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Cactus Bowl: San Diego State has potential to head to Arizona

San Diego State will need some help from from the Big 12, but they could be going to the Cactus Bowl.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Mountain West bowl scenario is more completed than most conference. First, BYU takes one of the leagues spots this year, and it likely will be the Las Vegas Bowl this year. Then there is the fact that the Mountain West bowl selection process does not go by order of finish but rather there is a bowl order and they can pick who is eligible.

As for San Diego State, they are likely not going to the Poinsettia Bowl because the Aztecs played there last year and that bowl has said that they want Boise State. This would leave the Aztecs to play in maybe the Idaho Potato Bowl or the Hawaii Bowl.

The best case scenario would be for San Diego State to wedge its way into the Cactus Bowl. The Big 12 is one half of the bowl lineup with the Mountain West serving as a backup if there are not enough Big 12 bowl eligible teams. Right now the Big 12 is one team short with a chance to earn that final spot, and it relies on 5-6 Kansas State beating a 7-4 West Virginia team. The Wildcats are currently a 6.5-point home underdog.

If Kansas State does not win then the Cactus Bowl takes a Mountain West team and is now the second selection overall. That would pave the way for San Diego State to play in that bowl game.

The clarification comes from Cactus Bowl Communications Manager Ali Rogers. She answered an email inquiry about their lineup options.

Like many other bowls, the Cactus Bowl has had a multi-year contract with these conferences.

In the event a Pac-12 or Big 12 team does not qualify, which could very well be the case this year, the Cactus Bowl will have the #2 selection from the Mountain West after the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.

To address your note about a 5-7 Big 12 team being be bowl eligible, a team must have at least 6 wins. That being said, a 5-7 Big 12 team will not and cannot play in our bowl. Rather, a Mountain West team will be selected.

I hope that answers your question. If not, let me know.


Ali Rogers
Communications Manager
Fiesta Bowl and Cactus Bowl

This would be a big deal for San Diego State as this bowl pays out $3.3 million and would actually pay nearly $2 million more than the Las Vegas Bowl and multiple times more than any other bowl game.