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Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

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 winner 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 is headed to the FCS in 2018) of the Sun Belt in 2016 instead of a MAC team.

Central Michigan will take on Wyoming in this season’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Each of the teams posted a 7-5 ATS record during the regular season. Central Michigan comes into the game as a hot bet, covering the spread in five straight. Unless you want to spend the holidays eating nothing but potatoes, check out our Potato Bowl betting preview to get an edge on the game.

For updated lines and great props for all bowl games head over to Bovada today.

Potato Bowl History
YearBowlTeamScoreTeamScoreSpreadATS WinnerSU Winner
1997Humanitarian BowlCincinnati35Utah State19+1.5CINCINCINCIN
1998Humanitarian BowlSouthern Miss35Idaho42+16.5IDAHOIDAHO
1999Humanitarian BowlLouisville31Boise State34+4.5BOISEBOISE
2000Humanitarian BowlTexas El Paso23Boise State38-7BOISEBOISE
2001Humanitarian BowlClemson49Louisiana Tech24+6.5CLEMCLEM
2002Humanitarian BowlIowa State16Boise State34-12BOISEBOISE
2003Humanitarian BowlGeorgia Tech52Tulsa10+7GATECHGATECH
2004MPC Computers BowlFresno State37Virginia34-6FRESNOFRESNO
2005MPC Computers BowlBoston College27Boise State21+3BOST.CBOST.C
2006MPC Computers BowlNevada20Miami21-4NEVADAMIAMI
2007Humanitarian BowlFresno State40Georgia Tech28-5.5FRESNOFRESNO
2008Humanitarian BowlNevada35Maryland42+2.5MARYLMARYL
2009Humanitarian BowlBowling Green42Idaho43-1PUSHIDAHO
2010Humanitarian BowlNorthern Illinois40Fresno State17+1.5N.ILLN.ILL
2011Famous Idaho Potato BowlUtah State23Ohio24-1PUSHOHIO
2012Famous Idaho Potato BowlUtah State41Toledo15+10.5UT STUT ST
2013Famous Idaho Potato BowlSan Diego State49Buffalo24-1SD STSD ST
2014Famous Idaho Potato BowlWestern Michigan24Air Force38+2Air ForceAir Force
2015Famous Idaho Potato BowlAkron23Utah State21-7.5AkronAkron
2016Famous Idaho Potato BowlIdaho61Colorado State50-16IdahoIdaho
2017Famous Idaho Potato BowlCentral Michigan-Wyoming-   

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