Poinsettia Pregame

A huge crowd of Wyoming fans enjoy themselves in the parking lot of San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium prior to last year's Poinsettia Bowl. BYU beat the Cowboys 24-21 in Wyoming's first bowl game appearance since 2011.

Charlie Neuman, For the Star-Tribune

Wyoming football’s 13th and final game of the 2017 season will be played at the same location as its seventh game, according to a report from Brett McMurphy. McMurphy wrote in an article on The Score that the Cowboys will play in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho.

“Wyoming, I’m told, is locked into the Boise bowl as the Mountain West representative,” McMurphy wrote.

The bowl game will be played Dec. 22 at 2 p.m. Mountain Time. McMurphy projects Wyoming to play Central Michigan, but wrote that, “the MAC side of this game isn’t as certain, since the league has seven bowl-eligible teams but only four bowl slots.”

The bowl is played at Albertsons Stadium, Boise State’s home stadium. Wyoming lost 24-14 at Boise State on Oct. 21.

Wyoming has never played in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The Cowboys played in the now-defunct Poinsettia Bowl last year, losing 24-21 to BYU and ending a four-year bowl drought. The Cowboys secured bowl eligibility this year with a 16-13 win over Colorado State, and will play in a bowl game in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1987-88.

Colorado State and Idaho played in last year’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, with the Vandals winning 61-50 in their home state.

The Mountain West sends its conference champion to the Las Vegas Bowl, assuming that team is not invited to a New Year’s Six bowl as the top-ranked conference champion in the Group of Five. The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, New Mexico Bowl and Hawaii Bowl, in no particular order, get their choice of the Mountain West’s second- through fourth-place teams. Because of its head-to-head tiebreaker with Colorado State, Wyoming is fourth in line for a bowl bid, following Boise State, Fresno State and San Diego State, as determined by conference record.

Those three bowls, however, do not have to select the second- through fourth-place teams they can pass one over for another team, according to Mountain West guidelines, so long as the team they do not choose is placed in a different bowl.

After that trio, the Arizona Bowl gets the next choice of available teams. Many have projected Wyoming to go to the Arizona Bowl following its loss at San Jose State. However, most bowl projections are just that, while McMurphy claims to have actual knowledge that Wyoming is going to Boise.

Central Michigan is 8-4 overall and 6-2 in the Mid-American Conference, good for second in the West Division. Toledo, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Akron, Ohio and Buffalo are also bowl-eligible MAC teams.

Follow University of Wyoming athletics reporter Brandon Foster on Twitter @BFoster91

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Brandon Foster reports on University of Wyoming athletics. He joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 after graduating from the University of Missouri and covering Mizzou athletics for two years. A St. Louis native, he lives in Laramie.

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