Now bowl eligible, where could the Aggies play after the season ends? – Cache Valley Daily

USU Football. Photo by Robert K. Scott

LOGAN – After a wild 51-31 victory over Hawai’i in Logan on Saturday, the Utah State Aggies have now won six games on the season making them bowl eligible. Now Aggie fans can begin to speculate about where USU will go bowling once the regular season comes to a close. Before examining what bowls may be a possibility, it is still a strong possibility that the Aggies will represent the Mountain Division at the Mountain West Conference championship game December 4th on Fox. Currently, USU is on top of the Mountain Division as the only one-loss team in the division. The Aggies also hold tie breakers against Air Force and Colorado State, should it come to that. The conference championship game, featuring the top Mountain Division team against the top West Division team, will be staged at the site of the highest ranked team. Through nine weeks of football, Fresno State currently holds that honor as the #25 ranked team in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll.

According to Mountain West Conference officials, the conference has six guaranteed bowl tie-ins:

  • New Mexico Bowl at University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico – Dec. 18 at 12:15 p.m. MT on ESPN (Mountain West vs Conference USA)
  • Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California – Dec. 18 at 5:30 p.m. MT on ABC (Mountain West champion vs PAC-12)
  • Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho – Dec. 21 at 1:30 p.m. MT on ESPN (Mountain West vs MAC)
  • EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl at Clarence T.C. Ching Athletics Complex in Honolulu, Hawai’i – Dec. 24 at 6 p.m. MT on ESPN (Mountain West vs AAC)
  • Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona – Dec. 31 at 3:30 p.m. MT  but no TV partner announced yet (Mountain West vs MAC)
  • An ESPN events game (likely to be in Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex) – which could be the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas on Dec. 21 at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN; Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas on Dec. 22 at 6 p.m. on ESPN; or, the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas on Dec. 28 at 1:15 p.m. on ESPN.

The Mountain West is also the primary backup in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona on Dec. 28 at 8:15 p.m. if the Big Ten or Big 12 cannot fill their bowl allotments. It is also possible the Mountain West could send an additional team to some other ESPN-owned bowl game if there is an availability.

And now that all the games have been played through nine weeks of football, here are where various publications are projecting where USU may end up.

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach: USU vs UTEP in the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl
ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura: USU vs Northern Illinois in the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl
CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm: USU vs Kent State in the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl
ActionNetwork’s Brett McMurphy: USU vs UCF in the EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl
The Athletic’s Stewart Mandell: USU vs Miami-Ohio in the Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl
Athlon Sports’ Steve Lassan: USU vs UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl
247 Sports’ Brad Crawford: USU vs UCF in the EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl
College Football News: USU vs UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl
ProFootball Network’s Joe Broback: USU vs UCF in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
College Sports Madness: USU vs UTEP in the Cure Bowl at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

USU prepares this week to play an out-of-conference (but familiar) opponent: New Mexico State. Kick off is scheduled for 2 p.m. on FloSports.

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