Idaho Statesman bowl projections: Boise State to Orange, Utah State-Kent State in Famous Idaho Potato

By Chadd Cripe
© 2012 Idaho Statesman

It’s November, so it’s time to start our weekly bowl projections for the Mountain West, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and Bowl Championship Series:

New Mexico (MW vs. Pac-12), Dec. 15, Albuquerque: New Mexico vs. Arizona State: Lobos might not get eligible. They must win this week at UNLV.

Famous Idaho Potato (WAC vs. MAC), Dec. 15, Boise: Utah State vs. Kent State: The MAC has four strong teams but two have made trips to this game recently — Ohio and Northern Illinois.

Poinsettia (MW vs. BYU), Dec. 20, San Diego: San Diego State vs. BYU: This will be a popular game in San Diego, matching longtime rivals.

MAACO (MW vs. Pac-12), Dec. 22, Las Vegas: Fresno State vs. Arizona: If the Bulldogs win out, they likely are the backup to Boise State. If not, Air Force becomes a factor.

Hawaii (MW vs. C-USA), Dec. 24, Honolulu: Nevada vs. Houston: If Boise State makes BCS and New Mexico doesn’t get eligible, Mountain West might vacate this one.

Armed Forces (MW vs. C-USA), Dec. 29, Fort Worth, Texas: Air Force vs. East Carolina: If the Falcons keep winning, they will be a popular team with bowl directors.

Rose (Pac-12 vs. Big Ten), Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif.: Oklahoma vs. Wisconsin: I took Wisconsin because they have the clearest path to the Big Ten title. The Rose could take Notre Dame, but if bowls work together it makes more sense to put the Irish in the Fiesta. Oklahoma replaces Oregon because the Pac-12 is unlikely to have a second eligible team.

Orange (ACC vs. BCS), Jan. 1, Miami: Florida State vs. Boise State: If you list the things that need to happen for the Broncos, all are more likely than not.

Sugar (SEC vs. BCS), Jan. 2, New Orleans: Florida vs. Louisville: If anyone other than Louisville wins the Big East, Boise State is the more attractive pick. But does the SEC want to play the Broncos? It would be a fun matchup with Florida’s Brent Pease-led offense.

Fiesta (Big 12 vs. BCS), Jan. 3, Glendale, Ariz.: Kansas State vs. Notre Dame: If these teams are undefeated and left out of the title game, this is a no-brainer. If the Rose takes Notre Dame, Clemson could get a BCS berth instead of Oklahoma.

BCS National Championship Game (1 vs. 2), Jan. 7, Miami: Alabama vs. Oregon: If the top four go undefeated, it will be close. But the Ducks should prevail because of what they would have to do in the final month.

Note: The BCS gives the first choice of available teams to the bowl that loses No. 1 (in this case, Sugar) and the second choice to the bowl that loses No. 2 (Rose). The last three picks go Fiesta, Sugar, Orange this year.


San Diego State senior cornerback Leon McFadden turned down scholarship offers from Washington, Washington State and BYU in part because San Diego State wanted him to play wide receiver.

“I wanted to be scoring touchdowns,” he said. “I wanted to be part of the hype.”

He’s doing both of those things — but he’s doing them at cornerback, after all. He switched positions two weeks into his first fall camp, started six games as a true freshman in 2009 and has developed into one of the Mountain West’s best players. He was named the preseason defensive player of the year.

“He’s very talented, very tough, very instinctual,” Boise State wide receiver Matt Miller said. “I think it has to do with his film study — how he breaks on those routes and how he plays the receiver, it’s pretty cool to watch. ... We’re always going to have to know where he’s at, be very smart with what we do with our routes and not give him any tips early in our routes.”

McFadden ranks second in the Mountain West in passes defended with three interceptions (two for touchdowns) and nine pass breakups. He has eight interceptions and 36 pass breakups in his career.

“He’s made a lot of our receivers and myself better,” San Diego State quarterback Adam Dingwell said. “He’s got a nose for the ball, and he’s very physical for a corner.”


Boise State sophomore defensive end Beau Martin started the season opener at Michigan State but slipped down the depth chart to No. 3 at the stud end spot, behind redshirt freshman Sam Ukwuachu and junior Kharyee Marshall.

Martin, a sophomore transfer, recorded his first sack and forced fumble last week after Marshall was injured. Marshall is questionable, so his role could be expanded this week, too.

He has eight tackles.

“It’s been a season of ups and downs,” Martin said. “It all comes down to practice. When I practice well and really focus in on my assignment and doing my job, it translates to the game.”

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I hope you're wrong.

I like to see BSU do well, but I don't think this year would be a good showing for us if we made a major bowl. I think we would lose which is just what the rest of the country wants us to do so they can justify their reasons for not wanting us there in the first place. I don't think BSU has looked like a top level team yet this year.


there are projections by ESPN and other sport outlets that have BSU in the Orange Bowl and you know why. Respect and Respect alone. BSU has it!! BSU is winning games and are a ranked team. Of course they deserve it and will play in it if they get elected to play in it. Who Cares if they have a good showing or not. The kids are busting there butts to play in a Bowl Game...and i am glad that the one they play in is not based on your feelings and beliefs of them getting embarrassed on national t.v.

So you would walk away from a ......

Huge payday because you're afraid we might lose? With logic like that, you must have also "voted" against a Fiesta Bowl appearance in 2007.

Never said

that they should turn down an offer if they get it. I think people are letting BSU's recent history impact their projections, which they shouldn't do because this is a completely different team. We'll see, hopefully I'm wrong.

It's not a different team... They're still Broncos

Yes, they lost a lot of key players last year, but we are growing key players as we speak. The coach has kids that want to play, and are making it work. I had my doubts early on, but they have made me a believer again. This team is hungry to prove a point, and if they get into a money bowl, they'll do Idaho proud, yet again.


take Coach Pete and one month of preperation against just about anyone.....including Florida State.

100% Disagree!

The Broncs were suppose to lose to Oklahoma & TCU if you recall. It didn't happen. Sure, the 2012 Broncs may not be as strong as prior teams however, they continue to improve. I like our chances against anyone besides Alabama/Oregon. Two tough matchups this year.

Stop counting the chickens

There is only one bowl game that matters right now, the SDSU one tomorrow night.

Projections are not Chickens!

It's a projection not a guarantee. Given the complexity of the BCS landscape I'm glad a projection is given.

All I can say is

Viva Las Vegas

Rose Bowl ?

"Oklahoma replaces Oregon because the Pac-12 is unlikely to have a second eligible team."
Why would not Oregon State or USC be eligible?

Read more here:


There has to be a second Pac-12 team in the top 14. If Oregon goes undefeated, that's one more loss at least for Oregon State, USC and Stanford.

Suppose it could happen, but

Suppose it could happen, but I'd find it hard to believe that BSU will be ranked above all three.

Φ Losing late

is very punitive. Teams basically are "sent to the end of the line" (the one-loss line, the two-loss line, etc.). Not always, but usually.

If you're going to take a loss, do it early and then you have time to claw back up the ladder, just as BSU is doing.


does not have to be ahead of all 3....they only need to finish in the top 16 and ahead of a BCS Conference Champion....which means focus on the Big 10.

Φ Two different things

are going on here. birddog was questioning the Rose's possible selection of Oklahoma, not BSU's qualifying. A conference can send a max of 2 teams to BCS bowls, but the second has to be top 14.

That (other than taking a spot in the top 14) doesn't affect BSU or its chances for the Orange. But yeah, if the Pac-12 only has Oregon ahead of BSU that wouldn't hurt. What we need is for Louisville to lose.


Hey Fetch your comment is ridiculous! Coach Pete will have the boys ready to play no matter who it is. Our defense is elite and getting better even with the recent losses. Being afraid to lose is for losers. I can't wait to listen to all the whining from the espn hacks. KARMA!

you mean like

how we were ready against MSU? so ready that we didn't score an offensive touchdown. Our defense kept us in that game against a team that is a middle of the pack BCS team at best right now. you're right the defense is legit, but the other two parts of the team are still not up to par to beat FSU in my opinion. and since i'm not on the team and by no means impacted by BSU's performance it's not that i'm afraid of them losing. I just like see them play competitive games, and right now i don't think it would be competitive against FSU. it's just an opinion though, so try not to take it too personally.

I think you just want to see them win....

All of us want to see them win but honestly how exciting was the Maaco bowl. Snooze fest both times as we easily defeated ASU & Utah. I would rather see a game like MSU where we were in it the entire way than watch a blow out.

Boise would be competitive

Their defense can hang with anyone except maybe Oregon. This year is different in that the defense leads the team rather than offense. A mediocre NC State already beat FSU. Boise can definitely slow their offense down and at least make it competitive if not win.

The Broncos..

have improved every game this year. You know what that means? Their best game will be their last game.

Let's worry

first about winning out. Then we need to hope the Big 10 tears itself apart. When those two things happen, let's talk. Not going to lie, it's fun to speculate. The defense is tough and the offense is getting better, starting to click together. With four games left, they still have time to get better. And, as all the haters love to spew, we'll have over a month to prepare for the game.

2012 Sugar Bowl

Michigan and Virginia Tech were both sub par teams last year and they got to play in the Sugar Bowl. That is how the BCS system works. So, if by chance Boise State meets the ranking and conference championship requirements for an automatic berth to a BCS game the year - than so be it. It is ironic that thesystem that kept us out of a BCS Bowl game last year when we were one of the top teams in the nation is the same system that may give us an automatic berth when we are only a top 20 team in a rebuilding year.

Coach of the Year

BSU + Orange Bowl = Pete for coach of the year. I'm not sure another program in college football will be ranked higher than BSU after losing so many players to NFL. Credit coach Pete & his ability to coach up 4 & 5 star recruits.

How about

his ability to coach up 2 and 3 star recruits?....BSU hasn't landed many 4 star recruits and I don't think they have ever landed a 5 star recruit....but when they leave they can be NFL bound for sure.

Exactly what I meant!

2 & 3 stars. :)

BCS big money bowl

I'm liking what your seeing. Gonna be exciting.

BSC picks

My only disagreement would be the Rose Bowl, but that affects all the others: the bowls have long insisted that they do NOT talk to each other or make agreements, so why would the Rose pass up an undefeated Notre Dame for a down-year Oklahoma who lost to them? So that would put Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl, leaving the Fiesta Bowl to choose between Boise State and Clemson. Boise is much closer, they've got a history with the Fiesta Bowl, and they would love to tick off their older siblings by voluntarily inviting a one-loss Boise State.

That would mean the Sugar Bowl would be free to turn down Louisville, and they definitely WOULD invite Oklahoma for a high-profile matchup, which would leave Florida State and Louisville in the Sugar Bowl.

Don't count your bowls until Tupperware calls.


Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<

So much for the Orange Bowl

Looks like the Toilet Bowl for BSU this year and Prince is one of the big reasons. The guy just doesn't get it. He screwed up Micihgan State, BYU, New Mexico and now SDSU. I hate to see what happens in Nevada.

Adios Orange Bowl--Better bowl luck next year in the Big East

I wonder if wins over SMU(0-9),UNLV(2-8), and Wyoming(2-7) put the team into a coma becauese of the lack of competition. Wins over BYU(5-4) and New Mexico(4-6), and Miami-Ohio(4-5) aren't exactly statements of superiority over teams that perform well and consistently win. It seems like the best defense faced by BSU's offense was BYU's, which was a terrible game for both teams. BSU played well enough to win that game, which isn't saying much.