Famous Idaho Potato Bowl talking wih Big East, Mountain West and Idaho

By Brian Murphy
bmurphy@idahostatesman.com

Boise's Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is talking with the Big East, the Mountain West and the Sun Belt about an affiliation for 2013 and beyond, executive director Kevin McDonald told the Idaho Statesman.

The bowl needs a new conference affiliation in 2013 because the WAC will not sponsor football next year. The bowl has an affiliation with the Mid-American Conference for 2013.

McDonald said the bowl has interest in a backup agreement with the University of Idaho, which will play the 2013 season as an FBS independent.

"We don't have a deal in place (with Idaho). We've talked about the face that it makes sense to have something in play if they're going to be an independent school," McDonald said. "We're just trying to work the deal out. We definitely have interest in having a backup agreement with the school."

Idaho has been bowl eligible once in the last 13 years, making it difficult for the bowl to rely on getting the Vandals.

McDonald said the Big East and Mountain West are the two leagues that "make the most sense for us." Boise State is joining the Big East in football in 2013. The conference will also have San Diego State, Houston and SMU. The Mountain West will have several close regional schools.

2012 game

The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl has the first pick from the WAC and the No. 3 choice from the Mid-American Conference this season for its Dec. 15 game.

If Louisiana Tech (6-1) is the WAC champion, the league could make a deal that would keep the Bulldogs closer to home for bowl season. That would allow the Potato Bowl to select Utah State (6-2) or San Jose State (5-2). Utah State played in the game last year.

"The school (Louisiana Tech) and the conference would probably like the opportunity to not have to travel that team a far distance. I think they'll be attractive to somebody," McDonald said. "If it ends up that we get them, we'll be excited to have them."

On the MAC side, four teams are viable contenders — Ohio (7-0), Toledo 7-1), Northern Illinois (7-1) and Kent State (6-1). Kent State, which has not been to a bowl game since 1967, is already bowl eligible.

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WOW

When they are trying to secure Idaho as a backup plan for their bowl game - that shows you exactly where this bowl is at. When do the Potato Bowl execs expect Idaho to be bowl eligible again? Ridiculous.

The Big East will never hitch their star to this local bowl - guaranteed. McDonald would love that as he would love to have BSU back in the game at some point - but he should not hold his breath on that.

Are you really that stupid?

The Potato Bowl folks would absolutely LOVE a bowl-eligible Idaho playing in their bowl because that's a TON of fans in the seats, a lot more than some random MAC team would bring. For that matter, a dream situation (yet nearly statistically impossible) for them would be Idaho v. BSU. Guaranteed sell-out.

Why exactly do you think the Big East is above the Potato Bowl? Do you actually follow college football because your comments seem to indicate otherwise? Do you not understand that bowl affiliation is highly desired (even lower-tier bowls) by conferences. This is especially the case with mid and lower tier conferences. The Big East is no conference superpower, btw. More bowl affiliations, places for bowl-elligible teams to play, and $$ for conference schools is a good thing.

Nice try, homer.

Oh I'm sure they would LOVE

Oh I'm sure they would LOVE Idaho in the bowl every other year (never said they wouldn't) - but Idaho needs to improve the product on the field VASTLY before that is even close to becoming a reality. As it stands today - Idaho is the furthest thing from a backup plan for this lower tier bowl. Furthest thing.

And yes, the Big East IS above this bowl.

Kill This Bowl

It's time to pull the plug.

Would you say that if the Potato Bowl was tied to the Big East

and it was the only bowl opportunity for an 8-4 BSU team?

Think before you type, fool.

On top of it all, having another opportunity to watch football locally, especially in the post-season is nice. It brings money to the community and exposure on national television. I hope the bowl is successful and keeps on for a long time.

I'm not sure why you're such a hater, but good luck with that.

I would say

"fry it!"

It makes sense for an ever

It makes sense for an ever expanding Big East to add this bowl and align it with the MWC.

Maybe

They should just put the Potato Bowl and the Beef O'Bradys Bowl together and call it the Sheperds Pie Bowl.

One of the BEST comments I

One of the BEST comments I have seen on this site for quite some time - well done!

Hey

I like shepherd's pie, especially with a pint of ale! Good comment!

Great comment!

This is by far one of the better comments around....make me hungry.

FYI - I recommend trying the Shepherd's Pie Omelette at the Capri. It is delish!!

Nice!

aaahhhhh....sheperds pie.... (Ala Homer)
Though the backup deal with Idaho doesn't seem to realistic. Who knows when they'll ever be bowl eligible again.

2102...

That seems like a long way off to worry about right now.

Just sayin.

Proofreading has never been

Proofreading has never been a Statesman trait!

2102 game

they're trying to plan for the next time UofI is competitve!

Frog,

That would be one of the quickest turnarounds in history. Even the titanic couldn't make that turn....

Idaho makes the most sense, especially for the

future, when the program gets turned around and back in their cfb winning ways....

It makes sense to sell Bronco Stadium to the University of Idaho, where the Vandals could then schedule 4 'home' games in Boise and 2 home games in Kibbie....Also, with Vandal intelligence we could turn Bronco (Vandal) Stadium into an economic power-house by also having soccer, rock concerts, Republican Speeches, and cfb football....

This would open door for better Bronco needs in that they need a stadium that can fill 50,000 folks with easy to get parking....a great idea off the freeway not far from Kuna....a brand new Bronco Stadium....

its a win-win....

One of the sad aspects of realignment

is the inevitable death of some of these bowls and in the case of Idaho an entire FBS school.

I have attended and enjoyed the potato bowl every year no matter the opponent. And I love the atmosphere. There is something about tailgating for football in the cold. I just love it.

The bowl and UI are very similar. They are waiting around as long as they can to see if a conference will pick them up but thier fate is probably sealed.

Boise in December with no local tie in. That will be hard to sell to any conference. And the UI thing is PR. No chance for Idaho to play in a bowl for a long while. No coach, no conference, no players..... It's over.

In the case of the Bowl, it is sad to see this happen.
In the case of the Idaho, please potato bowl, don't encourage them.

What if Idaho went to the Big Sky and the potato bowl could wrangle some kind of deal with FCS schools to be the "play in game" for the playoffs?
Lots of geographic schools from the big sky...

personally I'd go watch a game of playoff potential for several teams. UI, UM, MSU, ISU, EW, Weber, etc.

It's not the Boise Bowl

If you've been going to the bowl game every year, you'll remember quite a few games with no local tie-in. Plenty of folks showed up to those games - 25,000 plus. It pulls in about 2.5 million viewers, which isn't too paltry. I don't think that they'll have trouble finding conferences.

It may not have a local tie in but there was always a BSU

reason to go. Mostly just to see a team we played that year play again. You wont have that now. There was a conference tie and and that was "local" enough. heck, even last year there was a strong utah tilt to the crowd and that was not really a "conference" reason to go. This game was on life support to begin with, now, I just don't see it. Don't get me wrong. I love the bowl. I hope it is successful but it wont be. It is also no secret that it is not quite a team's dream to go. Coaches in the past have been quite vocal about not wanting to go. I suppose the MWC fit could be viable, the bowl would have to have Wyoming or Nevada or Fresno in it. Which is quite likely. But honestly the conference has to want it and I dont think they will.

Colorado St Vs houston would be a ghost town.

Idaho Has No Marketability....

It it's current state. It may be some time before they can even get them a great coach. I predict they will end the season with one win. Recruits, not all of them but there will be many, will jump ship. Those which require signing should look elsewhere. Unless The Potato Bowl moves down to 1AA, I do not see Idaho ever setting foot in Bronco Stadium again. They have a great kicker up there that should look south. Anywhere south.
Best idea for Potato Bowl is Pac-12 vs. MWC or Big East. MAC should have never happened and I still sit out until this contract is done.

I love the idea

of a Big East/Mt. West matchup. That would guarantee that the Vandals would never play in it.

Uh Bronco24

I think the vandies have already guaranteed that.

I've gone to several

And I hope the bowl can survive. It doesn't bring the best matchups ever, but there have been a number of good games and it's a great opportunity to see a couple of non-local football teams square off.

I think a BE/MWC matchup would work pretty well. I know the Pac 12 would be a dream for the bowl but I don't see that happening.

Maybe the

Mountain West and Conference USA would make the most sense, and provide a couple of good teams with geographic diversity. As our stadium and facilities continue to improve, we should be able to attract better teams with better TV exposure. Don't think the Pac 12 would be interested.