Is The Mountain West Getting Teaming Up With The Holiday Bowl
What are the bowl options for the Mountain West?
Las Vegas Bowl is done, so what is next?
The Mountain West bowl situation has been upturned a bit with the Las Vegas Bowl looking to change its matchup to add the SEC to take on the Pac-12 and get rid of the Moutain West. At media days, commissioner Craig Thompson discussed the bowl situation as new contracts are being made with the new cycle coming up in 2020.
The league can have a maximum of six bowl tie-ins — the league, however, can get more teams into the postseason in backup deals or earning a berth to the New Year’s Six or College Football Playoff games.
“We’ve got a very high probability we will renew in Boise, Albuquerque and Honolulu. We have an agreement with the Arizona Bowl in place,” Craig Thompson said. “For our other two bowls, we’re allowed to sign up to six bowl partnerships. The big one is here in Las Vegas. The people involved — the Raiders, the stadium, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, ESPN — are still looking at all their various options.”
The league has a deal with the Arizona Bowl in the works, and it is likely that the Cactus Bowl will be a backup for the Mountain West, and there is a potential new bowl in Phoenix which could feature a Mountain West team
These options are not great because a Power Five team is not likely going to be on the schedule, and that is what every Group of Five teams would love to play. The Las Vegas Bowl was the last guaranteed spot where the Mountain West champion played a decent Pac-12, at best.
Thompson wants to keep his teams out West so that fans can have access and that the cost is not extremely high by sending a team to the East Coast. San Jose State went to Orlando a few years ago for its bowl game and that was a very costly experience. Yet, Thompson notes that there are few options out West, so shutting the door to playing games to the Central and Eastern time zones is not slammed closed.
One great nugget that Thompson brought was the possibility of playing in the Holiday Bowl. He did not get into specifics but did say that when the Mountain West part of the old WAC pre-1998 sent its teams down to San Diego. The relationship is good in that regards with some familiar teams that played in the bowl years ago, and also with the being associated with the Poinsettia Bowl which was run by the same group.
There are some options on the table for the Mountain West in its bowl lineup, but one thing for sure is to make sure there are great matchups and try to get a Power Five team to play the champ. If a P5 cant be on the schedule then it needs to be the champion of one of the other G5 teams which would be a solid game for each side.