How does a late-December trip to Boise, Idaho, sound? Generally, bowl games are played in warm-weather locations, or in a domed stadium if in a cold-weather city. But that’s what makes the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl unique. The game played at Albertsons Stadium on the campus of Boise State debuted in 1997 and is the longest-running cold-weather bowl game in college football.
This game, originally called the Humanitarian Bowl, became official on June 12, 1997. Then-Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier conceived the idea because the Big West Conference, now defunct in football, was without a guaranteed bowl game for its champion. Big West Sportsbook Utah State lost to Cincinnati 35-19 in the first game. After the Big West dissolved, the WAC replaced it in the game – but then the WAC stopped competing in football after the 2012 season. Utah State was the final WAC team to play in this bowl too, beating Toledo 41-15 on Dec. 15, 2012. Currently, a Mountain West team plays a Mid-American Conference team in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Georgia Tech running back P.J. Daniels had a historic performance in the bowl following the 2003 season – that year only, it was played in early January. Daniels rushed for an NCAA bowl-record 307 yards in the Yellow Jackets’ 52-10 blowout of Tulsa. With all due respect to Daniels, he’s not close to the biggest-name player to ever compete in this bowl. That honor would go to either future NFL MVP Matt Ryan of Boston College (2005) or ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (2008 with Nevada).
The two biggest upset victories in the bowl game have been by Idaho. In 1998, the Vandals were +16.5 and beat Southern Miss 42-35. In 2016, Idaho was +13.5 and knocked off Colorado State 61-51 in the third-highest scoring game in bowl history. The 84 second-half points were the most combined in any half for a bowl game. The bowl committee opted to take in-state Idaho (which headed to the FCS in 2018) of the Sun Belt in 2016 instead of a MAC team.
The Western Michigan Broncos will take on the BYU Cougars in this season’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. For the latest odds, a free pick and handicapping information, visit our Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Game Center.
|Year||Bowl||Team||Score||Team||Score||Spread||ATS Sportsbook||SU Sportsbook|
|1997||Humanitarian Bowl||Cincinnati||35||Utah State||19||+1.5||CINCIN||CINCIN|
|1998||Humanitarian Bowl||Southern Miss||35||Idaho||42||+16.5||IDAHO||IDAHO|
|1999||Humanitarian Bowl||Louisville||31||Boise State||34||+4.5||BOISE||BOISE|
|2000||Humanitarian Bowl||Texas El Paso||23||Boise State||38||-7||BOISE||BOISE|
|2001||Humanitarian Bowl||Clemson||49||Louisiana Tech||24||+6.5||CLEM||CLEM|
|2002||Humanitarian Bowl||Iowa State||16||Boise State||34||-12||BOISE||BOISE|
|2003||Humanitarian Bowl||Georgia Tech||52||Tulsa||10||+7||GATECH||GATECH|
|2004||MPC Computers Bowl||Fresno State||37||Virginia||34||-6||FRESNO||FRESNO|
|2005||MPC Computers Bowl||Boston College||27||Boise State||21||+3||BOST.C||BOST.C|
|2006||MPC Computers Bowl||Nevada||20||Miami||21||-4||NEVADA||MIAMI|
|2007||Humanitarian Bowl||Fresno State||40||Georgia Tech||28||-5.5||FRESNO||FRESNO|
|2009||Humanitarian Bowl||Bowling Green||42||Idaho||43||-1||PUSH||IDAHO|
|2010||Humanitarian Bowl||Northern Illinois||40||Fresno State||17||+1.5||N.ILL||N.ILL|
|2011||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Utah State||23||Ohio||24||-1||PUSH||OHIO|
|2012||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Utah State||41||Toledo||15||+10.5||UT ST||UT ST|
|2013||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||San Diego State||49||Buffalo||24||-1||SD ST||SD ST|
|2014||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Western Michigan||24||Air Force||38||+2||Air Force||Air Force|
|2015||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Akron||23||Utah State||21||-7.5||Akron||Akron|
|2016||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Idaho||61||Colorado State||50||-16||Idaho||Idaho|
|2017||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Central Michigan||14||Wyoming||37||-3||Wyoming||Wyoming|
|2018||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Western Michigan||18||BYU||49||-10||BYU||BYU|