will be looking to put up numbers. But, outside of NFL scouts and Utah State fans, I don’t think there will be much interest in this game.
Potato Bowl (Ohio vs. Nevada)
Another game against the MAC, are you guys noticing a theme here? This game has all of the makings of a dud. Nevada will be without some key players who are suspended following the events of their game against UNLV. The Wolf Pack will also be without the majority of their defensive staff following their dismissal at the end of the season. I hope I’m wrong, but I am not expecting much from Nevada here.
It isn’t the greatest slate of games, but the Mountain West should have a shot at winning each game. Let’s just hope that the conference can leave bowl season with a winning record and use that momentum to have another strong, non-conference showing in 2020. What are some things that caught your attention about the bowl slate?