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September 22, 2014

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Boise State and Arizona State to play in 2011 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas

BCS snub leads Broncos to Las Vegas; Sun Devils appearing in local bowl game for first time

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Justin M. Bowen

Boise State fans celebrate after their team beat Utah 26-3 to win the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas Wednesday, December 22, 2010 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas.

The Boise State football team will spend its postseason in Las Vegas for the second consecutive year.

No. 8 Boise State (11-1) will meet Arizona State (6-6) in the 2011 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas on Dec. 22 at Sam Boyd Stadium. Bowl officials announced the matchup Sunday evening.

The Broncos came a point away from an undefeated season and possible national championship berth by losing 36-35 to TCU last month.

Because it was ranked in the top 16, Boise State was still eligible for an at-large bid into one of the four BCS bowl games. But bowl selection committees spurned the Broncos Sunday, leaving them available for Las Vegas.

MAACO Bowl Las Vegas could have picked any bowl-eligible Mountain West Conference team to play in the game. Organizers chose Boise State over MWC champions TCU.

Boise State played in the 2010 MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, defeating Utah 26-3, and its fans traveled well to the event. That could have played a role in the selection process.

“It’s not a good deal to go into a bowl game where there’s not a lot of energy and excitement,” Boise State coach Chris Petersen told the Idaho American Statesman. “Wherever we go, these seniors deserve a really fun atmosphere in truly their last game as a Bronco.”

One of the strongest senior classes in the nation leads the Broncos. Senior quarterback Kellen Moore was a Heisman finalist last year and ranks 12th in the nation with 292 passing yards per game this year.

Boise State’s leading rusher, Doug Martin, and leading receiver, Tyler Shoemaker, are also seniors. A slew of standout defenders, including linebacker Byron Hout and defensive lineman Shea Mclellin, will play their final game at Boise State in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas.

Boise State will open as heavy favorites against a reeling Arizona State squad that finished third in the Pac-12 South division.

The Sun Devils went 0-4 in November to put the brakes on a once-promising season. The Arizona State administration fired coach Dennis Erickson, but he will coach the team in the bowl game. Erickson has gone 31-30 in five years as Arizona State’s coach.

“I am proud of what we accomplished in five years,” Erickson said in a statement announcing his termination. “The program is in good shape for the next coach.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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  1. Poor Boise...

    One poor half of one game (TCU) costs them a potential spot in the BCS National Championship game; and they get stuck with this Turkey Bowl.

  2. What a bummer for Boise! They went 11-1 and get to play 6-6 ASU in the Las Vegas bowl. TCU cost the entire mountain west millions of dollars. BSU would have brought in big bucks in any BCS game for all MWC teams.

  3. This is why the BCS is bs. No8 has to play in Vegas? Also how is a 6-6 team getting a bowl appearance? Just more reasons I don't watch college ball. At least the NFL is honest in it being about the money. Only wish college ball could do that.

  4. It is nice for the Las Vegas Bowl to get Boise State, not so nice the other way around. The BCS is a corrupt mess as the big conferences keep the big bucks for themselves.

  5. Boise State is the 99%.. 99% of american sports fans feel their pain. Someone get the names and pictures of each member of the BCS decision committee. We need to make a poster "Despised: Elitist BCS Snobs!" We all need to know who we despise. It would be a best seller! Arizona St is a good team and will probably beat Boise State if Boise doesn't bring its A or B game, but remember Boise easily beat Georgia who just played for the SEC championship. ..as the rich get richer..