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Boise State bowl projections: Vegas Bowl (yay!) or New Mexico Bowl (yay?)

Ethan Miller

So much for all that talk of BCS bowls. The Broncos will not be making millions in a prominent bowl game. They are more likely to be making the Las Vegas tourism board very happy. Here are the post-hopes-and-dreams bowl options for Boise State.

Boise State's most likely bowl scenarios

Vegas Bowl - Boise State versus the fifth choice from the Pac-12

New Mexico Bowl - Boise State versus seventh choice of Pac-12 team

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Which bowl Boise State ends up in figures to depend on how the Broncos end their season. If BSU wins out, the Vegas Bowl would love to have the MW co-champs back for a third consecutive year ("love" may be the wrong word when bowl organizers realize this offense is not the same as the previous ones). If BSU loses once or twice before the season is up, then the Broncos figure to fall to the New Mexico Bowl.

Either way, Boise State will get to play a Pac-12 team, which is more than the Broncos got in half their Fiesta Bowls. The Pac-12 options figure to be:

  • UCLA (7-2)
  • Washington (5-4)
  • Arizona State (5-4)
  • Arizona (5-4)

The other teams in the Pac-12 standings would appear to already be spoken for or already bowl ineligible (the exception is 4-5 Utah, which must still play Washington and Arizona). Given the options available to the Broncos, which would you prefer? Which would you give up your firstborn to avoid?

Other Mountain West bowl tie-ins

Poinsettia Bowl - Mountain West team versus BYU

Not going to be the Broncos for obvious history-repeating-itself reasons. Probably going to be San Diego State. Congrats on a great season, Rocky Long. You get to stay home. (I call this being Human Bowl'd.)

Hawaii Bowl - Mountain West team versus the second choice from Conference USA

The Hawaii Bowl is a possibility, considering Hawaii is definitely not bowl eligible and the Mountain West figures to have enough bowl eligible teams to fill this spot. Most bowl projections have Nevada here because Hawaiians love watching Chris Ault lose bowl games.

In a cruel twist of fate, the Hawaii Bowl could re-enact its 2007 thriller between Boise State and East Carolina, which would be fitting because I wanted to forget that season ever happened also.

Armed Forces Bowl - Mountain West team versus the third choice from Conference USA

Air Force is practically typecast for this game. One more win (Hawaii is still on AFA's schedule), and the Falcons are bowl eligible.

The BCS bowls, if the season ended today

As if anyone cares anymore!

Conference champions and, therefore, fixed picks are in bold (except the Big East champ, which doesn't get guaranteed anywhere).

  • BCS national championship game = Alabama vs. Kansas State
  • Rose Bowl = Oregon vs. Nebraska
  • Sugar Bowl = Georgia vs. Clemson
  • Fiesta Bowl = Oklahoma vs. Notre Dame
  • Orange Bowl = Florida State vs. Louisville

Let's have a playoff!

What follows is an NCAA postseason according to my favorite playoff format (16 teams, 11 conference champions, five at-larges, seeds from the AP). Conference champs are in italics, even the Sun Belt one.

  • No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 16 Louisiana Monroe
  • No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 15 Boise State
  • No. 3 Kansas State vs. No. 14 Central Florida
  • No. 4 Notre Dame vs. No. 13 Toledo
  • No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 12 Louisiana Tech
  • No. 6 Florida vs. No. 11 Nebraska
  • No. 7 Florida State vs. No. 10 Louisville
  • No. 8 LSU vs. No. 9 Clemson

Your turn

Where do you want Boise State to end up this bowl season? Where do you not want them to end up? Share your thoughts in the comments.