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2020 Football Look Ahead: Bowl Games

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Some talk about a 2020 bowl season

NCAA Football: Frisco Bowl-Utah State vs Kent State Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

I have my doubts about a 2020 bowl season in the FBS. Still, I love college football and watching bowl games around the holidays. As such, lets talk a little about the bowl season.

The big bowl game question every year for the MWC is whether a team can make it to a NY6 bowl game. Sadly, the MWC has not sent a team since 2014 (Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl). By the way, that was the first year the the New Year’s Six arrangement was made for the highest-ranked Group of 5 champion to make one of the bowl games. The one time making the NY6 for the MWC matches the number of times that the MAC (Western Michigan in 2016) have made the NY6. Meanwhile, the American had made the NY6 in 4 of the 6 seasons (2015 Houston, 2017 UCF, 2018 UCF & 2019 Memphis).

According to the College Sports Journal, the Top 25 Group of 5 teams going into 2020 are largely in the American. In fact, 5 of the top 8 ranked teams in the Group of 5 are in the American. The only MWC team in the top 8 would be Boise State at #4. The ranking has Boise State trailing Memphis (#3), UCF (#2), & Cincinnati (#1). Overall, only 4 MWC teams made the Top 25 for Group of 5 teams. Those would be: Boise State (#4), Wyoming (#10), San Diego State (#15) & Air Force (#19). In comparison, the AAC had 9 teams. Conference USA had 6 teams. The Sun Belt had 3 teams while the MAC had 2 teams. Also, listed was BYU at #13.

While this might just be a preseason poll, it does reflect the reality of the MWC slipping behind the American in recent years. Just look at Memphis versus Boise State from last season. The MWC champion will likely need to finish unbeaten and/or with a clearly better record than the American champion to make the NY6.

As to the other bowl games, the MWC has tie-ins with the following bowl games:

  • LA Bowl (MWC Champion, if not NY6)
  • NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl
  • New Mexico Bowl
  • SoFi Hawaii Bowl
  • Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl
  • Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

Last season, the MWC sent 7 teams to bowl games. In 2018 & 2017, 6 teams. If the MWC does not make the NY6, the conference will have to snag another random bowl game to get 7 teams into bowls again in 2020.

Along the lines of random bowl games, you might think of the Cheez-It Bowl since Air Force played in that game last season. Well, the Cheez-It Bowl is now the old Camping World Bowl in FL, so that is not likely happening. The Cheez-It Bowl from last season in AZ will still exist, but it goes back to their old name of the Cactus Bowl. That bowl game calls for a match up between the Big Ten and Big 12, so one of those conferences would need to be unable to fill their bowl tie-ins for a MWC team to sneak in. Of course, that could happen. Maybe another random bowl game would have an opening that could reach out to the MWC in a given season. Personally, my new favorite would be the Duke’s Mayo Bowl (formerly the Belk Bowl) in NC.

Now, here are this weeks questions for you:

Poll

Will the MWC make the NY6 this year?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Yes
    (36 votes)
  • 49%
    No
    (35 votes)
71 votes total Vote Now

Poll

How many teams will be invited to bowl games?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    5
    (11 votes)
  • 50%
    6
    (34 votes)
  • 25%
    7
    (17 votes)
  • 7%
    8
    (5 votes)
67 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which team that missed a bowl in 2019 is most likely to make a bowl game in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    New Mexico
    (1 vote)
  • 4%
    UNLV
    (3 votes)
  • 10%
    San Jose State
    (7 votes)
  • 32%
    Colorado State
    (22 votes)
  • 50%
    Fresno State
    (34 votes)
67 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which team that made a bowl in 2019 is most likely to miss a bowl game in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Boise State
    (1 vote)
  • 10%
    Nevada
    (7 votes)
  • 7%
    Wyoming
    (5 votes)
  • 33%
    Hawaii
    (23 votes)
  • 41%
    Utah State
    (28 votes)
  • 1%
    San Diego State
    (1 vote)
  • 4%
    Air Force
    (3 votes)
68 votes total Vote Now

Also, please leave your thoughts in the comments below about the 2020 bowl season.