If you were to pick one bowl game to travel to, all expenses paid for, the usual suspects of high-powered matchups would show. The National Championship Game. The Rose Bowl. The Sugar Bowl. And the Hawaii Bowl. Why? Because Hawaii is amazing. This year, a Mountain West team was supposed to match up against one from Conference USA, but ESPN's done some rearranging. We get a really good game now.
Date and time, ET: December 24, 8 p.m.
TV channel: ESPN
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Stadium: Aloha Stadium -- capacity 50,000
Tickets: Find available seats here.
Last year's score: SMU 43, Fresno State 10
Last year's attendance: 30,024
Last year's TV rating: 1.4
Last year's payout for each school: $750,000
Team with the most all-time appearances: Hawaii (six)
Team with the most all-time wins: Hawaii (three)
Boise State (8-4, 6-2 MW)
It’s a little weird to see a mortal Boise State, isn’t it? The Broncos are assured of their first season under 10 wins since 2005, thanks to a combination of inexperience, injuries and a surprisingly stout schedule in the Mountain West. The Broncos finished 8-4 (6-2) in the regular season, a game shy of Utah State in the Mountain Division.
QB Joe Southwick remains out for the year, but Grant Hedrick has been a capable replacement, throwing for 15 TDs and rushing for 6 more on the year. Not bad for only six games of serious action and mop-up duty elsewhere. RB Jay Ajayi has been the steadying influence on the offense with 1,328 yards and 17 TDs, and he is easily one of the ten best running backs whose first name is fully contained in his last name ever. EVER.
The major downer for Broncos fans is Chris Petersen taking the Washington job, but a trip to Hawaii should brighten those spirits.
Last bowl game: 2012 Maaco Las Vegas Bowl vs. Washington, 28-26 win
Last year without a bowl: 2001
All-time bowl record: 9-4
Head coach's bowl record: Chris Petersen, 5-2
Oregon State (6-6, 4-5 Pac-12)
It was a year of streaks for Mike Riley, who opened the season with an embarrassing loss to FCS Eastern Washington, but rebounded to reel off six in a row to reach bowl qualification. Unfortunately, that would be the high water mark for the Beavers, who proceeded to lose their last five games, including a 36-35 heartbreaker to Oregon in the Civil War.
On offense, the Beavers feature two players quite heavily -- quarterback Sean Mannion and All Pac-12 first team wide receiver Brandin Cooks, whose recognition in the press does not nearly meet his actual level of talent. Though Mannion has struggled as of late, throwing 11 interceptions in his last four games -- again, all losses -- he is still the head of the nation’s third-ranked passing offense, having thrown for nearly 4,500 yards through the air this season.
All Pac-12 2nd teamer Scott Crichton leads a rather mediocre Oregon State defense -- 92nd in the country against the run and 75th against the pass -- from the defensive end spot, leading the team with 6.5 sacks and 16.0 tackles for loss.
Last bowl game: 2012 Alamo Bowl vs. Texas, 31-27 loss
Last year without a bowl: 2011
All-time bowl record: 10-6
Head coach's bowl record: Mike Riley, 5-2