Boise State looms as a strong possibility to appear in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, but the deal is far from done, according to people in the bowl industry.
The Hawaii Bowl will be played Dec. 24 at Aloha Stadium and is to match representatives from the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA.
The destination for the Broncos (8-4) is complicated by the fact that the MWC has seven bowl-eligible teams but only six guaranteed bowl slots.
In addition, there are currently 77 bowl eligible teams for 70 slots nationally and the number could rise to as many as 80 after this week’s games.
The Las Vegas Bowl and the San Diego-based Poinsettia Bowl have the first two picks of bowl-eligible MWC teams and may wait until Saturday’s championship game between Fresno State (10-1) and Utah State (8-4) to make their selections.
Boise State’s attractiveness elsewhere could open up a slot for the seventh MWC team.
Nevada-Las Vegas, which finished 7-5, is also a possibility for the Hawaii Bowl while Rice (9-3) and East Carolina (9-3) are among the possibilities from Conference USA.
“It is still too early to say how all this could shake out,” said David Matlin, executive director of the Hawaii Bowl.
The MWC’s other bowl-eligible teams are San Diego State (7-5), Colorado State (7-6) and San Jose State (6-6).